By Brian Gallagher for Dailymail.com
04.02 14 March 2023, updated 04.57 14 March 2023
Tilda Swinton is done with the COVID-19 masking protocols on film sets, revealing that she now refuses to wear a mask on set.
The 62-year-old London native – who was spotted in January at Paris Fashion Week – was keynoting the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas on Monday afternoon.
She began her program at the Austin Convention Center by saying she was so glad the pandemic had gotten to the point where everyone in the audience didn’t have to wear masks.
Her last time at SXSW was nine years ago in 2014, reflecting that she didn’t see anyone wearing masks during her first time at the festival.
“We’ve had different challenges especially in the last few years, and some of them revolve around people’s beliefs about sitting in large spaces,” Swinton began, before turning to the audience.
‘Look at you. I bet none of you wear masks either. I mean, who knew that would be possible?’ Swinton added.
‘Once upon a time… I mean, in Texas, did people even wear masks? I have to ask,” Swinton said with a smile as some in the audience laughed as she added, “I don’t know, it’s a wide world and people do things differently everywhere.”
‘I’m actually just about to start taking a picture in Ireland and I was told – full disclosure and I’m sure this will be recorded and people in Ireland can hear – to wear a mask to anyone time, and I “I don’t wear a mask because I’m super healthy and I’ve had COVID so many times and I’m so full of antibodies and I have faith,” Swinton said.
She added: ‘It’s very nice to see all your faces revealed, but yeah, a few years ago we couldn’t imagine sitting in a room like this, could we?’
Swinton admitted she wondered ‘how long it would be’ before people could safely gather indoors again, and she worried that ‘those who thought it was a bit out of date to sit in a big place to see on a big screen, would be nice. get traction and it would knock it over the edge and people would just forget about the power of the magic carpet.’
The actress said that this ‘magical thing happened’, which was that many people said that one of the biggest things they missed during the pandemic was going to the theater.
She added that she thought it was ‘the one good thing about the pandemic that it made people say no to the people who said theaters were going out.’
Her comments come just over a year after revealing in an interview with The Guardian that she suffered from prolonged COVID for several months.
She said that in August 2021, she was unable to get out of bed for three weeks after contracting COVID.
‘I was coughing like an old gentleman who smoked a pipe for 70 years and had nasty dizziness. I got off fairly easily, but the worst part is how it affected my brain,’ she admitted.
‘I made two films for which I had to learn a lot of text. One was Wes Anderson, and he likes you to talk like an express train,” Swinton said.
‘I’m usually quite quick to study and pick things up, but it was like chewing a really big piece of gum. I couldn’t remember my lines,’ she admitted.
When asked if she can still cope with prolonged COVID-19, Swinton admitted: ‘More or less, but I still forget things. I have to work with my brain.’
The actress was at SXSW for the world premiere of her new film Problemista, in which she stars alongside writer-director-star Julio Torres and RZA.
She also has two more films arriving in 2023, Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City, with Tom Hanks, Margot Robbie and Scarlett Johansson, and David Fincher’s The Killer with Michael Fassbender.
Swinton is also attached to star in the musical The End with George McKay, about the last human family.