The English-language short film, which is due for release in April, is an adaptation of Jean Cocteau’s one-act play The Human Voice about a woman on the phone with her lover, who is set to marry another woman the next day. Almodóvar previously used this text as the starting point for his 1988 classic Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, which features a phone call in which a woman attempts to convince her partner not to leave her.
“You need that feeling that someone understands you completely,” he said on casting Swinton. “In the case of Tilda, it was exactly how I dreamed of her. She’s so open, so intelligent. She gave me a lot of confidence with the logic. In the rehearsal, we understood each other very closely.”
The film comes ahead of Almodóvar’s English-language feature debut, an adaptation of Lucia Berlin’s short story collection, A Manual for Cleaning Women. The director will focus on five of the book’s 43 stories, taking place in Texas, Oakland, and Mexico, with a mix of English and Spanish.
Swinton is currently part of a public appeal to save the late British filmmaker, artist, and activist Derek Jarman’s iconic house in Kent. A fundraiser by the charity Art Fund asks supporters to “protect Derek Jarman’s legacy, and inspire creativity in generations to come” by raising £3.5 million to stop the filmmaker’s home from being sold privately.
In the meantime, watch the trailer for Pain and Glory below.