Who Is Timothée Chalamet?
Timothée Chalamet (born December 27, 1995) received an Academy Award nomination as lead actor for his performance in the 2017 film Call Me By Your Name (which is also a contender for Best Picture). Chalamet's Oscar nod was announced on January 23, 2018, when he was 22, making him the youngest actor in this category since a 19-year-old Mickey Rooney was nominated for 1939's Babes in Arms. Chalamet has also appeared in the movies Lady Bird (2017) and Interstellar (2014), and had a multi-episode arc on the television show Homeland. His name reflects his French heritage, and he is fluent in that language.
'Call Me By Your Name'
In the romantic film Call Me By Your Name, Chalamet portrays 17-year-old Elio Perlman, who develops a crush on, enters into a sexual relationship with, and ends up truly loving Oliver (played by Armie Hammer), a 24-year-old graduate student staying with Elio's family in Italy in the summer of 1983. Chalamet's luminous performance as the young, vulnerable Elio has been consistently applauded. In addition to his Academy Award nomination, Chalamet was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award, and he's received best actor awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the New York Film Critics Circle.
Call Me By Your Name is based on André Aciman's 2007 novel of the same name; the screenplay is by James Ivory and the film was directed by Luca Guadagnino. Chalamet was 17 when he first talked to Guadagnino about the film, and Guadagnino said that when he met Chalamet, "I really felt immediately that he had the ambition, the intelligence, the sensitivity, the naiveté, and the artistry to be Elio." (While the movie was being developed, the director also saw Chalamet shine Off-Broadway in John Patrick Shanley's Prodigal Son.)
Prior to filming, Chalamet spent a month and a half in Italy to prepare for the role. As Elio speaks French, Italian and English, Chalamet learned Italian; he also studied piano and guitar. When Hammer arrived three weeks before filming, Chalamet was able to guide the older actor around, and the time they spent together allowed them to forge an easy relationship that helped create onscreen chemistry. (They now have an ongoing friendship.)
As he accepted one award for his performance, Chalamet addressed director Guadagnino: "I’ll be endlessly thankful and stupefied that you put an actor with so little street cred as myself into a role as layered, and complex, and contradictory, and confused as Elio Perlman."
Chalamet has a role in another Oscar-nominated 2017 film: Lady Bird. In this movie he portrays Kyle Scheible, one of the title character's love interests. Chalamet said he tried to humanize the guitar-playing high schooler, hoping that viewers will "see that character as an antagonist that is genuinely suffering, has real emotions and is living a sad existence."
Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird's director, has said she considers Chalamet "a young Christian Bale crossed with a young Daniel Day-Lewis with a sprinkle of young Leonardo DiCaprio, and then raised speaking French in Manhattan and given a Mensa-level IQ and a love of hip-hop."
In 2017 Chalamet was also in Hot Summer Nights. Prior to this he had a role in Interstellar as Matthew McConaughey's son. Other Chalamet movies include Love the Coopers and Men, Women & Children.
In 2018 Chalamet appears in Hostiles — sharing the screen with Christian Bale and Rosamund Pike — as a French immigrant cavalry soldier in the Old West. For his role in Beautiful Boy (2018) with Steve Carell, Chalamet lost 20 pounds to play a meth addict.
#MeToo, Time's Up and Woody Allen
Another film that Chalamet has worked on is Woody Allen's A Rainy Day In New York City. Chalamet filmed his scenes — with co-stars Selena Gomez and Elle Fanning — in 2017. However, the advent of the #MeToo and Time's Up movements, which call out the sexual harassment, assault, discrimination and predatory behavior that many powerful figures (predominantly men) have gotten away with in both the film industry and society at large, drew attention to Allen's past and raised questions for Chalamet about his choice to sign on with Allen.
Allen's adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, has said that he sexually assaulted her when she was seven years old. Allen has always denied these allegations, and for years Hollywood's top talent continued to appear in his movies. But that has begun to change, and in a January 2018 Instagram post, Chalamet wrote, "I am learning that a good role isn't the only criteria for accepting a job — that has become much clearer to me in the past few months, having witnessed the birth of a powerful movement intent on ending injustice, inequality and above all, silence."
Chalamet's Instagram post also shared that he was going to donate his salary from Allen's film to the Time's Up campaign, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network and New York's LGBT Center, making him one of many actors who have donated their salaries from Allen films. In the post, Chalamet also stated he could not say more due to contractual obligations (though reports have questioned whether his contract actually prevents his speaking out).
Chalamet also expressed his support for Time's Up at the 2018 SAG Awards, telling E! News, "With the centralization, the Time's Up movement and hopefully at award shows like this, conversation's getting out there. Equality in the workplace, 50/50 by 2020, these are messages that are getting out there now."
Chalamet has had several roles on TV. During his senior year of high school he was in Homeland as Finn Walden, the vice president's son (and hit-and-run driver). Chalamet was also on Royal Pains and Law & Order.
When Was Timothée Chalamet Born?
Timothée Chalamet was born on December 27, 1995, in New York City.
In 2013 Chalamet was sometimes seen out with Lourdes Leon, a high school classmate who is Madonna's daughter. The two also appeared together in a school production of Sweet Charity.
When a 2017 interview with The Guardian veered into talk about relationships, Chalamet said, "I have experienced heartbreak but not in a classical sense." He then added, "I have this sense of independent heartbreak, of annulling romances before they get their feet off the ground… with one girl in particular…" He's also told W magazine, "Date is very much a scary word, because then that context has been established."
Red carpet events haven't revealed much of Chalamet's romantic life: in 2018 he took his mother to the SAG Awards and attended the Golden Globes with his sister.
How Do You Say Timothée Chalamet's Name?
The French pronunciation for Timothée would be "Tim-oh-TAY," though Chalamet goes by Timothy (to friends he's Timmy). Chalamet is said as "SHALL-uh-MAY."
Chalamet has joked that being famous makes it more likely people will correctly spell his name.
Family and Background
Chalamet grew up in New York City's Hell's Kitchen. His French father was an editor who worked for Unicef, while his American mother was a dancer and Broadway performer. A young Chalamet developed an enthusiasm for everything from Broadway plays to sports. Growing up, he spent summers in France with his family.
Chalamet's older sister, Pauline, is also an actress. He has many other family ties to showbiz — aunt Amy Lippman is a producer and writer whose projects include Party of Five and Masters of Sex; uncle Rodman Flender works as a TV director; and his grandfather was screenwriter and novelist Harold Flender. In addition to his family, Chalamet has credited the time he was 12 and saw Heath Ledger's performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight with him wanting to become an actor.
School and Education
Chalamet attended the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, the Manhattan school that inspired the movie and TV show Fame. Chalamet took his school's performing arts focus into other classes, such as when he made a rap video — as "Lil’ Timmy Tim" — about statistics.
Ansel Elgort was one of Chalamet's high school classmates; on one red carpet, Chalamet and Elgort each said the other was more popular in school. Their drama teacher told Vanity Fair, "They were both like rock stars in a way, in a school full of rock stars. Everybody recognized them as being particularly gifted."
After graduating, Chalamet spent a year at Columbia University. However, while talking to Matthew McConaughey for Interview magazine, Chalamet admitted he "floundered" there because it was difficult to return to the strictures of school after getting to make movies. Chalamet also set up his own major at New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study.
Chalamet is now navigating a breakthrough career; as he told GQ magazine in 2017, "All this stuff’s very new — I’m trying to keep a journal and really remember this time of my life. It feels special."
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