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Perhaps best known for her Oscar-winning turn in Tony Gilroy’s Michael Clayton and the long, fruitful collaboration she enjoyed with the late Derek Jarman, Tilda Swinton has acted recently for David Fincher, Joel and Ethan Coen, Hungarian auteur Béla Tarr, and in Andrew Adamson’s Chronicles of Narnia franchise. Her flinty, fearless performance as an alcoholic outlaw in Erick Zonca’s cross-border thriller Julia, however, truly spotlights the impressive range and cool professionalism of this adventurous, one-of-a-kind screen actress. (She also appears in Jim Jarmusch’s The Limits of Control, which opened last Friday.) We caught up with Swinton in New York to talk about her role in the film, why she’d always wanted to portray a resourceful drunk, and how the indie-film world has changed since her heyday with Jarman in Britain’s underground cinema. — Damon Smith

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