Follow Us on Twitter

The Chronicles of Narnia: Tilda Swinton interview

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe

Interview by Rob Carnevale

Q. Had you read CS Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia stories before embarking on this film? And how did you visualise the finished film when you were working on it?
Tilda Swinton: I’m the least well-read of this entire company. Andrew told me this story one day and I wanted to be around to see how he would make a film out of his favourite children’s book.

Q. How did you decide on your approach to playing the White Witch?
A: I’d never been frightened by the witches I saw when I was a child and I was never really of the opinion that the thing that frightens children is shouting and screaming and getting hot. My own experience of having children is that they don’t get frightened by that at all. What they’re really frightened by is coldness, so I thought I’d give that a shot. It worked for me, I was icy throughout.

Q. What are the benefits of working with children and teenagers?
A: You learn a lot. You learn that there’s nothing you need to know about making films – except to stay off the fizzy drinks! It’s the genuinely familial atmosphere that making films should be. And you tend to be the tallest person around, which helps as well.

Q. How do you balance your career with the demands of parenthood?
A. I’m not sure I do. I think I’m an integrated schizophrenic and I lead two lives.