Some actors figure out their characters through the accent. Others do it through their backstory. For Tilda Swinton, it all starts with the clothes. “Basically, I just figure that out and then have a good laugh,” she said Sunday night at a screening of “Michael Clayton.” In the film, she stars opposite George Clooney as a crooked corporate lawyer with a penchant for pearls. “All of those women wear that,” Swinton said. “It’s like a uniform. There are a couple of earrings you can wear, but you always have a string of pearls and you can pretty much lose your job if you wear the wrong color hose. I studied a whole bunch of women like her, and they also loved Manolos and Ferragamo, but they only wore them under their desk, never to court. Too much personality.”

Others in attendance at the screening included Clooney and his girlfriend, Sarah Larson; Christopher and Amanda Brooks; Joan Collins, and director Tony Gilroy.

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