Tilda Swinton Is Refusing To Wear A Mask And Follow Medical Rules On Movie Set

Tilda Swinton announced at SXSW she is no longer wearing a mask while on a movie set, complicated by her next film's location, Ireland.

By Douglas Helm | Updated

Constantine Tilda Swinton

MCU and Michael Clayton actor Tilda Swinton recently appeared at a keynote talk during the SXSW Film & TV Festival in Texas, where she announced that she was refusing to wear a mask on the set of her next film, despite being told she would have to (via MSN). Swinton talked about how she was happy the audience at the event no longer had to wear masks to attend and stated, “I’m about to shoot a picture in Ireland, and I was told to wear a mask at all times, and I’m not.” The film she’s talking about is presumably The End, Joshua Oppenheimer’s Golden Age-style musical about the last human family.

The End is set to begin production this month, so the timelines would add up. Along with Tilda Swinton, the film stars George MacKay. Oppenheimer, known for the critically acclaimed documentary The Act of Killing, also co-wrote the script with Rasmus Heisterberg.

It’s interesting that Tilda Swinton is taking such a hard line on these COVID-19 protocols, considering she has dealt with the virus on numerous occasions and is still dealing with the consequences of contracting it. She has previously revealed that COVID left her bedridden for three weeks and that she suffers from memory problems from long COVID that make it difficult to remember lines.

Along with appearing at SXSW for a keynote, Tilda Swinton also attended the festival to promote her newest film Problemista. Problemista is the A24-produced feature directorial debut of Julio Torres, who also wrote the script and stars in the film. The film follows Torres as a toy designer from El Salvador who dreams of working for Hasbro in NYC and Swinton as an art-world outcast who tempts him with the promise of a sponsorship.

Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One in Dr. Strange

Tilda Swinton also had a pretty impressive 2022 as she voiced Death and Wood Sprite in the Oscar-winning stop-motion animated Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio. She also starred in Mad Max mastermind George Miller’s latest feature, Three Thousand Years of Longing, alongside Idris Elba. Her 2023 output is also shaping up to be similarly impressive.

Say what you will about Tilda Swinton’s attitude toward medical safety protocols, but it’s undeniable that she picks some of the best projects out there and works with the best of the best directors. In 2022 she worked with Guillermo del Toro and George Miller, and in 2023 she’ll appear in films by David Fincher and Wes Anderson. Swinton is a frequent collaborator with Wes Anderson, and she’s set to appear in his film Asteroid City about a Junior Stargazer convention in the desert being interrupted by strange events.

Asteroid City will have a who’s who of Hollywood’s biggest stars, including Tom Hanks, Margot Robbie, Hong Chau, Bryan Cranston, Scarlett Johansson, Sophie Lillis, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Steve Carell, Edward Norton, Hope Davis, Jeff Goldblum, Rupert Friend, Maya Hawke, Rita Wilson, Tony Revolori, and Liev Schrieber. Tilda Swinton is also set to appear in David Fincher’s The Killer alongside Michael Fassbender, which adapts the graphic novel of the same name. Be on the lookout for that in November of 2023, and watch out for Asteroid City in June.