Tilda Swinton to Asharq Al-Awsat: I do not like the word actress because it does not mean much to me

Last night (Friday) the 75th session awards were handed out to the winning films in the “Un Certain Regard” competition, without these results missing a few surprises.

One is that the Pakistani film “Joyland” won the Jury Prize, which is the first victory for a Pakistani film in the history of the French festival. The film is by Sam Siddiq and deals with a new story, even for Pakistani films themselves. It’s about a married man who falls in love with a transgender woman. From this situation, the film raises the issue of the clash between traditions and the emerging reality that stems from desires for change and deviation from social doctrines.

The first prize went to the French film “The Worst Ones” by young directors Lise Akoca and Romain Guerrier, a drama about a director who makes a movie (within the movie we are watching) about children living in an area lives near Paris. The film’s teenage heroine is pregnant and her younger brother, who does not know how to help her, stands by her side anyway.

The two acting awards went to Vicki Cribs for her role in the movie “Corsage”, and Adam Pesha for his role in another social drama called “Harka”. The award for best director went to Alexandru Piech for the Romanian film Metronum.

“A Look” is a parallel competition that has screened 20 films this year, most for a new generation of directors, although this is not a requirement. The purpose of this section is to present films with a semi-complete artistic approach and cultural vision, or with an artistic or literary reference. Something one would like to see among the main competition films that were distributed last night, yesterday (Saturday).


Meanwhile, and this article is being written before the official competition results appear, actress Tilda Swinton will almost certainly make an appearance at the closing ceremony to present an award. Her presence at the festival was like a brilliant glow during the days before and after the screening of the film in which she starred, under the title “3000 Years of Longing”. The film is directed by George Miller and starring British actor Idris Elba.

The story of the film is contemporary fantasy, about a woman who arrives on a public visit to Istanbul to discover the presence of a genius who offers her to fulfill three wishes for her as a condition of his release. Three days after the film was shown out of competition, and in the context of meetings arranged by the press fan for the distribution company United Artists, Tilda Swinton sat down for this interview, and the text of the interview follows:

> In addition to this film, you have two more films, “Pinocchio” and “The Eternal Daughter.” You have said before that you are mainly dependent on the choice factor in what you do. Is this foundation still in place for you?

– I believe. They are all choices; is not it But what I said earlier – if I remember correctly – had to do with a point in my career when I was trying to make a presence that was different to me than just being in movies. I want to say that I may not have to wait for the right job for maybe thirty years. There was always the movie I wanted to do because it meant something special to me or because it appealed to me.

> This may be due to the fact that you have proved that you have your success in portraying the characters. It seems unlikely that you would succeed in the same way as another actress did.

– Probably. I can not guess much here. What I am always looking for is to express my love for the role or the character. How I do this is an automatic act that I leave the judgment to you and the audience.

> So what are the factors that motivate you to choose your roles? Except that the role is so interesting to you?

– You might be surprised. I do not choose the usual way. I think the role after reading the script is the one that chooses me. I read and try to find myself in this or that movie.

> Does it take long to respond to a particular role?

– not necessarily. It’s like you’re seeing something. As if you are entering a new home and looking at its contents. Ask yourself if the furniture, rooms or garden of the house will suit you or not.

> What is the history of «3000 years of longing» for you? How did your interest in the project start?

Five years ago I came to Cannes without knowing many people at this festival. I was alone most of the time except for a few acquaintances. Suddenly I found myself talking to a nice guy who introduced himself as George Miller. About a year later, he sent me the script for this movie, and that’s how it started.

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> Did you have to integrate into a different character later than the rest of your characters in other movies?

– none. Not true. What’s interesting about this film is that the director gives me the freedom to deal with the character, and I thank him for that. Some directors want the actor to act as they see fit, which is often not true. I think my co-star, Idris Elba, also found positive value in director Miller. Alba and I talked for a long time and found that we were left free to define our two roles.

> What’s always striking is that you always seem to be involved in the film, not just as an actress, but rather quickly that many of your works look like you’re directing them. I do not know if I’m clear about it. What I mean is that the movie comes with Tilda Swinton as an actress, and he belongs especially to her.

– I understand what you’re saying. I think it goes back to my beginning in the movie. Director (late) Derek Garmin had a work style in which he brings all the participants in the film together to place them in one atmosphere. He always told us, “You are all filmmakers.” This principle is what I have retained. I do not go into the nature of the film or how the director wants it, but I give my opinion, and I would be happy if my contribution was more than just acting.

• What is acting for you? How are you doing?

It is to know who this other woman is that I want to represent on screen. I choose not to imitate her. Reincarnation is the last thing that interests me. I want to give her in her own way what she desires. I basically hate the word actor. It does not mean much to me. I wish I could replace her with Filmmaker. This is a first for me.

• One of the films that went all over you after erasing the distance between you and your character is “The Human Voice” by Pedro Almadóvar. Do you share your opinion about it?

Yes, without reservation. Each actor or actress will give you a different diagnosis of what they are doing. The instructions may be the same: A woman is angry because her lover has left her. But wait … what this or that actress is going to do is not what Tilda Sunten will do. That’s for sure, and it has to do with how willing the actor is to erase the distance, she says. This is a completely correct description. “The Human Voice” is one of those films that is not just about acting. The role determines the size that the actor is involved in to ensure for the acting aspect.

> What does it mean to you that the director is famous or successful?

Performed for unknown directors. for independent directors. But of course, working with a director who has proven the quality of his work always brings me psychological stability and reassurance. As for Almadovar, you have known him since the 1980s through his films. The first movie I saw of him was Women on the Verge of Breakdown. I was amazed at the movie because it was different from what I saw. During the filming of “The Human Voice”, I found Badro a very kind and knowledgeable person. This in turn is essential for the actor or any other business partner.

> I heard he was nervous during filming.

– Yes, to some extent. This is because the movie was his first in English, and he tried to make sure his instructions were clear. I suspect.

About loved ones who live

> This short film took place in the present time, but what is the situation when the film is subject to a specific historical period? Let’s say, as was the case for “Only Lovers Alive”? (Only Lovers Were Left Alive) or “David Copperfield’s Personal History”?

– “Only lovers stay alive” is a special experience. Director Jim Jarmusch and I have spent a long time trying to find the right treatment for a subject that speaks, as you surely know, of a fantasy that touches on reality in a semi-comic way. It took eight years of preparation this way. Jim is not one of those directors who is rushing the steps to make a movie. He studies it well and keeps developing it until he is completely convinced of what he wants to achieve. But overall, for me, here’s no other preparation for a fantasy, historical, or contemporary movie.

> Were you part of the development of your other two films with Jim Jarmusch, Broken Flowers and The Limits of Control?

– none. not quite. I met Jim a week before I started shooting my first movie with him, Broken Flowers, and there was no time to reflect. For the second film, I had time to talk about my role, but the whole experience was beyond the scope of what the director wanted to achieve.

> You were involved in Hollywood movies that seem to me to contradict your rich art history. Movies like Doctor Strange and Avengers: Endgame. How do you view this issue?

I see it as part of my job as an actress. Of course, it is not possible for these films to do more than my best as an actress. These are works that have been proposed to me and I accepted because I believed that everyone who imagined him assigning the role to me knew what I was doing and how to do it. Yes, I agree with you, these are different movies than most of what I do, though I’m always serious about everything I accept to appear in.

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