Why Tilda Swinton Dislikes The Harry Potter Movies

If you grew up enjoying reading the Harry Potter novels or watching the movies, then chances are you had a fond opinion of Hogwarts, the British school where young witches and wizards were sent to learn about all kinds of magical weirdness. Well, not everyone shares the beloved view of the legendary fictional institution. Actress Tilda Swinton has a beef with Hogwarts due to its portrayal of boarding schools.

During an interview with The Scots Magazine (via Yahoo Movies UK), Swinton, who attended what was then called the West Heath Girls' School in Kent when she was young, explained how she doesn't believe children can "benefit" from attending boarding schools, which is why she doesn't care for movies that romanticize them, like the Harry Potter series. In her opinion:

I think they are a very cruel setting in which to grow up and I don't feel children benefit from that type of education. Children need their parents. That's why I dislike films like Harry Potter, which tend to romanticize such places.

Presumably we can also count movies like Dead Poets Society on this list of movies that don't meet with Tilda Swinton's approval when it comes to boarding schools. While I never attended such an institution, I can imagine they're nowhere near as glamorous as certain Hollywood stories make them out to be. Unfortunately, it would be difficult to establish more wizarding schools, both public and private, that would be as effective as Hogwarts. Yes, it would be amazing if the students could learn spell-casting during the day and go home to their family at night, but Hogwarts is better equipped to deal with such a large population of students, both in size and resources. Also, keep in mind that not everything is as peachy at Hogwarts as it looks on the surface. Remember, there was a Basilisk lurking beneath the school for many years.


For a brief moment, I considered whether Tilda Swinton would prefer students instead conducting their magical studies at Kamar-Taj, where her Doctor Strange character, The Ancient One, instructed people in the ways of the mystic arts. But the same problem is present: the children would need to remain at Kamar-Taj for most of the year to be properly educated, meaning they would be separated from their parents. In all seriousness, we can understand Swinton's issues with boarding schools, but as far as the Wizarding World is concerned, she needn't worry about Hogwarts being a main setting again. The current Fantastic Beasts series is following Newt Scamander (an adult), and while there's always a chance he could revisit the school he was kicked out of, as it stands now, his adventures are taking place in other locations around the globe.

Tilda Swinton can currently be seen in Doctor Strange, and she'll return next year for the South Korean blockbuster Okja.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.