Tilda Swinton photographed for Paper by Richard Phibbs. March, 2004.


Production stills from the film ‘Orlando'  (some from scenes that did not make it to the final cut of the film).

19th century - modern day costumes

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[closed] A familiar face | Aistaraina & Tom


Just who was this woman who spoke of humans as if she wasn’t even one of them? Tom, as an actor, had always felt himself drawn to interesting people, had always studied them, paid a lot of attention to people and to how they reacted in general. He was sort of an expert in reading human emotions, yet he found himself incapable of reading that woman. A fact that only resulted in him wanting to know more, perhaps even everything, about her. So he decided to abandon his colleagues and pulled up a chair to sit beside her, a wave of his hand telling the bartender that his drink was to be delivered to this location, not the table in the back of the bar.

As it arrived he took the glass filled with beer and drank from it, feeling the cold liquid run down his throat. He had decided against any kind of strong drink that evening, wanting to be in perfect shape the next day, just so he could deliver a good performance, or as good as he possibly could.


As he placed his drink back on the counter, he used the moment to look at what she was drinking. At first it looked similar to red wine, but on second thought, it was much redder.. and perhaps a bit thicker. Almost like blood. Which was ridiculous of course.

"Forgive me for sitting down next to you without asking, but I find it rather curious that we both remind each other of someone else we know. Also forgive me for being so blunt, but you fascinate me. It’s not every day that I meet someone I cannot read. I’m an actor, you see. It’s my job to know all about emotions. Yet you are the perfectly sealed book." He wasn’t sure whether he should pity or admire her for it yet, but he hoped he would get to find that out during the evening. "May I ask where you are from?"

The natural allure that came from Aistaraina was something that was common indeed in all of her brethren, although there were some who used it fully to their advantage making their prey succumb to their very whims, but she was above doing something like that. And so the fact she had the handsome gentleman’s attention wasn’t exactly a shock for her, although clearly it wasn’t just who she was which had drawn the other in. Perhaps her words then? How interesting that so little spoken provoked such a response and one which made him willingly forgo returning to his friends. Well things were certainly getting interesting weren’t they?

His focused attention primarily on her face she could only really surmise that he was trying to figure out just what she was and when his drink arrived he certainly drank the first gulp with gusto, but then again beer was a popular alcoholic beverage for humans although he was clearly far from being inebriated, this human male it seemed took good care of himself that much was plainly obvious. He did admittedly cast a curious glance at her drink and she didn’t know if he suspected it was blood but then again it wouldn’t of been rather rude for him to just ask right? This man seemed to be like she was in some manner, above the seemingly droll masses. And at his apology she smiled softly in a fond manner.


"You needn’t apologise although I hope you’re friends won’t mind your absence and yes a curious thing indeed.." she replied before motioning for another ‘special’ but in a larger volume which would nevertheless be served cold with a cold mist coming from it. At hearing he was fascinated mainly due to the fact he couldn’t leave her she laughed in a melodic and almost enchanting manner, with a low timbre that held so much more behind it. "An actor? Ah I hadn’t realised but nonetheless it is nice to meet you. I imagine you are quite popular, that must be rather stressful at times - but at the same time you do seem to truly enjoy it.." she paused and thanked the girl behind the bar before smiling at the way he thought of her as a book and when he asked her where she was from it took a moment before she gave him a reply.

"I was born in Scotland but found myself inevitably drawn here. London is a truly remarkable place, over the ages it has become a sprawling mass of old and new, eclectic and bizarre. Although I do miss the quieter times…" she added trailing off to take an elegant sip of her drink and letting out a soundless moan as she drank and licking her lips once more, the hint of sharp fangs showing for a few seconds but no doubt enough to make the human look twice.

"So how are you enjoying your night so far..?"


Tilda Swinton as Orlando photographed by Karl Lagerfeld for Vogue, July 1993


Tilda Swinton as Orlando photographed by Karl Lagerfeld for Vogue, July 1993


Tilda Swinton in David Bowie’s The Stars (Are Out Tonight)