White Witch Jadis evokes pure icy coldness

Tilda Swinton takes on the nefarious and chilly role in "The Chronicles of Narnia"

Explains director Andrew Adamson, “In addition to
her physical stature, which suits the character perfectly, she brings a strength, intensity and intelligence–all characteristics I wanted for the White Witch. After
all, she has to be as smart, as strong and as intense as Aslan the Lion in her
confrontations with him.”

He continues: “I think the guiding principle for both of us was avoiding cliché.
When C. S. Lewis wrote this book, the character of the White Witch was somewhat
original but that was fifty-five years ago. Now we have seen so many evil queens and
witches, from Cruella De Ville onwards. So we wanted to stay away from cartoonish,
cackling figures. Instead, what we wanted was a more human type of evil, something
a little darker and more real, and I knew Tilda had the sophistication to pull that
off. It was a big challenge. Ultimately, Tilda created a really convincing witch who
evokes pure icy coldness.”

It also a tall order for an actress used to portraying the finer nuances of human
emotion to take on a character for whom emotion is a foreign concept. “Jadis is not
human, you have to remember. She has no feelings about anything,” Swinton notes.

“She’s not really comprehensible on any normal level. She has created Narnia as a
reflection of her own state of mind, freezing it into perpetual winter–no spring,
no Christmas, no progress, no good, a pretty joyless place, until the Pevensie
siblings begin to turn it around.”

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