Tilda Swinton Poster

Quotes (28)

  • The other day, I was going through the airport security and I was searched by a male security guard. I'm very often referred to as "Sir" in elevators and such. I think it has to do with being this tall and not wearing much lipstick. I think people just can't imagine I'd be a woman if I look like this.
  • I'm basically interested in identity, and I still find fascinating the question, "How do we identify ourselves, and how do we settle into other people's expectations for our identity?"
  • There is something insane about a lack of doubt. Doubt, to me anyway, is what makes you human, and without doubt even the righteous lose their grip not only on reality but also on their humanity.
  • True, there is all sorts of religious extremism all over the place, but the reason for this partly has to do with the fascist attitudes and language of absolutism coming from Washington. It's challenging for people outside of America that Bush was re-elected. It means we're all going to have to work a lot harder to understand what so many more Americans than we thought really want. It's an identity shift in our minds about America and maybe for many Americans as well.
  • I don't work the future - I don't want to know what's coming. I don't feel I need any guarantees.
  • There's such an effort to try and explain people.
  • I sometimes think I was always left-wing. I know that sounds completely crazy, but I do know that I asked questions when I was about four, and I remember noticing that I wasn't getting an answer, and I remember it annoying me. Like why when we went to church on Sunday were we sitting upstairs and the people we'd been playing with the day before were sitting downstairs. And I noticed that my brothers were not asking these questions. I was aware that I was being embarrassing.
  • You're always playing yourself. It's all autobiography, whatever you're doing. It's using them as a kind of prism through which to throw something real about yourself, or something relaxed at least. Because the last thing you want is to look like you're acting.
  • I think I enjoy my work now even more simply because it's even easier than it was. It sounds sacrilegious to say that anything's a delight when you're away from your children, but the truth is that it is refreshing to only have yourself to dress in the morning, and to lie diagonally across the bed. Making films, going round the world on tour * all these crazy things that were so difficult before are so much easier than breastfeeding twins for 14 months that frankly it is a delight.
  • In order for the story to move forward, the character has to do certain things. You don't have to be anything but interested in telling the story.
  • I don't love the theatre. I'm just not one of them.
  • I am a soldier. I live a soldier's life when I'm working. That's how it feels to me, except I've got a slightly greater chance of survival.
  • [on the Oscar statuette] I have an American agent who is the spitting image of this. Really truly, the same shape head and, it has to be said, the buttocks.
  • I really just had a reverse Zoolander (2001) moment when I think I heard someone else's name and suddenly slowly heard my own. I'm still recovering from that moment, and I have absolutely no idea what happened after that. So, you know, you can tell me my dress fell off and I'd believe you, so don't be cruel. - on winning the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award.
  • [on how she believes Derek Jarman would have reacted to her winning an Oscar] I think he would have laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed... And then, he would ask me for the thing to melt it down into an artwork.
  • I'm not one of those performers who says the theatre is my great love. It really isn't. I'm not really interested in the theatre at all to be honest. I don't go to it. I find it really boring.
  • I don't think I'm courageous. One man's courage is another man's comfort zone. We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011) explored a taboo subject: the idea of a less than perfect mother. I knew that, when an audience watched the film, there would be a gag reflex at some point. But I was fascinated by the subject - it scared me, and that interested me.
  • When we were trying to finance We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011), we would reference Rosemary's Baby (1968). It's every pregnant woman's nightmare to give birth to the devil. And every mother worries that she won't connect with her children. When I had my children, my manager asked me what project I wanted to work on next. I said, "Something Greek, perhaps Medea." Nobody quite understood what I meant, what I was feeling.
  • It's a real comfort zone for me to feel alien.
  • [on We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)] I call this the feel-good film of the year, because parents will leave the cinema going, 'There but for the grace of God go I'. And people who don't have children will leave the cinema going, 'There but for the grace of God go I!. So it's a win-win situation, I reckon.
  • [on Delphine Seyrig] The most important thing to strive for is to never look like an actress. Just always look like a person. And that's exactly what Delphine achieved.
  • [on meeting Delphine Seyrig] She was so beautiful, but that wasn't the most important thing about her. She knew she was beautiful, and she'd stare at you as if to say, 'alright, have a look,' but then she drew you in much, much deeper.
  • [asked about some actress performances that inspired her] One's always downloading one's heroes, I suppose, all the time. We're not referencing any particular, current pieces of work. I remember being asked whether I thought about Gena Rowlands for Julia (2008) and thinking 'well, I think about Gena Rowlands all the time!' Not just for Julia. Of course, we thought about [John] Cassavetes a lot for Julia. For this film [Io sono l'amore (2009)] we thought about Catherine Deneuve in Belle de jour (1967). I thought about -and again, I always think about- Delphine Seyrig in Last Year at Marienbad. But again, it's not just sampling these performances, but being inspired by them all the time. I could say that I'm just as inspired by Delphine Seyrig when I'm making Julia as when I [am] doing I Am Love. Who else? Let me think...Carole Lombard in To Be or Not to Be (1942). Those are the people that kind of spring to my mind. So does Ingrid Bergman.
  • [on what cinema means to her as an art form] My guides in this inquiry are my children who are now 16 -- they're twins. They're like lab rats really, they're very grateful. When I first started thinking about cinema for them, I started to really examine my own desires about cinema for myself... It was really to do with the children and seeing their eyes opening. And I started thinking about why cinema is good for the soul, and what it gives us. In a nutshell, what it is for me is this amazingly humane opportunity to put yourselves in the shoes of someone else. It's no more complicated and no less powerful than that. You go in, it all goes dark, and you put yourself in someone else's shoes and see through their eyes. That's just mega, it's so powerful. Even a painter, who can do it, only can do less. A painter at one time is showing you one frame, but a filmmaker can take you into an experience and an existential atmosphere that may be a trip for you. It's like a magic carpet. This is how I feel about cinema.
  • [on not taking her personal nor her professional life too seriously] I'm playful at heart. And myth-making is always fun.
  • When people ask about how I approach a character - well, I wouldn't know how to approach a character if I tried. People will ask about choosing a role; I don't choose roles. People will talk to me about preparation. Aside from putting together a disguise, I'm not aware of any preparation at all.
  • [on not considering herself an actor] I don't know what it would take for me to feel like one. I understand it's a strange thing to say because I do keep saying, 'Yes, I'll dress up and be in your film.' But when I hear proper actors talking about their lives and how they approach their work, I feel like I'm up another tree.
  • [on her character in A Bigger Splash (2015)] At a moment in my own life when I was all out of words [the death of her mother], I proposed the idea of this woman unable to speak into the established story of ancient histories and new lives thrown into relief by one another. Not only as a twist to ramp up the tensions between the characters, but also as a way of exploring the possibilities of silence in a portrait of a character surrounded by the noise of others and the legacy of the noise she had herself made in the past.