What the Hell is Tilda Swinton Talking About?

Writer-director Tony Gilroy's Michael Clayton is easily one of the better films of the year -- a taut, smart legal thriller starring George Clooney as a broken "fixer" at a law firm and Tilda Swinton as the in-house counsel for the agrochemical company that manufactures lethal fertilizer. Swinton's character, Karen Crowder, is especially fascinating: She's an occasionally sweaty, slightly overweight, overly made-up wreck. And in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, Swinton talks about how she got into character:

When Swinton talks about the film, she wrestles with notions of gender identity "What if this was Michaela Clayton, played by Jodie Foster?" she wonders and outlines her approach to the awkward physicality of her character. "I had this enjoyable fantasy about Karen having chosen her makeup on a trip to Dallas, Texas, years ago to visit her sister..."
I have absolutely no idea what that means. --Robert Wilonsky

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