In Bong Joon-ho’s “Okja” Tilda Swinton plays Lucy Miranda, a first-time CEO who wants to bring her family’s disgraced company into the 21st Century by solving the world’s food shortage problems. She appears at the beginning of the film during a press conference announcing a contest to raise the best “super pig” with different farmers around the country. When this writer saw “Okja” in Cannes Swinton seemed to be channeling a combination of Stepford Wife, Paris Hilton and, in voice and diction, none other than Katy Perry. During the festival, however, articles began to run claiming Swinton “channeled” or was “inspired” by Ivanka Trump. During an interview with The Playlist today, Swinton made a point of clarifying that wasn’t actually the case.
“Point of correction, I never said that Ivanka Trump was an inspiration,” Swinton says. “I was asked if Ivanka Trump was an inspiration, but I actually said that when we were shooting this film, and we had already shot the great PR conference section with Lucy, and we had been planning Lucy for a good three years. I watched the Republican Party Convention while dressed as Lucy and saw Ivanka Trump step onto the world stage. The opposite is true. I think we slightly wonder whether Ivanka Trump hadn’t hacked into [Bong’s edit bay] and stolen Lucy’s look.”
She continues, “So, please, please correct that, this misunderstanding. The thing that’s really interesting for Director Bong and I in all of this is that we made a film called ‘Snowpiercer’ in which we collaborated on a different kind of monster. This bombastic politician Mason. And we threw into Mason all these ridiculous, grotesques from history. From Mussolini, Qadhafi, various people from North Korea, Hitler, Margaret Thatcher, etc.and we stirred them all into this ridiculous clown. In the belief that going over the top was the way of looking into a mirror and seeing that reality couldn’t possibly come up with anything as ridiculous. And of course, a few years later, we see that reality has some surprises for us in store. I would say the same thing is true with Ivanka Trump. And hey, presto! We hoped weren’t as right as we were. We thought we were dealing with a farce. But, actually, it seems that we were dealing with reality.”
“Okja” opens in select theaters and is available on Netflix on June 28.