Before she had an Oscar®, before she starred alongside the likes of Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, George Clooney in Michael Clayton, or, lucky girl, both of them together in Burn After Reading, Tilda Swinton had 20 years of performing under her belt. She was especially admired for her acting and performance art in the independent sphere (she once slept, fully clothed, in a glass case for seven straight days for an art installation). Today, however, she's perhaps best known for her striking features, unique fashion sense and refusal to conform to the industry standard. She called the Screening Room from her home in Scotland to talk about her recent film, her new foundation and what it means to be authentic. 
Rachel Bertsche: Here at, we're all about living your best life and staying true to yourself. It seems like that's something you've mastered. You don't compromise your values for a role, you don't end up in the tabloids, even your fashion sense feels authentic. How do you maintain your best self in an industry that can pull you in so many different directions?

Tilda Swinton: I've always been really privileged to know that my life is more important than my industry. I'm not really even aware of being involved in an industry, to be honest with you. My work tends to spill out of my life and be linked into my life, and I always look for friendship in my work. I like to feel as if I'm always at home. That has to do with being very spoiled very young. I was spoiled to learn how good it could be to work with people you feel really comfortable with, so that's what I look for. Having a joyful sense of not wanting to be anywhere else is so important to living your best life.

What's your favorite Tilda Swinton performance? Comment below!


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