Tilda Swinton Wore A Fake Penis For Her Second, Surprise Suspiria Role

Tilda as Josef Klemperer

Tilda Swinton is an acclaimed actress who is known for ability to slip into new characters, almost completely disappearing into her roles. Swinton's presence helps carry weight in her films, with her next release being the upcoming remake of the horror classic Suspiria. Swinton is playing the terrifying Madame Blanc in Luca Guadagnino's version, but she's also got another role: elderly male psychologist and third protagonist Josef Klemperer.

Tilda Swinton's role as Josef Klemperer was kept under wraps for a series of months, before the actress finally confirmed the rumors. Now it appears that her transformation into the villainous psychoanalyst was more intense than just makeup, as it also had prosthesis... including synthetic male genitalia. Makeup artist Mark Coulier explained Tilda's role in her Suspiria look, saying:

She did have us make a penis and balls. 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.

Well, I didn't see that coming. While old age makeup and prothesis are used relatively often in the film world, no one could have predicted how strongly Tilda Swinton would feel about her fake genitalia. Or that she would have whipped them out on the set of Suspiria.

Mark Coulier's comments to The New York Times definitely give a glint into the perspective of Tilda Swinton, and how she functions as an actress. On one hand, Swinton's attention to detail regarding her prosthesis show how methodically she approaches her roles. But on the other hand, her penchant for taking out Klemperer's fancy parts while on set reveal she's down for some levity, and doesn't take it all too seriously.

As Suspiria was being filmed and edited, Tilda Swinton's role as Josef Klemperer was kept under wraps. But photos from the set revealed the character, and eagle eyed moviegoers put the pieces together. Still, both Tilda Swinton and director Luca Guadagnino denied her duel role in the film, claiming that unknown actor Lutz Ebersdorf was playing the role.

Alas, Lutz Ebersdorf doesn't exist at all, and Tilda Swinton will be playing 2/3 of Suspiria's lead characters. This bit of information will add to the hype surrounding the remake, as its trailers teased a horrifying world of art and witchcraft. Luca Guadagnino is fresh off of massive acclaim for Call Me By Your Name, so all eyes are on how his next release will be received.

Suspiria is based off of the iconic 1977 Italian classic film of the same name. The original is a jarring and horrifying supernatural experience, so there's a ton of pressure surrounding the forthcoming adaptation.

Suspiria will arrive in theaters on October 26, 2018. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.