Tilda Swinton Does Her Best Miranda Priestly In Trainwreck

Photo: Mary Cybulski/Universal Pictures.
When the cast list for Amy Schumer's first feature film first made the rounds, it read like a laundry list of luminaries across the broad spectrum of fame. Everyone from John Cena and LeBron James to Marisa Tomei and Daniel Radcliffe had signed on to appear in Trainwreck. The name that had people scratching their heads the most, though was that of one Tilda Swinton. Sure, the actress has now reached iconic status thanks to roles in films such as Grand Budapest Hotel and Snowpiercer, but where would her ethereal character work tie into a raunchy rom-com?

The answer, of course, was typical Tilda. The actress is virtually unrecognizable as an overly tan, blonde editrix at the men's magazine where Schumer's character (who's also named Amy) works called S'nuff. As Dianna, Swinton is responsible for the same unsympathetic bluntness made popular by such on-screen publishing predecessors as The Devil Wears Prada's Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep). Swinton relished the opportunity to take on such a role.

"The significance of the magazine in the film is this is the sort of culture that Amy’s character is not only brought up in, but is also aspiring to perpetuate," Swinton told the Huffington Post about Dianna and S'nuff's role in Trainwreck. "This kind of cynical, unshockable, intimacy-free advice is really hip for a lot of people, and there are people out there who are spinning it. The idea of who this woman might be who actually started this magazine and named it S’nuff and employed these people to build this thing up."

Swinton has always played around with gender roles, and she was interested in the type of woman who would start an aspirational — yet snuffy — lad mag. "Anybody at the head of something, particularly Dianna, who starts the magazine — she’s the founder — is going to be slightly fascistic, I would say. It’s not very humane ... But she would call herself a feminist with a capital F."

She described herself as being more disguised in Trainwreck than in past roles ("It’s a lot of makeup and a kind of tandoori tan and a wig."), such as that of the tyrannical Minister Mason in Snowpiercer (a role that was originally written for a man). She'll tackle another gender-flipped role soon in Doctor Strange, and, as with Snowpiercer, Swinton is leaving it up to the feel of the film as a whole to interpret the male- or female-ness of her character — or if it needs to have a gender at all.

"If it’s kind of naturalistic, then who knows. If we decide we’re dealing with a male Ancient One, then we’re going to have to deal with a naturalistic disguise. If we’re not and we decide the Ancient One is not gender specific, then we can play a different game," she told HuffPo.

The interview also included one tantalizing promise. Swinton's character didn't have any scenes with LeBron James in Trainwreck. "It was a terrible, terrible oversight ... That’s for the sequel," she said. Judd Apatow, please make a Dianna and LeBron madcap road trip flick happen. (Huffington Post)
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