“I’ve been told to wear a mask at all times, and I’m not”

Tilda Swinton made it through the pandemic and she doesn’t care who knows.

He opened his headline appearance at South by Southwest by sharing his pleasure that the pandemic had gotten to a point where members of the public at the event were no longer required to wear masks.

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Later in the conversation, Swinton said, “I’m about to take a picture in Ireland, and I’ve been told to always wear a mask, and I’m not.”

“I’m sure this registers,” she noted, before saying she is “very healthy” after suffering multiple COVID-19 infections.

Interestingly, in 2022, Swinton spoke to W Magazine about the severity of one of her infections and the lengthy COVID symptoms she was continuing to endure, including struggles with memory.

Swinton isn’t the only high-profile actor to disagree with COVID protocols on set recently. Fran Drescher spoke with Variety about his stance against vaccine mandates and Woody Harrelson has come out against all the rules related to COVID in Hollywood.

Swinton was at SXSW in support of ‘Problemista,’ in which she co-stars with writer-director Julio Torres. Premiering March 13, the film A24 follows Alejandro (Torres), an aspiring toy designer from El Salvador who struggles to bring his unusual ideas to life in New York City. As time runs out on his work visa, a job assisting an art-world outcast (Swinton) becomes her only hope of staying in the country and fulfilling his dream.

“I love him. I’ve always loved him,” Swinton said of Torres. “It’s such a thrill to call him a mate. It’s next level. He’s a director now, and that’s really good for all of us who are interested in cinema.”

Something that worries Swinton in the film industry, however, is an attitude of self-centeredness.

“There’s a belief that when you make a film, or write a story, all the attention is on you as an individual. The spotlight is on you,” he said. “One thing I can attest to, which I am actually a true manifesto of, is to remain collective. You must not separate yourself from your kin and your flock.

This problem is unique to young people, according to Swinton.

“There’s such a new virus in the air about being an individual, that frankly speaking, people of our generation haven’t had to deal with, because there was more respect and investment in collective action. But now I feel there is pressure on good artists to cut ties, grow balls and be a narcissist. And that might put a lot of people off.

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