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Tilda Swinton has been named as the 2020 recipient of the British Film Institute’s highest honor, the BFI Fellowship.

She follows in the footsteps of Dame Maggie Smith, Dame Judi Dench, and The Crown creator Peter Morgan in receiving the prestigious accolade. The BFI said in a media release that the honor celebrates her “daringly eclectic and striking talents as a performer and filmmaker.”

It’s hard to disagree with their assessment of Swinton’s chameleon-like career: since breaking through in the mid-’80s in a series of arthouse films by late director Derek Jarman, Swinton has taken roles in everything from Marvel blockbuster Doctor Strange to Amy Schumer‘s rom-com Trainwreck, and psychological drama We Need to Talk About Kevin to quirky sci-fi thriller Snowpiercer.

Along the way, she won an Oscar and a BAFTA Film Award in 2007 for her performance as a lawyer on the verge of a nervous breakdown in Michael Clayton.

“Fellowship and BFI are two of my favorite words,” Swinton said in a statement. “And the beginning and end of the reason I live my life in the cinema in the first place. I am very happy and touched by this honor. And I share it entirely with my beloved filmmaking playmates, living and departed.”

The BFI’s Chair Josh Berger added: “Tilda inhabits the characters she portrays in the most compelling way. Her work is powerful and far-ranging and as such occupies a unique place in our collective film history; it captivates young filmmakers and actors, inspiring them to make bolder, braver and more profound work.”

Next on the release slates for Swinton is The Personal History of David Copperfield, Veep creator Armando Iannucci‘s take on the classic Charles Dickens tale, in which she plays Betsey Trotwood. It opens in the U.S. on May 8, and in the meantime you can check out our feature on 9 Times That Tilda Swinton has Fascinated Us Over the Years.

Which are your favorite Tilda Swinton performances?

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Filed Under: Tilda Swinton
By Nick Levine