It is not every day a Hollywood A-list celebrity drops into a dinner party in downtown Suva. That is what exactly happened in Suva’s Grand Pacific Hotel this weekend.
The local St John’s Brigade which is responsible for operating 70 per cent of Fiji’s ambulance services were having their annual dinner when in walked Tilda Swinton.
The British actress known for her roles in both independent films and blockbusters has received various accolades, including an Academy Award and a British Academy Film Award, in addition to nominations for three Golden Globe Awards and five Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Paris Nasaroa was excited to have met a Hollywood celebrity, especially in Fiji.
“Last night I crossed off an item on my Bucket List…I took a photo with an A-List Hollywood Celebrity…Ms. TILDA SWINTON! Still can’t believe she walked in to our show!” he posted.
“St Johns Gala Dinner 2022. A night that I’ll never forget. And YES its true, Tilda Swinton not only walked into the show unexpectedly but also stood up for us, which is a moment I’ll cherish always,” wrote Justin Hickes.
“OMG Tilda Swinton in Fiji. White Queen of Narnia, The Ancient One in Doctor Strange, Angel Gabriel in Constantine, and we recently just watched her alongside Brad Pitt on Curious Case of Benjamin Button! Just few of her amazing roles! TOP QUALITY maaannnn. Almost got away unnoticed until our young ones could barlely breathe when they spotted her. What a way to end a seriously long and eventful day!” posted Nola Faasau on Facebook with pictures.
Fijians know very well that Hollywood actors have always chosen private and exclusive islands like Likuliku, Laucala or Wakaya but rarely stay at the Grand Pacific Hotel.
So what exactly was the actress doing in Suva when she decided to walk into the St John’s Gala Dinner event? Unknown to many, Ms Swinton is filming a movie in Fiji which is based during a period when colonial rulers first came to Fiji.
Director Cynthia Beatt who has long been a unique voice in the Berlin independent film scene has reunited with Ms Swinton to bring her Fijian film, which she calls ‘the epic, the one’ to arthouse screens.
“I’ve known forever that I wanted to do the Fiji film. It was to be about a woman travelling through the islands. Tilda and I started working on a script, but as I began to understand more about colonialism and how this attitude had been transferred into modern-day corporatism – I realised that I could not make a film where Fiji is seen through the eyes of a white woman,” Ms Beatt told The Beautiful Mind Series.