Oscar winning actress Tilda Swinton talked to Hello! Magazine about her career and nontraditional living arrangement. Swinton, 48, lives in a resort town in northeast Scotland with her 11 year-old boy and girl twins, Xavier and Honor, and their father, John Byrne, 68. Swinton is outspoken about the fact that she also has a younger boyfriend she travels with, Sandro Kopp, 30, a German artist.
She says that despite the media’s attempt to sensationalize her life, she’s friendly with her ex and there’s nothing scandalous about the fact that they’re living together as friends and raising their children. Byrne even has a new girlfriend, and Swinton jokes that they’re “a foursome”:
Although she and John “haven’t been sweethearts for a while”, they live together amiably – while this year Tilda revealed she has a new romantic partner, German artist Sandro Kopp, 30.
The couple met in 2004 on the set of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, on which Sandro was an illustrator. “Our situation’s must more ordinary than the papers would like to think,” she said. “Often people have children with people who’re no longer their sweetheart then have a relationship with someone new. What rarely happens is they’re still good friends and continue to live in the same house.”
Sandro now accompanies the actress on her travels and to red carpet events – and John has a new romantic partner, too. “He has a ladyfriend. A friendly lady! A sweetheart! I think it’s a foursome now,” she jokes.
[From Hello! Magazine, print edition, December 9, 2008]
Those quotes from Swinton might not be directly from Hello! and it sounds as if she may have said that earlier this month. They do have a unique interview with her, though, and she expands on her situation and is matter of fact about it. She also gives kind of whimsical, off-the-cuff responses, and sounds as if she really is having fun with the interview and doesn’t care how she comes across. Swinton describes herself as lazy and says the only reasons she gets out of bed are for movies and her kids:
On her living arrangement
“I spend most of my time in Scotland with John and our children. I’ve known John since I was 24 – half of my life…
“There’s no need to have secrets about this – when I’m at home there’s John and when I travel I’m with Sandro. Sometimes, we’re all together.”
On preferring to stay in bed
“Most of all I like being at home, in bed. I’m terribly lazy.
“The things that get me out of bed are my children, shooting a film and a film I want to see in the cinema.”
“I like silence a lot. Once it’s silent you have the possibility of finding yourself and can be along with yourself. That feeling comes very close to happiness.”
On how she would describe herself
“I feel like a rocket that’s getting rid of the fuel tanks – and even the basic rocket. Only the space capsule is flying towards a new goal, which I can’t see.”
[From Hello! Magazine, print edition, December 9, 2008, subheaders added]
Swinton usually doesn’t wear makeup and her fashion can be described as eccentric. She told Hello! that she’s often mistaken for a man and that “People call me ‘Sir’ in American hotels.”
Ever since I watched Swinton’s very funny and inventive Oscar acceptance speech, where she won best supporting actress for Michael Clayton, I’ve been a fan. I didn’t really “get” her just seeing photos at events. She’s a unique personality and is unapologetic and open about her life without seeming to have an agenda. I hope to see her in a lot more films, but if I don’t, I doubt it will affect her either way. Maybe she’ll get out of bed a little more though, if she’s to be believed.
Tilda Swinton is shown in a rare occasion wearing makeup at the BAFTA awards on 11/6/08. Credit: Juan Rico/Fame. She is also shown with Sandro Kopp at the airport on 3/12/08. Credit: Fame