Tilda Swinton is done with COVID mandates: ‘I’m not wearing a mask’
British actress Tilda Swinton is adamant she will not wear a mask on the set of her new project, despite being asked to do so.
“I’m actually just about to start shooting a picture in Ireland. And I was told, full disclosure, and I’m sure this is being recorded – people in Ireland might hear it – to wear a mask at all times,” she revealed while giving the keynote address at the 2023 South by Southwest Festival (SXSW).
“And I’m not wearing a mask because I’m super healthy and I’ve had COVID so many times and I’m so full of antibodies … and I have faith,” she revealed of her decision.
“But it’s very nice to see your faces unmasked,” the 62-year-old told the Texas audience.
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Swinton, who previously spoke of her affinity for cinema nine years ago at the festival, revealed that the pandemic had only amplified the film industry.
“In many ways, I feel more than ever that cinema is evermore magic and carpet-like,” she said, referencing her remarks years prior that cinema is “magic carpet-like.”
“We’ve had different, not battles, but challenges, let’s say, that euphemism for battle … We’ve had different challenges in the last few years particularly, and some of them are lingering around people’s belief in sitting in big spaces,” she said of the pandemics impact on the industry.
“Look at you, I bet you none of you are wearing masks, as well. I mean, who knew that was gonna be possible,” she asked.
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“I mean in Texas, did people wear masks? I have to ask,” she provokingly told the audience.
She was met with a room full of laughs.
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“I don’t know,” she added. “It’s a wide world and people do things differently all over the place.”
“A couple of years ago, we couldn’t imagine sitting in a room like this. Could we? And we did wonder. I did. I wondered how long it would be before the time we would be able to, and I did – I did have a concern that those who thought that sitting in a big place to look at a big screen was a bit obsolete would kind of gain traction, and that that would just tip it over the edge, and people would just forget the power of the magic carpet,” she said of cinema withering away amidst the pandemic.
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“But, then this magical thing happened, you know you asked anybody…what they really missed during the pandemic, and they said the same things. They said friends, family, live music, cinema. Those were the only things people missed. And a bit of travel as well,” she pontificated.
“And then I thought, this is the one good thing about the pandemic. It’s making people, you know, nay-say the people who said cinema was on the way out. It’s given it a bit of a boost.”
Swinton is promoting her new film “Problemista” at the festival.