Tilda Swinton Was Inspired to Act by a Donkey

Jeremy Belanger
Producer, Yahoo Entertainment

Tilda Swinton has been known to love the avant-garde, including when it comes to inspiration for her acting. The actress visited The Late Show and told Stephen Colbert, “The best performance I have ever seen and continues to be an inspiration for me is a donkey in a great film by Robert Bresson called Au Hasard Balthazar. And I’m not joking, actually.”

She continued to rave about the quadrupedal performance, saying, “A donkey inspired me because you just can’t stop looking at the donkey, and there are all the humans around and you go, ‘Get out of the way. I want to look at the donkey.'”

Swinton has spoken about this donkey’s performance throughout her career. In an interview with the Telegraph in 2001, Swinton said about the donkey’s performance, “I am being flippant but I am also being serious — that that donkey gives, in my opinion, the preeminent film performance. Either because it is an incredibly sophisticated film performer or because it is a donkey.”

Colbert joked, “Every time I see you in a movie, you’re thinking, How would a donkey do this part?”

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