Nominee Q&A

'Call Me by Your Name' Star Timothee Chalamet Recalls "Crazy-Gratifying" Meeting With Jennifer Lawrence

Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

The Oscar-nominated actor also opens up about what he wishes he knew a year ago and the best reaction he's heard from a fan.

Chalamet’s awards season marathon began more than a year ago at the Sundance Film Festival, where Call Me by Your Name, Luca Guadagnino’s Italy-set romantic drama in which Chalamet stars as an erudite teen experiencing his first love, premiered. The actor, 22, who received his first nomination for his work opposite Armie Hammer, talked to THR about what he wishes he knew at the time and the talents he’s loved meeting during awards season.

Do you have a memorable audience interaction?

At the Sundance Film Festival, someone said that Michael Stuhlbarg’s monologue in the film, playing Mr. Perlman, was so impactful and that it was representative of a father that this person didn’t have, and a father that that person needed. In that moment, it became clear to me that this was the first project I had been a part of that was affecting people.

Have you had a favorite reaction to your character, Elio?

Getting to meet Jennifer Lawrence and hearing her say she was moved by the film is on one side of the crazy-gratifying experience of this movie. On the other side would be my sister saying that she saw so much of [our upbringing in] France represented on the screen and communicated within the lines of this story; it felt very true to us. There have been a lot of reactions that have been really heartwarming, from people I don’t know, and also from friends and family who can appreciate the film for what it is but also can see me underneath peeking through.

What advice would you give to the Timothee of a year ago, when the film debuted at Sundance?

To rest before all of it and to not be so on the edge of my seat with excitement for it to all get going. We got a great reception at Sundance, but there’s really no guarantee, design or plan or insurance that that continues through March. I think Toronto onwards, every stop we did, I really wanted to soak it in, in case the momentum of the movie didn’t stay the same.

Fans were excited about you and Tiffany Haddish meeting. If you could do a movie together, what would you want it to be about?

I don’t know what it would be about, but I would want it to be directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. At the New York Film Critics Awards, he shouted out that he wanted to politely skip the line of other directors who wanted to work with her because he desired to do so. On the opposite side of that love triangle, I would love to work with both of them.

Do you have any plans to decompress after awards season?

I’m going to jump into a project right away, that seems to be it. I want to get back to acting, to failing, to doing bad takes and really getting to that zone again.

This story first appeared in a February standalone issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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