• Fri, Oct 7 2011

Tilda Swinton Says All Expectant Moms Are Afraid Of Giving Birth To The Devil

Tilda Swinton is starring in the much anticipated film We Need To Talk About Kevin which deals with a woman who is the mother to seventeen-year-old murderer. In discussing the many layers of the film, Tilda pointed out that the film grapples with every mother’s fear of birthing “the devil.”

Tilda tells the November issue of British Vogue:

‘It’s everybody’s nightmare that, when they’re pregnant, they’re going to give birth to the devil.  That when they bring up children, especially a boy, they’re going to give birth to this violence.’

Tilda is right in that we’ve seen this type of maternal fear echoed in other horror flicks like Rosemary’s Baby and The Bad Seed. Something about being frightened of one’s own child continues to resonate with parents and even the childless. The theme endures throughout cinema and even literature. And this isn’t the first time Tilda has been frank with the press about the realities of motherhood.

Whether giving birth or adopting, parents are inviting a stranger into their home — an experience that does have the capacity to go terribly awry. Seeing these fears acknowledged on the big screen may function as a mere film tactic, but they also acknowledge the more taboo components of motherhood that we won’t find on the cover of most women’s magazines or on our televisions.

(photo: dailymail.co.uk)

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  • Jen

    I found We Need to Talk About Kevin a fascinating read and I hope that with Swinton at the helm the film will do the book justice. I do think she’s oversimplifying the message a bit, though. Yes, parents obsess over what their child is going to be like while said child is still a fetus, but there is so much more to it than that. The worry is that we as parents are not going to be able to do a good enough job to prevent our child from turning into the devil. We worry that we will do something wrong or we won’t do something right. We look at the parents of teenagers who bring guns to school and so often they look just like us and we wonder how things could have gone so wrong and we look at our own child and wonder if the potential for that kind of violence and anger lies in them too.