Tilda Swinton Says She Has 'Quite a Collection of Teeth' from Various Films Projects

Tilda Swinton chatted with PEOPLE about the importance of creative collaborations, including the one she has with the company in London that makes all her fake teeth for various films

Editorial use only. No book cover usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Kimberly French/Netflix/Kobal/Shutterstock (8866237g) Tilda Swinton "Okja" Film - 2017; CANNES, FRANCE - JULY 16: Tilda Swinton attends the "Memoria" photocall during the 74th annual Cannes Film Festival on July 16, 2021 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Lionel Hahn/Getty Images); Editorial use only. No book cover usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Snowpiercer/Moho/Opus/Kobal/Shutterstock (5883392m) Tilda Swinton, Chris Evans Snowpiercer - 2013 Director: Joon-Ho Bong Snowpiercer/Moho Films/Opus Pictures SOUTH KOREA/USA/FRANCE Scene Still Scifi Snowpiercer - le transperceneige
Photo: Kimberly French/Netflix/Kobal/Shutterstock; Lionel Hahn/Getty; Snowpiercer/Moho/Opus/Kobal/Shutterstock

Tilda Swinton is rightfully proud of the "many amazing teeth" she has worn throughout her career.

The 61-year-old actress chatted with PEOPLE at the Academy Museum Gala in Los Angeles on Saturday, where she was being honored with the Visionary Award for "dedicating herself to collaborations with some of cinema's most daring innovators," according to the Academy website.

One such collaboration, Swinton explained, is the one she has with the man who makes the various teeth she has worn across different roles.

"There's a wonderful dental technician called Chris Lyons, who I've worked with for years. He has a wonderful company in London called Fangs FX, and I've had many amazing teeth, sets of teeth, made by him," she told PEOPLE.

Swinton joked that if the Academy Museum — which is devoted to the history, science and cultural impact of the film industry — dedicated a space to her work, it might be "a room full of teeth."

"I have quite a collection," she quipped, adding: "Yes. A dental sphere."

The actress, known for her daring and chameleonic roles, has sported memorable chompers in movies such as Snowpiercer, Okja and The Grand Budapest Hotel.

During the gala, Swinton was recognized for her "extensive body of work" that has "advanced the art of cinema." She told PEOPLE that she is "really, really proud," of the honor.

Noting how collaboration often sparks a long creative relationship with her, the star said, "If I fall into a relationship with someone and we start to make films together, it very often goes on for a very long time."

She also detailed that many of her collaborations start with a conversation. "It's always the same thing. It's always been the same thing from the beginning. It's the conversation with the filmmakers," Swinton said.

Tilda Swinton attends "The Eternal Daughter" red carpet at the 79th Venice International Film Festival
Kate Green/Getty Images

When asked what she looks for in a good creative partnership, Swinton cited communication.

"Communicative, friendly people who are as jazzed about cinema as I am, and are interested in making the kind of cinema that's new and has something that people can really dive into and be immersed in," she said.

Swinton also said it is important for her to work with like-minded artists. "I think big cinema is something that a lot of us are super passionate about and dedicated to it. And all the filmmakers that I work with are dedicated to it. So that's the beginning of the conversation. Is this all big cinema? If it is, then we can start talking about it," she said.

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One of Swinton's latest collaborators, director George Miller, recently told PEOPLE about his first encounter with the actress, who is known for fully transforming herself with each acting role she takes on.

The pair worked together on Three Thousand Years of Longing, and Miller, 77, said Swinton took him by surprise when he met her, "Because she's so different in any role from the movies, I had no idea who she was in person."

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He called the actress "impressive to meet," and knew he wanted to work with her on the film, which premiered at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.

"And the moment I met her that day, I thought, 'Oh God, it'd be great if she could play [this role we have for her].' So we went to her," he said.

Then speaking of Swinton and her costar, Idris Elba, Miller called the duo "wonderful."

"I mean, the way they work together, they're what I call filmmaking actors. They're there to get the film made and bring the best of themselves to it," the director added. "And they were just fantastic in it."

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