We all know Tilda Swinton is an amazing actress, but perhaps the level of her dedication may surprise some of us. The actress is set to appear in the horror film Suspiria in the role of Dr. Jozef Klemperer, an 82-year-old psychiatrist. Initially, Swinton denied this was her in the role, finally coming clean in a recent interview to confirm she was in fact playing the part while wearing heavy makeup to make her look like an older man. But what’s most interesting about her transformation is the part we didn’t see – behind Swinton’s clothing, the actress was even wearing a full set of fake male genitalia!
The process of turning Swinton into Dr. Klemperer took about four hours each day, with the help of makeup artist Mark Coulier. Because of her feminine facial structure, makeup was used to thicken Swinton’s neck and give her a more masculine jaw. This wasn’t too unfamiliar for either of them, as previously, Coulier had turned Swinton into a man for a part in The Grand Budapest Hotel. This time, however, things went a few steps further, as according to Coulier himself, Swinton asked to be given a prosthetic penis, and was granted the request.
“She did have us make a penis and balls. She had this nice, weighty set of genitalia so that she could feel it dangling between her legs, and she managed to get it out on set on a couple of occasions.”
It’s not exactly clear what Coulier means when he says the fake genitals came out on set, but it sounds like those working on Suspiria were having a bit of fun with it. As humorous as it is, however, it seems to have been effective in making Swinton feel more in character as a man. After all, it would have gone mostly unseen by the fellow cast and crew, and completely unseen by the audience. It’s certainly brings method acting to an interesting new level, because while it’s not uncommon to see actors and actresses taking on roles of the opposite sex, it’s clear the FX team on Suspiria went the extra mile.
So, what became of Dr. Klemperer’s genitals? Coulier isn’t quite sure, hinting they’re most likely “in a box somewhere.” The makeup artist joked that he should hang them on a plaque in his workshop, which would undoubtedly make for a great conversation piece for any visitors. We don’t know how detailed the prosthetics are, but explaining the origin behind them will always make for a great story.
You can catch Swinton as Dr. Klemperer when Suspiria is released in theaters on Nov. 2, 2018. A remake of the classic Dario Argento flick, the movie is directed by Luca Guadagnino and also stars Dakota Johnson, Mia Goth, Angela Winkler, Ingrid Caven, Jessica Harper, and Chloe Grace Moretz. This information comes to us courtesy of IndieWire.