Did the film, with its deft approach to gender fluidity, strike these two as being ahead of its time? "It didn't feel like it was particularly new," Swinton says. "It felt like it came out of something." Both women mention the importance of the legendary director Michael Powell, who died two years before the movie's premiere but who, as Potter explains, "personally put his support in private behind the project when others were saying it's impossible." Swinton continues: "He told us there was a time when he considered making a film of Orlando. So one can imagine making this film in the 1950s. I don't know whether it ever felt like it was ahead of anything."
Essentially, years — whether 1600, 1928, 1992, or 2010 — are meaningless. "By definition, [the film] is out of time because of what it does," Potter says. "It hasn't gone away." She turns to Swinton, laughs, and adds, "Here we are — we're still talking about Orlando. It'll never end." Then they head off to a photo shoot, walking side by side, their arms around each other's waists.