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Call Me By Your Name Speech

Call Me By Your Name author finally makes Elio’s dad’s sexuality clear

While promoting his new book, Find Me, author André Aciman has cleared up all our questions about that famous father-son speech

When Call Me By Your Name came out in 2017, no one could quite agree about what was going on in Elio’s dad’s famous speech at the end. Was he just telling Elio (played by Timothée Chalamet) that he knew about his gay relationship with Oliver? And that he accepts him? Or that he had a same-sex relationship himself? Or that he wanted one but never had one? So. Many. Questions… But finally, we might have some answers. While promoting his new book, Find Me, André Aciman, who wrote the novel that the film Call Me By Your Name is based on, has cleared up what his intentions were.

“When you least expect it, nature has cunning ways of finding our weakest spot. Just remember: I am here,” Samuel tells Elio in his speech. “Right now, you may not want to feel anything – maybe you never wished to feel anything and maybe it’s not to me that you’ll want to speak about these things. But feel something, you obviously did.”

He continues: “You had a beautiful friendship. Maybe more than a friendship, and I envy you… I’ll say one more thing. It’ll clear the air: I may have come close, but I never had what you two have. Something always held me back, or stood in the way. How you live your life is your business.” 

In a recent interview with GQ, Aciman explained that while the actor Michael Stuhlbarg’s interpretation of the monologue kind of implies that Samuel is coming out to Elio, this was not what he had in mind when he wrote it. 

“This was not at all my intention when I wrote the book,” Aciman told GQ. “The movie has basically validated that particular approach. And I have to say that I can see that this is equally a valid approach to the father’s speech. The father may have been attracted to men or not, we don’t know from the book. From the movie, you have every right to infer that. But not in the book.”

In Find Me, a sequel to Call Me By Your Name that revisits the characters years later, Samuel splits up with his wife. “He’s not splitting because he has homosexual tendencies, but simply because something must have gone wrong in their marriage,” said Aciman.