His performance in ‘Call Me By Your Name’ stunned critics at Sundance and moved Timothée Chalamet out of brooding teenage roles for good
Sidelined as broody teen Finn Walden in Homeland or 15-year-old homebody Tom in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, actor Timothée Chalamet didn’t eclipse the navel-gazing teen stand-in role until Luca Guadagnino’s sizzling coming-of-age drama Call Me By Your Name crash landed at Sundance, wowing critics.
Chalamet plays 17-year-old Elio, an Italian boy who begins to explore his sexuality with American tourist Oliver (Armie Hammer). It’s already being called one of the best gay love stories of the past decade – and Chalamet, although coy about his role, is quietly redefining what a leading man can be. A graphic scene involving a peach offered telling proof Chalamet was willing to shed the broody exoskeleton in favour of grittier, more off-kilter roles.
Now the actor is rewriting the playbook to star in indies such as Greta Gerwig’s debut outing as a director, Lady Bird, and will beef up as a private in Scott Cooper’s period western Hostiles. With his singular choices, Chalamet is eschewing the Hollywood machine – and his work is all the better for it.