Tilda Swinton is America’s, or at least New York’s, favorite David Bowie-as-axolotl-looking Oscar-winning actress with a Derek Jarman experimental-film pedigree, an interesting personal life, great taste in movies and a generally funky otherworldy bearing. She’s accessibly kooky while being intellectually and culturally substantial—with I Am Love, the movie for which she learned Italian (crazy! swoony!) currently in theaters, she’s gotten the internet at large talking about classical melodrama aesthetics. And this weekend sees the rerelease of Sally Potter’s 1992 Orlando, in which Swinton stars as the gender-shifting immortal of Virginia Woolf’s 1928 novel. It’s hard to imagine anyone else in the role—it’s also hard to imagine anyone else with the cultural capital to spend on getting attention for a project like that.
Like, she’s on the cover of the Village Voice today, talking about gender and performance with Melissa Anderson (plus a portfolio of portraits taken by Adrien Brody’s mom). This is all, frankly, delightful—it’s heartening, really, to see a crossover star who can explain why her favorite performance of all time was given by a donkey in a Bresson film.