Tilda Swinton Insisted on Wearing a Fake Dong for Her Secret 'Suspiria' Role

"She had this nice, weighty set of genitalia so that she could feel it dangling between her legs."

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Oct 11 2018, 4:07pm

Screenshot via Suspiria trailer

Luca Guadagnino's upcoming Suspiria remake isn't even out in theaters yet, but it's already given us a lot to talk about. There's the bonkers trailers, the Thom Yorke score, and that already infamous scene full of blood and piss and broken bones that made people almost puke at CinemaCon. But arguably the most captivating piece of the whole Suspiria press cycle has been the true identity of one very old and honestly weird-looking man: Lutz Ebersdorf, the dude who plays Dr. Jozef Klemperer in the film.

Back in June, IndieWire did a deep dive into the mysterious 82-year-old actor's history and made a pretty convincing argument that, actually it's all made up—and the role of Klemperer was actually played by fellow Suspiria co-star Tilda Swinton under a shit-ton of old dude makeup. Swinton and Guadagnino repeatedly denied the claims, but now, finally, the truth is out.

In a new interview with the New York Times, Swinton has finally copped to playing the old man—and said she even wore a fake dick and balls during shooting to get into character.

"The answer to the question to me, 'Are you playing Dr. Klemperer in Suspiria?' is always that Dr. Klemperer is played by Lutz Ebersdorf," Swinton said, according to the Times. But what no one asked her, she said, was if she was playing Ebersdorf playing Klemperer, which is "an unequivocal yes. Very tricky!

Apparently, once Swinton was done with her daily four-hour makeup transformation to become the old guy, Guadagnino would call her "Lutz," and other crewmembers were supposedly unaware that it was actually Swinton under all those wrinkles. Also, yeah. There was a fake dick.

"She did have us make a penis and balls," the film's award-winning makeup artist Mark Coulier told the Times. "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."

Swinton may have worn the rubber junk during her time on set, but it sounds like she didn't pull a Will Ferrell and take the fake balls home as a souvenir after production wrapped. According to Coulier, the prosthetics are now floating around "in a box somewhere," though he said he should probably dig it up and "put it on a plaque on the wall of my workshop," because nothing says "I am an Oscar-winning makeup artist" like a framed fake dong on your wall.

Suspiria is out in a few weeks, so you can keep an eye out for the rubber peen swinging inside Ebersdorf's pants when it hits theaters October 26—if you aren't too busy puking up your popcorn from that traumatizing ballet scene.

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