Tilda Swinton reveals SHE was the ‘82-year-old man’ in her new movie

Hollywood A-Lister finally comes clean about sitting through four hours of make-up (including fitting a prosthetic penis) to become ’82-year-old co-star’… but can YOU guess who it is?

  • The British actress is starring in horror remake Suspiria with Lutz Ebersdorf
  • Pictures showed resemblance between Swinton and Ebersdorf’s character
  • The director dismissed suggestions they were the same person as ‘fake news’ 
  • Swinton has now come clean and revealed she used prosthetics and make-up to pose as an old man

Joe Middleton For Mailonline

Hollywood star Tilda Swinton has finally come clean about sitting through four hours of make-up and donning prosthetics to become her 82-year-old co-star in her latest film. 

The British actress, 57, is starring in horror remake Suspiria, alongside Dakota Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz and, ostensibly, octogenarian first-time actor Lutz Ebersdorf.

After pictures emerged showing a resemblance between Swinton and Ebersdorf’s character, a male psychoanalyst named Dr Josef Klemperer, director Luca Guadagnino dismissed suggestions they were the same person as ‘fake news’.

But Swinton has now come clean on the stunt and revealed she underwent fours hours in make-up every day to make it work – and even donned fake male genitalia.

The star has now come clean on the stunt and revealed she underwent fours hours in make-up every day to transform into Dr Josef Klemperer

The star has now come clean on the stunt and revealed she underwent fours hours in make-up every day to transform into Dr Josef Klemperer

The star has now come clean on the stunt and revealed she underwent fours hours in make-up every day to transform into Dr Josef Klemperer

Guadagnino, however, insists Swinton playing the role of a male (pictured) was essential because the film is about female identity

Guadagnino, however, insists Swinton playing the role of a male (pictured) was essential because the film is about female identity

Guadagnino, however, insists Swinton playing the role of a male (pictured) was essential because the film is about female identity

Asked why she was posing as Ebersdorf, Swinton told The New York Times: ‘Undeniably, I would have to say, for the sheer sake of fun above all.

‘As my grandmother would have it – a motto to live and die by – ‘Dull Not To’.’

Guadagnino, however, insists Swinton playing the role of a male was essential because the film is about female identity.

Photos surfaced in February purporting to show actress Tilda Swinton in prosthetics and makeup as an elderly man on the film’s set.

According to the bio posted on IMDB, Ebersdorf

According to the bio posted on IMDB, Ebersdorf

According to the bio posted on IMDB, Ebersdorf ‘was born on February 15th, 1936 in Munich, Germany’

Deepening the mystery, a poster for Suspiria showed the elderly man wearing glasses and smoking a pipe with the legend at the top announcing: ‘Lutz Ebersdorf is Dr. Klemperer.’ 

The previously unknown actor had a listing on film website IMDB but his only credit is Suspiria.

According to the bio posted on the site, Ebersdorf ‘was born on February 15th, 1936 in Munich, Germany.’

‘In 1938, when Ebersdorf was just two, his family fled Nazi Germany: first for Geneva in Switzerland, and then to London. Spending most of his youth in Camberwell, London, Lutz returned to Munich in 1954, where he studied Philosophy, taking a particular interest in Gestalt psychology and Psychodrama,’ the bio adds. 

 The 82-year-old is credited with forming an experimental theatre group Piefke Versus – although a Google search fails to find any reference to the group.

He went on to earn a Ph.D. in Kelinian psychoanalysis, specializing in mother-daughter relationships, the bio purports.

Suspiria – a remake of Dario Argento’s 1977 original – centres on Johnson’s character, a young dancer who enrols in an all-female dance academy in Berlin, only to discover it is run by a coven of witches.

Guadagnino said Swinton’s casting as a man would ensure ‘there will always be this element of femininity at its core. Being a film about the fantastic, it was important that we did not play by the book’.

Photos surfaced in February purporting to show actress Tilda Swinton in prosthetics and makeup as an elderly man on the film

Photos surfaced in February purporting to show actress Tilda Swinton in prosthetics and makeup as an elderly man on the film

Photos surfaced in February purporting to show actress Tilda Swinton in prosthetics and makeup as an elderly man on the film’s set

Oscar-winning make-up artist Mark Coulier was hired to transform Swinton. He used prosthetics to thicken her neck and built out her jaw to make it look more masculine.

To add another layer to the ruse, Swinton then created an online profile for Ebersdorf on movie database website IMDb, the site now redirects to Swinton’s profile.

The actress admits to regretting how the secret got out and had revealed she had one final trick planned.

She told The New York Times: ‘Frankly, my long-held dream was that we would never have addressed this question at all. 

‘My original idea was that Lutz would die during the edit, and his ‘In Memoriam’ be the final credit in the film.’

Suspiria will be released in the UK on November 16.

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