Lucy Mirando, “Okja” (2017)
Bong Joon Ho sure does love transforming Tilda Swinton. Following their work together on “Snowpiercer,” the duo have reunited for the Netflix adventure “Okja.” Swinton plays the cold-hearted, power-hungry Lucy Mirando, the CEO of the Mirando Corporation who sports a platinum blonde wig and braces. Whenever she appears onscreen, Swinton kicks the movie up a notch by helping Bong skewer the business world and the vicious figures in charge.
Jadis, the White Witch, “The Chronicles of Narnia” (2005)
The first installment in “The Chronicles of Narnia” franchise turns Swinton into villainous royalty and gives her two very bold and stylish looks. Costume designer Isis Mussenden had a field day dressing Swinton to the nines. Swinton’s main look includes an icicle crown and a dress that looks like it was carved out of a glacier, as well as long, Rapunzel-like blonde locks. When her character marches into battle, she sports lioness armor, blood-red eyeliner and a golden headpiece that turns her into a goddess of war. It’s one of the most elegantly imagined looks of Swinton’s entire career.
Ancient One, “Doctor Strange” (2015)
Swinton’s casting as the Ancient One in Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” adaptation was met with a wave of whitewashing backlash, as the role in the original comics was written as an Asian man. She responded diplomatically by standing by her belief that the movie championed diversity in other ways. Her character, exuding an eternal calm and a smooth bald head, seemed to be Marvel’s way of evoking Swinton’s “Orlando”-era androgyny, proving the Ancient One could really be anyone. How successful they were is up for debate, but there’s no denying it’s another major Swinton transformation.
Dr Shrink-ROM, “The Zero Theorem” (2014)
Terry Gilliam’s nutty science-fiction movie “The Zero Theorem” went largely unnoticed when it was released in August 2014, but it is home to another one-of-a-kind Swinton transformation that has gotten overlooked as a result. Hidden under a brunette wig and large glasses, she plays a therapist who’s actually an artificial-intelligence robot assigned to assess the mental health of Christoph Waltz’s protagonist. It was only a matter of time before Swinton took on an AI role, and she predictably nails it with her own unique spin on the character type, which includes a Scottish-sounding accent that’s downright bizarre.