There are a lot of actresses who are known for their range, but Tilda Swinton’s career has spanned more than film and theater, more than commercial and artistic, more than female and male. In every aspect of her art, Swinton is unapologetically intense and purposeful. She has played every kind of character, from a young nobleman in Orlando to the picture of feminine Italian elegance in I Am Love. She has appeared in Christian fables for children and comic book adaptations, Coen Brothers-helmed romps and Oscar-winning Hollywood thrillers, all while maintaining the utmost respect from her artistic peers. Outside of her film work, she is a heralded stage actress, noted performance artist, poet, and inspiration. Her unusual — almost alien — appearance and palpable sense of control has helped to expand the boundaries of female expression, being as she is both androgynous and powerfully sexual (yeah, we noticed).
Also, and this is an important part of our central argument, she’s a straight-up badass. In films? Badass. On the red carpet? Badass. In interviews? Badass. We would say that she is capable of anything, but even that seems limiting. What will she do next? Play a young Thai boy? Stand for 36 hours on a bed of nails? Paint one thousand stark red canvasses and give them to the Tate? Grow wings and fly? The possibilities make Bjork sleepy. We can’t wait.
A Sample of Notable Badges Earned: For her many and varied collaborations, from works with designers Viktor & Rolf (for whom she had scores of models styled in her image) to musician Patrick Wolf (for whom she contributed spoken word pieces) to artist Cornelia Parker (for whom she slept in a glass box), Tilda earns The Plays Well With Others Badge.
Tilda Swinton’s sense of style needs to be honored in a way that transcends even The Untamed Personal Style Badge, which is why we’re going to zig where would could well have zagged and instead award her The Unsexy Costume Badge. Tilda Swinton is more than fearless in her presentation, she has no need for fear. Even the boxiest ensembles, with the barest face, with the most austere affect, her magnetism is clear.
Finally, not to be crass about Swinton’s romantic situation, but even Noel Coward would marvel at her sophistication: she is serious, long-term relationships with two men, each of whom have given their blessing to her other entanglement. If that doesn’t earn The Asking For What I Want in Bed Badge, than what is even the point of beds or badges?
Head Ladyscout Meredith Haggerty is also a blogger.