Oscars: 10 Things to Know About Best Picture Nominee 'Call Me by Your Name'

4:00 AM 3/2/2018

by Zoe Haylock

The coming-of-age story earned four Academy Award nominations.

Call Me By Your Name Still 10 - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Call Me by Your Name goes into Sunday night's Oscars up for four awards: best picture, best actor (Timothee Chalamet), best adapted screenplay and best original song.

A lot of hard work went into the Luca Guadagnino-directed film, which also stars Armie Hammer, and since Call Me by Your Name's premiere at last year's Sundance Film Festival, the cast and crew have been revealing details about the making of the movie.

Everything that viewers love most, from the cinematography to the chemistry, has been intricately decided on by the makers of the film. Small and subtle things, like the Psychedelic Furs song that plays while a towering Oliver dances, have just as large an impact as big ones (like the scene where Elio finally, coyly reveals his feelings for Oliver).

Here's 10 behind-the-scenes facts about the acclaimed coming-of-age story.

  • Armie Hammer and Timothee Chalamet Didn't Have a Typical First Rehearsal

    Both Hammer and Chalamet are straight men playing gay characters. In order to break the ice, Guadagnino had the pair get intimate during their first – and only – rehearsal. Hammer recalls: "Luca says, 'Let's just start at scene 62.' So we flip to the scene, and the stage directions read: 'Elio and Oliver are laying on the berm making out aggressively.' Then we just went for it. Trial by fire."

  • The Cast and Crew Bonded Over Films

    During their one month of preproduction in Guadagnino’s home i Crema, Italy, the director screened movies for the cast and crew. As part of their education, they watched Alien, Body Double and Babette’s Feast, which Chalamet said is just not his “kind of movie.”  

  • The Italian Villa Was Missing One Important Piece

    The scenes at the Perlman villa were all shot at the same location due to a limited budget. But the family home didn’t have a fountain, where many of Elio and Oliver’s early encounters occur, so “they built it in the garden of the villa, selecting big, flat rocks and carved stones,” said production designer Samuel Dehors

  • Guadagnino Was Worried About the Peach Scene

    In the novel Call Me By Your Name, Oliver proves his devotion by tasting a peach Elio has just finished having sex with. Although Guadagnino was initially worried about the "legendary" scene, he would also "hate to be defined as coy." "So it was like, let's take the bull by the horns and shoot it," he explained. In the final cut, Oliver doesn't have time to take a bite before Elio falls into his arms, creating a scene that Guadagnino feels captures the "impossibility of this love."

  • Author Andre Aciman Makes a Cameo

    Late in the film, the Perlman family is visited by old friends Isaac and Mounir, a gay couple. When a scheduling conflict left them without actors, Guadagnino asked Aciman, who wrote the novel on which the film is based, to "just ad-lib" as Mounir. "Andre turns out to be a phenomenal actor! So comfortable, not nervous at all," gushed Peter Spears, who played Isaac on top of being a producer on the film.  

  • The Pivotal Confession of Love Was Captured in One Take

    In the pivotal scene where Elio first hints to Oliver that he has feelings for him, cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom decided to lay a long dolly track across the square in Pandino, Italy. The entire scene was filmed in just one take. That way, the scene has a palpable “flow of emotion,” Mukdeeprom said. And it also prevented lighting changes between takes on that cloudy summer day in Italy. 

  • Psychedelic Furs' "Love My Way" Saw a Streaming Surge After the Movie Opened

    The 1982 song "Love My Way" by the Psychedelic Furs is featured in the film during a dance party. It earned its biggest streaming week ever after Call Me By Your Name opened in just four theaters in New York and Los Angeles. Hammer's dancing in the film sparked multiple Internet memes.

  • The Original Cut Was 3 Hours and 40 Minutes

    According to Michael Stuhlbarg, who plays Elio’s father in the film, "there was a lot of material that was excised for the sake of telling the story in the way that Luca wanted to tell it." That meant his character had a lot more to say, including a speech to Oliver, where “[Stuhlbarg’s character] kind of goes on a little bit about the paths that we take in our lives and the choices that we make” Stuhlbarg revealed. 


  • James Ivory and Timothee Chalamet Broke Records With Their Oscar Nominations

    Screenwriter James Ivory, 89, is the oldest person to be nominated for the best adapted screenplay Academy Award. Conversely, Chalamet, 22, is the youngest man in 80 years to receive a best actor nod.

  • Guadagnino Dreams of a Sequel That Addresses the AIDS Epidemic

    Luca Guadagnino imagines a sequel where Elio and Oliver have to deal with the AIDS crisis, which doesn’t get touched on in the original film. "I think Elio will be a cinephile, and I'd like him to be in a movie theater watching Paul Vecchiali's Once More, a 1988 film about a man who falls in love with a man after he leaves his wife, which was the first French movie to deal with AIDS," the director told The Hollywood Reporter. "That could be the first scene [in the sequel]."