So it has been revealed, Tilda Swinton is the woman behind the mask of 82-year-old Suspiria character Dr. Jozef Klemperer.
For months cast and crew have been attempting to swerve questions about the elderly male psychiatrist, defiantly claiming that in actual fact, the role was being played by Lutz Ebersdorf. However, as eagle-eyed fans began to draw comparisons to Ebersdorf and Tilda Swinton, the 57-year-old actress eventually came clean, saying: “The answer to the question to me, ‘Are you playing Dr. Klemperer in Suspiria?’ is always that Dr. Klemperer is played by Lutz Ebersdorf,” said Swinton.
“But the answer to “Are you playing Lutz Ebersdorf?” is “an unequivocal yes.” This admission came after director Guadagnino forcibly denied that claims, “No, no. It’s Lutz Ebersdorf,” he said when quizzed about it. “There was all this talk about Tilda playing the role, and it came out of nowhere and I don’t know why.”
After we finally cleared all that up, production has now begun leaking more details about Swinton’s transformation into Dr. Klemperer. The work of Oscar-winning makeup artist Mark Coulier is the result of Swinton’s dramatic change into a senior man. Fans of Wes Anderson will be aware that both Swinton and Coulier worked together on The Grand Budapest Hotel when the actress was significantly aged to play the role of ‘Madame D’.
“Although she has a slightly androgynous look from sort of a fashion-model point of view, Tilda’s got a very feminine bone structure,” Coulier explained when asked about Suspiria. Detailing futher, Coulier explained that he “thickened Swinton’s neck with prosthetics and built her jaw out to look heavier and more masculine.”
Swinton, ever the professional, wanted to go the whole way with the role and wasn’t prepared to hold back: “She did have us make a penis and balls,” Coulier said.
“She had this nice, weighty set of genitalia so that she could feel it dangling between her legs, and she managed to get it out on set on a couple of occasions.” After being reminded about the situation, the makeup artist added that they are “probably in a box somewhere,” and that “I should try and find it, and put it on a plaque on the wall of my workshop.”