Tilda Swinton

Tilda Swinton portrayed The Ancient One in Doctor Strange.

Significant roles

  • Julia in Zastrozzi: A Romance (1986)
  • Cissie Crouch in Your Cheatin' Heart (1990)
  • Isabella in Edward II (1991)
  • Orlando in Orlando (1992)
  • Ophelia in Shakespeare: The Animated Tales (1992)
  • Lady Ottoline Morrell in Wittgenstein (1993)
  • Eve Stephens in Female Perversions (1996)
  • Ada Augusta Byron King in Conceiving Ada (1997)
  • Muriel Belcher in Love Is the Devil (1998)
  • Sal in The Beach (2000)
  • Margaret Hall in The Deep End (2001)
  • Rebecca Dearbon in Vanilla Sky (2001)
  • Valerie Thomas in Adaptation (2002)
  • Ella Gault in Young Adam (2003)
  • Annemarie Livi in The Statement (2003)
  • Gabriel in Constantine (2005)
  • Penny in Broken Flowers (2005)
  • White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
  • Lydie Crane in Stephanie Daley (2006)
  • Hope Kurtz in Strange Culture (2007)
  • Karen Crowder in Michael Clayton (2007)
  • Julia in Julia (2008)
  • White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008)
  • Katie Cox in Burn After Reading (2008)
  • Elizabeth Abbott in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
  • The Blonde in The Limits of Control (2009)
  • Emma Recchi in Io sono l'amore (2009)
  • White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)
  • Eva Katchadourian in We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)
  • Eve in Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)
  • Mason in Snowpiercer (2013)
  • Dr. Shrink-Rom in The Zero Theorem (2013)
  • Madame D. in Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
  • Dianna in Trainwreck (2015)
  • Marianne in A Bigger Splash (2015)
  • Hedda Hopper in Hail, Ceasar! (2015)


  • "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."
  • "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!"
  • "I wouldn’t know how to answer that one [if the Ancient One is either a male or a female]. I think it’s all in the eye of the beholder..."
  • "The script that I was presented with did not feature an Asian man for me to play, so that was never a question when I was being asked to do it. It all will be revealed when you see the film, I think. There are very great reasons for us to feel very settled and confident with the decisions that were made."
  • "We’re all really looking forward to seeing that film, myself included. I’m really looking forward to seeing what’s made of what we’ve done. We’re feeling really excited and it was a good feeling to make it."
  • "As someone who has worked from the beginning as an artist within a queer aesthetic, the urgency of that voice is always going to be welcome. At the same time, the film Marvel has made—in which they created a part for which I was not bad casting, in actual fact—is a departure from the source material in more ways than one."
  • "Ironically, their casting is positively diverse in this case: The Ancient One in this film was never written as the bearded old Tibetan man portrayed in the comics. Baron Mordo, a Caucasian Transylvanian in the graphic novels, is here played by Chiwetel Ejiofor. Benedict Wong plays a newly expanded and significant role as Wong, who in the comics is a mini-minor character. I believe in Marvel’s wholehearted commitment to creating a diverse and vibrant universe, avoiding stereotype and cliché wherever possible in a determination to keep things fresh and lively."
  • "There may be some people who do not like these changes, but I am hopeful that when they see the film itself they may understand why these particular balances were struck. Meanwhile, whether they do or not, and this film aside, all strength to the lobby for a greater variety in cinema and in life. We are also still looking forward to our first gay Marvel superhero, naturally. Let’s hope that’s only a matter of time."
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