Tilda Swinton Lands ‘GQ Woman Of The Year’ Over Kim Kardashian — And Reveals The Shocking Way She Made Money Before Acting

Contrasts don’t get much sharper than Tilda Swinton and Kim Kardashian. While Tilda Swinton is a symbol of class and mastery of the craft of acting, Kim Kardashian is little more than a card-carrying member of the “famous for being famous” club. The differences don’t stop there — Swinton is 54 years old, while Kardashian in 34; Kim is American and Tilda Scottish. Yet that hasn’t stopped the two from sharing the same honor as GQ’s Woman of The Year for 2014. Perhaps even more surprising is the fact that British GQ was the one to select Kardashian, while the U.S. version snagged Swinton.

Tilda distinguishes herself further from Kim with the charming profile that accompanies her issue as GQ’s Woman of the Year. Swinton invites the profile author to Scotland to visit Loch Ness and try local delicacies like haggis. Over the trip, Tilda dropped some fascinating tidbits about her life before acting, including the way that she made money before landing big roles.

“Well, I was a professional gambler. When I lived in London, there were a couple of years when I didn’t really earn money doing anything else. I mean, I did other things, like I made work, and I was working with Derek Jarman at the time, but the way I made money was putting money on horses.”

By Swinton’s account, she was quite successful. Tilda attributed her skills to a gardener that her grandfather had growing up, who taught her how to identify a winning horse.

“My grandfather had an old gardener called Bert Matheson, and he taught me how to pick winners, and it kind of works! It’s very strange. I mean, it doesn’t always work, of course. It’s got something to do with the form, and there’s a certain amount of knowledge about particular horses, but it really is not that. It’s to do with, um, just looking at the horses in the ring and asking whether they’re gonna win or not! Basically, I mean.”

Despite ending this year with three art house roles (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Only Lovers Left Alive, and Snowpiercer), Tilda also revisited comments she had previously made about acting, including the controversial statement that she was “not an actress.”

“I feel a bit embarrassed by saying I’m not an actress… For a lot actors, there’s a sort of code of honor around playing something other than yourself, which I just don’t have. I love feeling like I’m—I won’t even say acting out, but performing in some deep seam of my consciousness, or my family’s consciousness, or my past. That’s really amusing to me.”

Do you think Tilda Swinton is a better GQ Woman of The Year than Kim Kardashian?

[Image via Brothersoft]