Tilda Swinton’s 5 Craziest Cinematic Transformations

When it comes to movie magic, you’d be hard-pressed to find an actress who has established herself as more of a shape shifter than Tilda Swinton. Between her roles as the White Queen in the Narnia Trilogy and her glamorous turn as a wounded matriarch in I Am Love (which she acted entirely in Italian!), Swinton has a unique talent for losing herself completely in her characters. She’s at it again in Jim Jarmusch’s stylish vampire film, Only Lovers Left Alive, in which she plays a centuries-old bloodsucker with a penchant for romance. We look back at some of her most unbelievable on-screen transformations.

Tilda Swinton Budapest Hotel

Madame D., Grand Budapest Hotel

For Wes Anderson’s latest masterpiece, Swinton underwent hours of makeup to emerge as Madame D., a rich, saucy octogenarian. We watched the trailer two times before we realized it was her.

Tilda Swinton Moonrise Kingdom

Social Services, Moonrise Kingdom

In yet another Anderson tale, Swinton transformed into a redheaded, swift-talking social worker with a wardrobe made exclusively of navy suits and capes. It’s incredible the way she can look both young and old at the same time.

Tilda Swinton The Limits of Control

The Blonde, The Limits of Control

In a white wig, white cowboy hat, bright red lips, and bug-eyed sunglasses, Swinton was at her most unrecognizable in this bizarre film from 2009. It was only once she removed her glasses that we could finally see a familiar face.

Tilda Swinton Narnia

The White Queen, The Chronicles of Narnia

We have a sneaking suspicion that Swinton loved her look as the White Queen, with her blonde, dread-like curls and icy skin. In a way, it’s the closest look to her off-screen image—platinum hair and barely there makeup.

Tilda Swinton Michael Clayton

Karen Crowder, Michael Clayton

Swinton’s Oscar-winning role may have been her most extreme in its normality. She completely disappears into the bland, brunette bob and everywoman business suit.

Photos: Only Lovers Left Alive: Sony Pictures Classics; The Grand Budapest Hotel and Moonrise Kingdom: American Empirical Pictures; The Limits of Control: Entertainment Farm; The Chronicles of Narnia: Walt Disney Pictures; Michael Clayton: Castle Rock Entertainment

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