Tilda Swinton posed as an old man in elaborate hoax for Suspiria

Tilda Swinton spent four hours in make-up to be transformed into Josef Klemperer

To be fair, most had figured it out ages ago, but Suspiria filmmaker Luca Guadagnino and actress Tilda Swinton refused to come clean about the true identity of the elderly performer who supposedly fills the role of 82-year-old male psychoanalyst Josef Klemperer in the horror remake.

The film follows American dancer Susie Bannion (Dakota Johnson) as she arrives in 1970s Berlin to audition for the world-renowned Helena Markos Dance Company.

As rehearsals intensify for the final performance of the company's signature piece, Susie and Madame Blanc grow strangely close.

At the film's premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September, she told reporters: "Dr Klemperer is played by Lutz Ebersdorf". The way Swinton sees it, she was playing Ebersdorf, and Ebersdorf was playing Klemperer.

Swinton is, in fact, under all that makeup. He told The New York Times that her three characters represent the ego, superego, and id, roles he says "only Tilda could play".

During filming it was rumoured that Swinton was going to be playing an old man, but Guadagnino insisted that it was "fake news".

Tilda Swinton sure does love to transform herself for a role. However, the cheekiness of the lie is that Swinton doesn't believe she was playing Dr Josef Klemperer.

"Although she has a slightly androgynous look from sort of a fashion-model point of view, Tilda's got a very feminine bone structure", Coulier said. He used prosthetics to thicken her neck and built out her jaw to make it look more masculine. "Probably in a box somewhere!"

To add another layer to the ruse, Swinton then created an online profile for Ebersdorf on movie database website IMDb.

The ruse might have held longer had a paparazzo not snapped a photo of Swinton as Ebersdorf during production in Berlin, then sold it to US services two winters ago as a picture of Swinton as disguise. "It did bother me".

"The answer to the question to me, 'Are you playing Dr. Klemperer in Suspiria?' is always that Dr. Klemperer is played by Lutz Ebersdorf". The film is mysterious and packs an emotional punch (Quentin Tarantino reportedly cried after a screening), but one mystery in particular has finally been illuminated: the real identity of one of the actors. Now that the secret is out, Swinton has one regret: "Frankly, my long-held dream was that we would never have addressed this question at all".

"My original idea was that Lutz would die during the edit, and his 'In Memoriam" be the final credit in the film'.

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