Eating Haggis With Tilda Swinton Sounds Downright Delightful

Photo: Craig McDean/Courtesy GQ.
Tilda Swinton is always a number-one stunner in our book, but 2014 has been particularly delicious for fans of the wild-haired actor. She was a perfectly toothsome vampire opposite Tom Hiddleston in Jim Jarmusch's ultra-cool Only Lovers Left Alive. Her eccentric grand dame in The Grand Budapest Hotel was a seductive babe despite (or because of) all those wild wrinkles and wigs. She played a shrink built from artificial intelligence in Terry Gilliam's The Zero Theorem. Last — but never least — she managed to steal scenes from Captain America in the blazing sci-fi Snowpiercer, as a fascist in granny glasses. (Worth noting: Her role was originally written as a man. Because that's just how Tilda rolls.)
Needless to say, we'd be hard-pressed to say no to anything Tilda Swinton proposed. Yes, even eating haggis. Swinton foisted the Scottish, er, delicacy onto GQ's Zach Baron, who flew to Scotland to have an otherworldly experience or 10 with the Oscar winner. "'Haggis!' Tilda Swinton says delightedly. 'Now, don't look frightened.'" Who could resist?
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First of all, Swinton "smells like wildflowers and wood smoke" — which is probably just her natural pheromones. Plus, she used to be a professional gambler, especially to supplement her work with the ultra-indie (and now seminal) queer filmmaker Derek Jarman.
"When I lived in London, there were a couple of years when I didn't really earn money doing anything else. I mean, I did other things, like I made work, and I was working with Derek Jarman at the time, but the way I made money was putting money on horses," she said. Because, why not? That's a lot more interesting than temping.
Now, of course, her home base is in Nairn, Scotland, which sounds like something straight out of Outlander. The idyllic setting lends itself to all sorts of 4H-style competitions, although at least one sounds outlandish enough for Swinton to excel at: "The salad-on-a-plate competition…It's salad! On a plate! I think you have to grow the items. But then you have to present them nicely, too." Of course.
Tilda Swinton also sends bizarre emails, and any attempts to reply result in the following away message: "Hello, I am away until 01/01/2070 and am unable to read your message." Given her otherworldly nature — she used to believe she was a changeling, but now says "the more I live, the more I feel absolutely like I come out of my family" — that wouldn't be the slightest surprise.
The next year sounds pretty packed for the actor as well. She's reuniting with I am Love director Luca Guadagnino for A Bigger Splash, as well as starring in Amy Schumer's upcoming film, Trainwreck. And, she'll be appearing as gossip columnist Hedda Hopper in Ethan and Joel Coen's 2016 comedy Hail, Caesar! As Schumer put it in her speech at the Gotham Awards, "She can scare the shit out of you and break your heart and give you a boner all at the same time." Yup, that pretty much sums it up. (GQ)
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