"[B]efore Tilda Swinton was this strapping space aristocrat, or pensive movie star, or fabulously tailored fashion hologram with an ever-mutating, post-human coiffure (it’s mixed with yak hair in Only Lovers), she was, like many of us, someone avoiding a set of expectations laid down before her. Swinton is the descendant of a medieval clan of Anglo-Scot toffs, a tall, clever girl sent away early to boarding school (where she studied for a while alongside the future Princess Diana), the daughter of a major general in the Scots Guards who was expected to, as she understood it at the time, not be too freaky, or too much herself, for that matter—whoever she was exactly—and probably, as she once joked, marry a duke.
Regal, then, comes as naturally to her as her clipped upper-caste accent. But she has also become very much her own exquisite thing, only attaining widespread fame in her 40s (in part for being this in extremis beauty), just as more ingénue types are in panicky plastic-surgery shoring-up mode. Everyone describes her as a space oddity—related: the Tumblr (TildaStardust) dedicated to the zany notion she and David Bowie are actually the same person—and it’s easy to see her as the alabaster ambassador from a more advanced corner of the galaxy. She talks about her friends as her heroes, whose faces “are lining my space capsule that is hurtling through space.”
Hell, send her an email and the auto-reply you get back says:
'Hello, I am away until 01/01/2070 and am unable to read your message.'”
Tilda Swinton Is Not Quite of This World
“It’s a ‘blue’ that reminds me of Nairobi, and I just wanted to have a little piece of my home with me.”
The luminous Lupita Nyong, on her Oscar dress
“I am too intelligent, too demanding, and too resourceful for anyone to be able to take charge of me entirely. No one knows me or loves me completely. I have only myself.”
— Happy birthday, Simone de Beauvoir
"Sometimes she is elaborate and theatrical, sometimes she is austere and heartbreakingly emotional, sometimes she is asleep in a box. She is her own category, and though she is very fair — almost the color of a cloud — I think we can safely say nearly everything in life pales when viewed alongside her."
Wes Anderson - Tilda Swinton Honored at MoMA on her 53rd Birthday
Previous MoMA Film honorees include Tarantino, Almodovar, Bigelow, and Burton.