Tilda Swinton is not only one of the best actresses working in Hollywood today, but also one of the most interesting. She has a unique look that has served her well in such memorable roles as Orlando in Orlando, the White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and Karen Crowder in Michael Clayton (which earned her an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress). With each performance she gives, Swinton brings a raw originality that other actors can’t quite lay claim to, and she captivates you thoroughly for every moment she appears on screen. That holds true for her latest role as well, which has her playing a centuries old vampire in Only Lovers Left Alive and sees her back with independent filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, whom she worked with on Broken Flowers and The Limits Of Control.
Yes, Only Lovers Left Alive is another vampire movie, but it’s not your usual Twilight rip-off. Swinton plays Eve, a vampire who has lived through several historical periods and is in a passionate relationship with another vampire, Adam (Tom Hiddleston). While Adam groans about the increasing decline of western civilization, Eve is more optimistic about what is to come. Their lives together, however, are soon interrupted by the appearance of Eve’s little sister Ava (Mia Wasikowska), whose reckless ways threaten their secret existence.
I recently had the pleasure to speaking with Tilda at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles while she was in town promoting the film. We discussed what it’s like working with Jarmusch, what inspired her performance here, and the kind of research she had to do to play a character that was hundreds of years old. She also seemed quite impressed with the fact that I had just run 26.2 miles in the Los Angeles Marathon earlier that day.
Check it all out in the video below and be sure to catch Only Lovers Left Alive when it hits theatres on April 11th.