Tilda Swinton finds life colliding with fantasy

Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:59pm EDT
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By Christine Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fantasy is an integral part of actress Tilda Swinton's life, which she both adores and dislikes.

There is the imaginative world of making movies that she considers a passionate hobby, not work, including producing her new "I Am Love" for the past 11 years with Italian director Luca Guadagnino. It began playing in U.S. theaters on Friday.

Then, there is her private world in which she has long been dogged by talk of her involvement in a love triangle, which Swinton calls pure fantasy made up by celebrity tabloids.

The British actress said "I Am Love," in which she portrays a Russian woman married into a wealthy family in Milan, was created in her usual practice of dreaming up ideas then fleshing them out with colleagues.

"You go on and on fantasizing, and then you start to dare each other, and then you start to visualize it, and then you do it," she told Reuters. "It's no more exotic than that. It's just friends."

Swinton, 49, began her career in the 1980s on British television and in movies, and saw her breakout role in 1992's "Orlando." Since then, she has balanced work in European and U.S. independent films with Hollywood roles, such as her Oscar-winning turn as a corporate lawyer in "Michael Clayton."

In "I Am Love," Swinton's character Emma Recchi, who speaks Italian laced with a hint of a Russian, is a mother in the midst of a midlife dilemma when her children grow up and she confronts her long-repressed sexual desires.

Recchi bonds with a young chef who is a friend of her son over a shared love of cooking, and she embarks on a passionate affair with the man, pondering all the while whether she can break free of society's conventions.   Continued...