This Is A Hiddleswinton Post: Life On Planet Tilda + Tom's Best Impressions

One of ONTD's fave boyfriends and girlfriendsTom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton – will come to slay you with their awesomeness and will soon become one of your fave cinematic OTPs this April with the US release of their uber-cool vampire love story, "Only Lovers Left Alive", directed by Jim Jarmusch. In this post, Swinton talks about life on Planet Tilda with the Daily Mail while Metro rounds up some of Hiddleston's best celebrity impressions.


She possesses all the attributes of the quintessential English aristocrat: aquiline features, a haughty froideur and the self-assurance that privilege bestows. Indeed, actress Tilda Swinton – daughter of the former Lord Lieutenant of Berwickshire, Major General Sir John Swinton – can trace her family’s lineage back to the 9th Century.

But beneath that self-contained exterior beats the impassioned heart of an ardent patriot. And a Scottish one at that.

I am not English, I am Scottish,’ the 53-year-old actress insists over tea when we meet in a Beverly Hills hotel, thousands of miles from her home overlooking the Moray Firth in Nairn in the north of Scotland.

There is all this talk of independence for Scotland,’ she adds briskly. ‘But for my money, and speaking as a Scottish person who actually lives there, Scotland already is an independent country. And it has been for a very long time. It is England that hasn’t been independent of us. I went to boarding school in England, so I associate poor England with going back to school and it is less attractive to me, I’m afraid.’

It is clear that despite long spells abroad while filming and the need to maintain a presence in Hollywood, for Tilda, the lure of her Scottish homeland is strongly ingrained.

There’s something about being Scottish,’ she says, her piercing eyes blazing with pride. ‘You can’t find a Scottish person who won’t burst into tears when they hear the bagpipes. Even if they’re in Beverly Hills. I live in the far north of Scotland, which is so beautiful. We Scots all love nature. I think we’re wired for the hills and sea. And where my family live is a very beautiful sort of semi-wilderness that really suits us. It’s so green. Sometimes, when I’ve been in America and I go home, it’s so green that I have to literally rub my eyes as I look out of the aeroplane window.

Tilda created a bridge between her life as a film actress and her life in the remote Highlands by setting up her own film festival, renting a ballroom in Nairn to screen films. And to bring art-house cinema to the most remote parts of Scotland she and a group of volunteers mounted a mobile cinema screen on a truck and drove it around the countryside.

Though Tilda’s career, in which she has switched effortlessly between art-house pictures and box-office hits, takes her abroad for long periods of the year, the birth of her twins, Xavier and Honor, 16 years ago made her realise the depth of her feeling for the Scottish countryside. Though she was born in England,  her father’s career in the British Army meant the family travelled constantly. But they never missed an annual holiday at the family home in the Scottish lowlands. Her family moved there permanently when she was 13.

Tilda’s life took her away from Scotland again in her early 20s after she moved to London to pursue her acting career, but the moment she gave birth, she knew she had to raise her children north of the border. ‘I’ve lived there ever since,’ she says. ‘A lot of people who come from small countries are desperate to get out when they grow up. But I was the opposite.’ She explains that she is attracted to the simple way of life in Nairn and the absence of all the more shallow aspects of her profession.

She says: ‘When I’m at home, I’m not into material things. I don’t even own a television. Money goes a long way in Scotland. I’m not much of one for looking in the mirror. If I look good, it’s to do with good genes, living in the Highlands of Scotland, not wearing make-up when I don’t have to, and just the luck of the draw. I wear what I want to wear, and am lucky to have friends who are designers who make me beautiful clothes to wear in public. But I turn into a pumpkin when I go home. These days I wear a lot of my son’s cast-offs – I can do this because he’s taller than me. And when I cook, it’s with vegetables I grow and eggs from my hens. I’m a really Scottish peasant cook. I could cook you a fine Thai curry but really I prefer nursery food – shepherd’s pie and milk puddings and soups.’ (OP: omg yaaassss Gwyneth Paltrow must be crying over her Maldon sea salts and overpriced organic kale at this)

With an Oscar for her role as a ruthless lawyer opposite George Clooney in the movie Michael Clayton, Tilda is following a great tradition of fine British actresses – from Vanessa Redgrave to Dame Helen Mirren and Dame Maggie Smith – to have won acclaim on stage and screen. She has had a string of successful roles in films such as Vanilla Sky, The Beach, Orlando (in which she had a gender-bending role as a nobleman who becomes a woman) and The Chronicles Of Narnia.

So Tilda is no stranger to the red carpet. But it is not her acting prowess alone that attracts attention. Her artistic range – a mix of Edith Sitwell and Coco Chanel – is truly unconventional and an endless source of fascination. With her porcelain skin, blunt, peroxide-blonde hair and rangy, six-foot tall frame, she has an angular, androgynous appeal. Tilda has admitted she has been mistaken for a man on many occasions, especially at airport security. 'I think I should probably wear more lipstick’.

Her interest and indeed participation in avant-garde art only helps create more fascination. In March last year, she slept in a box as part of an art exhibit called The Maybe at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She shrugs off questions about her quirky and very individual looks. ‘I’m not sure I know what people mean when they say I look different,’ she says. ‘Different from what? And if I do like different, so what? Vive la difference.’ She wasn’t always so sanguine, however, about her appearance. It was her lookalike, David Bowie, for whom she appeared in a video last year for his album The Next Day, who enabled her as a teenager to overcome her insecurities about looking different.

‘When I was 13 or 14 I bought a copy of [the Bowie album] Aladdin Sane, even though I didn’t even own a record player,’ she has said. 'I had it for a year before I even heard it because I hadn’t bought it for the music but because of the cover. It was the image I was attracted to. He looked so like me, he could have been my cousin. He looked like he came from the same planet as me. It was a great comfort to me, looking as I did. It gave me great comfort at the time that not only did someone else look like this, but felt proud enough to stick themselves on the front of an album with a lightning zig-zag across their face... So he’s always felt like a cousin even though I’d never met him. Then, last year, the phone rings and it’s someone who calls them self David Bowie and you can’t stop pinching yourself. ’

Of course, the camera adores Tilda’s unusual appearance. At the moment she is in Los Angeles to promote her new film Only Lovers Left Alive, the story of two vampires who have been in love for centuries, directed by Jim Jarmusch. Meanwhile, Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, in which she plays the glamorous and elderly Madame D, is receiving critical acclaim. Tilda began acting at West Heath Girls School in Kent (Princess Diana was a contemporary). But it was at Cambridge University that Tilda’s talent and avant-garde appeal set the stage alight. She joined the Royal Shakespeare Company and made the transition to films in the 1980s. She became an art-house icon after becoming the muse of British independent film director Derek Jarman.

In 1985 she met John Byrne, the artist and playwright whose television series Tutti Frutti won six BAFTAs. They became lovers and he is the father of her twins. Though still very close, the couple are no longer living together. In 2008 Tilda’s new boyfriend, German-born artist Sandro Koppwho is 18 years her junior – moved into the Nairn home she shared with John. For several years John, who is two decades older than Swinton, stayed at home with the children when she travelled abroad with Sandro for her career. Sandro is a talented artist who paints via the internet messaging service Skype, as a way of taking the 19th Century art of portrait painting into the internet age. They met on the set of The Chronicles Of Narnia in 2004 when Tilda played the White Witch and Sandro was a centaur. The pair and John seemed to co-habit happily. John has since moved out although he is remains a frequent visitor. Tilda insists she never thought the arrangement unconventional.

It’s all quite boring really,’ she says. ‘The father of my children and I are good friends and I’m now in a very happy other relationship. And we’re all really good friends. It’s a very happy situation. Life doesn’t have to be complicated. You just have to have compassion with yourself and stop blaming yourself when things do get complicated.

Her private life, she believes, is more defined by her children than her partners. Motherhood, she says, has changed her utterly.

Being a parent is a sacrifice. One really does give up a lot and there is a part of you that does die. Hopefully, one gets a lot back. There is a certain joyful chaos that comes with having children, which suits me fine as I’m too lazy to want much control. They are great kids and I’m a very hands-on mother. They say that if you hug your babies they will grow. Well my two are enormous.’ Born the only girl in a family of four children, Tilda herself longed for a sister as a child. So she is especially pleased that her twins were not both boys or both girls. ‘It’s so sad not to have a sister. I wanted one so much and my brothers were always teasing me so I couldn’t get away with anything. Although we are all very close now. And I spent most of my time wearing their cast-off clothes.’

Before the birth of the twins, Tilda bought into the belief that there was no inherent differences between the sexes. Perhaps this explains her penchant for playing androgynous roles. Today, she says she now realises she got that wrong. ‘Fate had a good joke by giving me a boy and a girl,’ she smiles. ‘That was a real lesson. ‘When my son was just six months old he would pick up a piece of soap and go ‘‘brrr-brrr’’ and pretend it was a car. That’s the way it works. There very definitely is a big, big difference. That said, my children have more to teach me about being relaxed than I can ever teach them. They are very balanced and very easy to be around. They are into life and are very happy children. They are at ease in the world. Which is nice. We are a close-knit family. We laugh and enjoy each other’s company. Dancing is a passion in our household and we do it as often as we can. We do it in a way that is totally insane and absolutely not to be witnessed by anybody. But we have the best time. Rocking about with my sweetheart and my children in the kitchen.’


Tilda Swinton has become the latest celebrity to experience Tom Hiddleston’s knack for uncanny impressions.

Tilda stars in the Jim Jarmusch-directed vampire flick Only Lovers Left Alive with Hiddleston, and revealed that her co-star spent a lot of their time together dazzling her with impressions.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, she said: ‘We just sort of chewed it and had a great time. We were nocturnal quite a lot, and we played all sorts of silly stuff. He does quite a lot of impressions pretty constantly.

While admitting she hadn’t heard Tom do an impersonation of her she added that ‘I have seen his Jim Jarmusch and its very good!

Hiddleston has been getting Hiddlestoners hot under the collar with his scarily accurate mimicry, but which impression is the best? Here’s our (not definitive) ranking.


Captain America Chris Evans has starred with Hiddleston in Marvel’s Avengers Assemble and Thor: The Dark World (albeit briefly), and the pair have done quite a few press rounds, so its unsurprising that Tom has got Evans’ mannerisms on point.

Verdict: While cute, it’s not one of Tom’s better ones though, and nothing beats Evans’ actual speaking voice. Nothing.


Tom appeared in a really cute skit with Cookie Monster, teaching him the benefits of delayed gratification (Hiddleston’s words, not ours). In a later interview he was asked to give his best impression of the Sesame Street favourite, with hilarious results.

Verdict: Great effort and even adds the chewing sound effect, but as the actor says himself, he makes the Cookie Monster sound Hungarian. Fine-tune it and try again, Tom!


Proving that anything Benedict Cumberbatch can do, he can do better, Tom’s Alan Rickman impression is possibly the one that started it all.

Verdict: Brilliant. Tom’s smooth speaking voice lends itself well here, and the fact he’s in his Loki get-up makes it all the more hilarious.

View the rest of the impressions at the source!

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