Tilda Swinton Interview

Q. The Chronicles of Narnia is the first film director Adamson has made with real-life actors (his previous films were Shrek and Shrek 2). Did that make you nervous?

A. No, I think we’re greatly privileged, as human beings, to be working with him, ’cause we’re the first humans he’s ever directed (laughs). And it’s great, because he’s really interested in the drama of this. I mean, the creatures in the film and the effects — which will be amazing — he knows that stuff inside out. But he’s so interested in us humans! You’ll probably find the next film he makes will be a tiny independent with about five actors in a room, though I think he might be booked for another Narnia film already.

Q. And how about the look of your character? It sounds like the costume is amazing.

A. Well, the look of the White Witch is something we all thought a lot about and all worked on very hard. The character, Jadis, created Narnia as a state of mind and then she froze it. So I have this fantasy that she doesn’t even have a body really. She’s just this alien but she knows she needs to dress, so it’s as if she just covers herself up in a bit of Narnia. So the dress is made out of a substance that’s a little bit like the bottom of an amazing waterfall I saw in the middle of New Zealand. So it’s like the White Witch is made of water or ice, or smoke, or, something natural. And being the epitome of, of all evil, of course, and this comes very strongly from the book, she’s covered in fur. And she has hair that doesn’t look like hair, it looks like it’s come from the ground — maybe it’s roots or something. And her crown is made of ice, and it melts throughout the film, so it’s not going to look like a costume that she got out of a wardrobe anywhere. It’s like she just whipped it up out of somewhere. And I wish that it were really a computer generated costume [laughs] ’cause it was really difficult to wear! In fact, it’s all real…

Q. And finally, did Andrew tell you why he and the producers of the film offered you the key role of the White Witch? It’s sort of the role of a lifetime, isn’t it?

A. Oh, you’d have to ask them (laughs).

Q. Do you think it’s because you’re tall?

A. Probably! (Laughs) I’m very tall, very white and very, very evil!

Read the entire report at the New Straits Times here.