The much beloved by filmmakers, designers and artists alike Tilda Swinton was honored with a gala event at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The specially scheduled evening coincided with Swinton’s 53rd birthday and boasted a guest list of some of the most revered contemporary creators and friends of the actress. Swinton, who participated in a curious and completely out-of-the-blue performance art piece at the MoMA earlier this year, expressed her gratitude to the museum for the tribute.
“It’s my birthday!” Swinton told The Hollywood Reporter of the cleverly scheduled event in New York. “MoMA is giving me a birthday party, and they’ve invited some of my great friends, so I’m very happy and very grateful.”
While the ethereal actress remained modest throughout, there were plenty of others willing and eager to sing her praises. “I admire the ease and the grace in which she carries her talent,” Ralph Fiennes, event co-chair and Swinton’s co-star in The Grand Budapest Hotel, said of the actress. “She’s a great actress, but it’s her quality of person herself, her soul – it’s her that I think is unique. It shines through in a way that’s very rare.”
Swinton looked as ethereal as ever at her birthday celebration.
Take a look at more pictures from the event in our gallery.
Of course, Swinton’s unique look and fashion sense were not ignored either, as the actress was complimented by Anna Wintour herself. “Her range is extraordinary – it’s quite unusual in an actress of her relatively young years to have done so many different things so brilliantly,” she told THR alongside daughter Bee Shaffer. “She is prepared to go out of what might be traditionally thought of as her comfort zone. I think a lot of actresses today, they may be talented, but they tend to accept – or maybe it’s what they’re offered – similar roles. She just always surprises me with her choices. The same goes for her fashion.”
Even the legendary Vogue editor admired Swinton's style and originality.
Attendees at the event were treated to a screening of a selection of Swinton’s acting work at the Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters, just floors below where she staged her performance-art piece The Maybe earlier this year. Swinton was also toasted by Fiennes, as well as her Snowpiercer director Bong Joon-Ho, who joked onstage, “Perhaps you’re an alien who landed in Scotland […] not just a regular alien, but a guardian angel.”
Wes Anderson, who directed her in The Grand Budapest Hotel and co-chaired the event, was unfortunately unable to attend, but Fiennes also read the director’s tribute. After so much praise, a somewhat overwhelmed Swinton thanked her colleagues by name and concluded: “What I hope you cannot fail to see is what fun I’ve been having all these years and what companions are my playmates. “My last birthday party was when I was 9 and we had a trampoline, but who knew that 53 would top even that!”
'Grand Budapest Hotel' Co-Star Ralph Fiennes toasted Swinton.