Home Entertainment TILDA SWINTON ~ Exclusive Interview: Doctor Strange

TILDA SWINTON ~ Exclusive Interview: Doctor Strange

by Heather

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If you’ve been following along, last week I shared with you our experience of going to Los Angeles for the #DoctorStrangeEvent and sitting down with Benedict Cumberbatch (“Dr. Stephen Strange”) and Rachel McAdams (“Christine Palmer”), stars of Marvel’s highly anticipated film, DOCTOR STRANGE, releasing this Friday, November 4, 2016.

This week, I am excited to share more intimate sit downs with Mads Mikkelsen (“Kaecilius”), Director Scott Derrickson, and on Friday, our review of the film BUT that will all come later this week. Today, I am so excited for today!! I would like to share with you details from our time with Tilda Swinton (“The Ancient One”). I am a HUGE fan of Tilda Swinton. Are you aware of her work? I became a major movie buff when I was in high school. One of my first memorable experiences watching Tilda Swinton on the big screen was when she stared alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in The Beach, she was incredible. I became a serious fan after watching her in Constantine and The Chronicles of Narnia. Needless to say, I was really excited when I found out we would be meeting her. Like, seriously, I am pretty sure I was more excited to meet Tilda than anyone else we were interviewing and considering how much I love Mean Girls, The Notebook, and Rachel McAdams, that is saying something. {I’m talking so excited that I may have asked two of the questions during our sit down!}

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Photo Credit: As Mom Sees It

As we were preparing for Tilda’s arrival, I felt myself getting really excited and nervous. I was smiling and giddy, I was bouncing around in my seat, and I kept checking the door to see when she was coming through. And then, she was there … she was in the room, and she was glorious. The first thing that I noticed is she has a presence, a true presence. Everything that I expected after watching her in movie after movie is what she provided. She walks with confidence and grace. When she looks at you to speak it feels as though her eyes are reaching your soul. And she is genuine. As everyone knows, I love accents so I was admittedly easily taken in by her English accent but her voice is calming and purposeful… I could have listened to her for hours.

I was excited to learn more about her role in DOCTOR STRANGE and I’m eager to share with you what she shared with us!

Photo Credit: As Mom Sees It

Photo Credit: As Mom Sees It

BEING CAST IN A ROLE THAT IS TRADITIONALLY AN ASIAN MAN

The comic strip was an Asian man, in fact, a very ancient Tibetan man living on the top of a mountain.  The film script that I was given wasn’t an Asian man, so I wasn’t asked to play an Asian man – I was asked to play an ancient Celtic person.  If I’d been asked to play an Asian man I would’ve shown them Benedict Wong but Kevin and Scott were very, very clear about the reasons they wanted to shake it up.

They’ll explain it themselves when you see them, but they wanted to shake up the stereotype.  They felt that there were a couple of kind of gnarly, eh… racial stereotypes around the two big Asian characters in the film, one was Benedict Wong’s character; he was a sort of servant.  And the other was the Ancient One, who was a kind of old, wise Fu Manchu character.  Scott wanted to make it a woman, which thank you, yes, the male overlord falls over….

Which, I think was a really, really cool move, to put a woman in the Marvel universe who’s not twenty-one and in a bikini was… a good thing. Although we love the girls in bikinis, but it’s really important, I think, the idea of a sorceress supreme being a woman.  Then when he thought of an Asian woman, he was worried that it would turn into a kind of dragon lady thing. He’ll it explain it better to you, but basically they kind of came through the wash, and ended up with me. Thank you very much.  It was such fun.

Marvel's DOCTOR STRANGE L to R: The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) and Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) Photo Credit: Jay Maidment ©2016 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

Marvel’s DOCTOR STRANGE
L to R: The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) and Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor)
Photo Credit: Jay Maidment
©2016 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

THE MOST DIFFICULT SCENE TO FILM

My question

Oooo… I have to think because it was all really quite easy.  I mean, the fighting is fantastic fun, really good fun – and difficult and interesting in fun ways.  But yeah – tough.  Lots of looping about and I set myself the task that the Ancient One would be completely serene through all the fighting.  That was something.

One thing that I find very challenging, and I would challenge anybody to do these moves, without going wwaahhhh like a nine-year-old boy, because we all do— we’ve all done that when we were little, and by the way, I just noticed – your t-shirt is amazing!  But that’s from the comic strip.  Wow, how beautiful.  That was quite hard.  Not making faces.

YES! She totally stopped in the middle of answering MY question to compliment my t-shirt. TOTALLY AWESOME!!

Photo Credit: As Mom Sees It

Photo Credit: As Mom Sees It

BEING BALD IN THE MOVIE

Well it was my decision – it was my suggestion and we had this great several months of playing with options, all sorts of weird wig ideas, all sorts of long lobes and we went ‘round the houses with it but eventually, it felt like less was more and I loved it.  I thought it looked really, really ancient, but also kind of modern and rad and it was a nice feeling, as well.

Photo Credit: As Mom Sees It

Photo Credit: As Mom Sees It

WHAT SHE LEARNED ABOUT HERSELF

My question

Well I really loved all the action, and I loved the feeling of being, this is kind of a boring answer, because it’s about the daily work.  But there was something about it, we were all very physical while we were working, and we would kind of jump over to a B stage and do some physical stunts, and then we’d come back and do some quite Zen scene.

I learned – I had a reminder of something I should’ve learned earlier which is that it’s really important to do the two.  A nice physical kind of energetic life, alongside some kind of introspection is a really healthy thing.  And I didn’t get sick throughout the shoot, and we all always get sick when we’re shooting, and I didn’t get sick, and I think that’s something to do with that.  So that’s quite a dull answer but that was true – I did learn that.

But then, as I say I remembered and was reminded of how lazy I am.  And how difficult I find learning lines is, and I tried something with the Ancient One which was quite tricky; I tried to actually be in a kind of state of mindfulness when I was speaking, which meant that I didn’t really learn my lines very well, that was something I learned.  I don’t think I’ll do that again.  That was quite hairy.  No, I just was reminded again, how good it is to be happy when you work.

Marvel's DOCTOR STRANGE..L to R: The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) and Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch)..Photo Credit: Film Frame ..©2016 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

Marvel’s DOCTOR STRANGE..L to R: The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) and Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch)..Photo Credit: Film Frame ..©2016 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

THE ANCIENT ONE DESCRIBED IN ONE WORD

It’s a noun and not an adjective – its perspective.

Marvel's DOCTOR STRANGE..The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton)..Photo Credit: Film Frame ..©2016 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

Marvel’s DOCTOR STRANGE..The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton)..Photo Credit: Film Frame ..©2016 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

GETTING THE ROLE

I was in a very fortunate position of not auditioning at all, I was in LA, working with the Coen Brothers and I was told that Scott Derrickson wanted to meet me and I didn’t know why.  I’d met him in the past and I didn’t know why he wanted to meet me particularly and we had tea and he told me he was going to do this film, and he told me that he had written this part for me, and he basically kind of emotionally blackmailed me and said, “If you don’t do it, I’ll have to rewrite it”.

I was flattered and honored and intrigued – and then of course I read it and I felt really good about it, but I was very lucky.  He presented it to me like that.  The film that he spoke about there at that tea table, I remember, was incredible. He said, ‘This is going to be a film, a big, tent pole Marvel film about creation, and not about destruction.’  And that’s what he’s done!

Marvel's DOCTOR STRANGE..L to R: The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) and Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch)..Photo Credit: Jay Maidment..©2016 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

Marvel’s DOCTOR STRANGE..L to R: The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) and Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch)..Photo Credit: Jay Maidment..©2016 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

That’s what’s so moving about the film is that what Doctor Strange is taught to wield is a power for good.  It’s new, it’s really new.  I know that the Marvel superheroes eventually work for good, but there’s a lot of, city-flattening that goes on.  But we actually put a city together again.  And when he described that to me, I remember thinking, ‘Oh wow I can’t wait to see this film, let alone be in it.’  I was in at that point.

Can you feel it? Can you feel how AMAZING this film is? I know that I haven’t written my movie review yet and there are things that I can’t disclose but seriously… AMAZING!

There is still so much more that I get to share with you all from this incredible event and movie and I can’t wait to do so. Please check back DAILY this week for our next installment and the latest on Marvel’s DOCTOR STRANGE!

Doctor Strange opens in theaters EVERYWHERE November 4, 2016.

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Marvel’s DOCTOR STRANGE follows the story of the talented neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange, who, after a tragic card accident, must put ego aside and learn the secrets of a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions. Based in New York City’s Greenwich Village, Doctor Strange must act as an intermediary between the real world and what lies beyond, utilizing a vast array of metaphysical abilities and artifacts to protect the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

CONNECT WITH DOCTOR STRANGE

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

Disclaimer: I was sent on an all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles to cover the #DoctorStrangeEvent and #FindingDoryBluray Event with Disney/Pixar, Marvel, and Freeform. Regardless, all opinions expressed are still 100% my own.

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