Tilda Swinton Explains Why She’s “Really, Really, Really Excited” to Star in Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange’

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When the news broke that Tilda Swinton was in talks to join the cast of Marvel’s Doctor Strange, it was pretty awesome news for a variety of reasons, chief among them that Tilda Swinton herself is pretty awesome.

The Oscar-winning actress has, with the exception of the Narnia films, mostly stayed out of the world of big-budget blockbuster filmmaking, but will dive back in headfirst with her role as The Ancient One in Doctor Strange. The Ancient One, the mentor to Dr. Stephen Strange and his nemesis Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), has traditionally been an older, Asian male (Tibetan, specifically) in the comics, but Swinton is neither older, Asian or male. It’s a surprisingly diverse piece of casting by Marvel and, beyond the gender or race of the character, let’s face it: Swinton just exudes mysticism and timelessness and is perfect for a role as a wizened sorcerer.

I spoke to Swinton while she was doing press for Trainwreck (and we’ll have much more on that conversation later this week) who confirmed she is officially signed on to Doctor Strange and talked about what has her “really, really, really excited” to be working in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Is your Doctor Strange deal done, or are you still in talks with Marvel?

No no no, it’s done. We’re so far in talks that we’re not talking any more [laughs]. It’s done. The conversation has been had.

What was it specifically about Doctor Strange that intrigued you?

Well, there’s no particular interest in getting into something bigger, or even smaller, I just really liked the premise of this and the idea of playing this character. I’m a Marvel fan and I think this particular world that Doctor Strange goes into is really, really, really exciting. I’m really interested as both an actor and a fan to see what’s done in this particular world. It’s all about creativity. It’s not about everything exploding at the end. It’s about something very different. The idea of playing The Ancient One is really just too tickling. I can’t say no to that!

Besides the obvious, how will your portrayal of The Ancient One differ from what we might be used to?

You know, I don’t know yet. I haven’t quite figured it out. I will let you know when I know. It’s a bit of an adventure to figure out how to finesse this. But it’s exciting.

Marvel contracts are notorious for multiple sequel clauses. Did that ever worry you?

Not at all. It’s like a family thing. Who knows where one might pop up. I don’t know where they’ll use me and I don’t know that they know, necessarily, even though they seem to know what they’re doing for the next decade. I think it’s like holding on to the tail of a galloping horse at this point.

Some of your contemporaries have described working on these types of movie as a very difficult process —

Who said that?

Idris Elba, for one, said that about the Thor movies.

Really? Oh... I’m up for it completely. I feel sorry for Idris. I’m not prepared at all to be bored by this. I’m really looking forward to it.

Doctor Strange opens in theaters on November 4, 2016.

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