Tilda Swinton is about the pandemic, and she doesn’t care who knows.
She opened her keynote address at South by Southwest by sharing her pleasure that the pandemic has come to a point where members of the public at the event no longer have to wear masks.
Later in the conversation, Swinton said, “I’m about to take a picture in Ireland, and I was told to wear a mask at all times, and I don’t.”
“I’m sure it’s recorded,” she noted, before saying she’s “very healthy” after going through COVID-19 infections repeatedly.
Swinton isn’t the only high-profile actor to disagree with COVID protocols on set recently. Fran Drescher spoke to Variety about his stance against vaccination mandatesAnd Woody Harrelson spoke out against all COVID-related rules in Hollywood.
Swinton was at SXSW in support of “Problemista,” in which she stars alongside writer-director Julio Torres. Premiering March 13, the film A24 follows Alejandro (Torres), an aspiring toy designer from El Salvador who struggles to bring his unusual ideas to life in New York City. As the time on his work visa runs out, a job assisting an erratic art world pariah (Swinton) becomes his only hope of staying in the country and fulfilling his dream.
“I love him. I always loved him,” Swinton said of Torres. “It’s so exciting to call him comrade. He’s on the next level. really good for anyone interested in cinema.
Something that worries Swinton in the film industry, however, is an attitude of self-centeredness.
“There’s a belief that when you’re making a movie or writing a story, all the attention is on you as an individual. The spotlight is on you,” she said. I can attest to, which I’m actually a real poster child for, is to stay collective. You don’t have to separate yourself from your loved ones and your herd.
This problem is unique to young people, according to Swinton.
“There’s such a new virus in the air about being an individual, which frankly people of our generation didn’t have to deal with because there was more respect and investment in collective action. But now I feel there’s a pressure on good artists to cut ties, grow big balls and be narcissistic. And that might put a lot of people off.