With his androgynous allure and his sartorial liberties, he imposes a new way of being a rebel.
Sometimes the fairies bend over the cradles. Sometimes they even fall in. In the great lottery of life, Timothée Chalamet has won the jackpot. Handsome as a Roman bronze, crazy hair, mischievous eye, pre-Raphaelite jaw, he is, at 26, the most highly rated actor of his generation, a new star of the seventh art and the darling of fashion designers.
This young man sings, dances, plays two instruments and speaks three languages. No doubt he also knows how to walk on his hands and make furniture. It’s not very sporty. The competition is crushed. There is definitely a wolf.
Let’s take a closer look. Chalamet, your papers! American nationality. Of French origin by her father (journalist), of Russian-Austrian ancestry by her mother (actress on Broadway before converting to real estate). Grew up in New York, Manhattan district. Childhood trauma and/or financial problems: none. Attends good schools and integrates at the end of the LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, establishment for artists in the making.
Chalamet bursts the screen in “Call Me by Your Name”
To well-born souls, valor does not await the age of majority. At 17, Christopher Nolan offers him a small role in his family science fiction fresco “Interstellar”. A small role in a big movie is often better than the reciprocal. Three years later, Chalamet burst onto the screen in Luca Guadagnino’s masterpiece, “Call Me by Your Name”, an adaptation of a novel by André Aciman. This time the plot revolves around his character, a pale and melancholic teenager who falls under the spell of a sunny doctoral student (Armie Hammer) during a hot Italian summer.
Nominated the following year for the Oscar for best actor, he became the youngest actor in the running in this category for more than eighty years. The media unanimously swoon over this raw talent and the chalamania seizes the whole world. Directors scramble to hire him.
Chalamet, so comfortable, offers himself the luxury of playing shy
On this diet, a normally constituted human would have taken the melon. Him not. Chalamet’s pellets did not blow. Throughout the interviews, all smiles, he plays around, simpers and redoubles his gratitude for his peers. He never forgets to thank his screen partners, his director, the technicians and his parents, who brought him up so well. He is said to be marvelously, extraordinarily, supremely humble and everyone praises his simplicity, his naturalness, even his clumsiness.
When, in full promotion of “Call Me by Your Name”, in a crowded theater, he balances carelessly on his chair, rocks back and finds himself with four irons in the air, the whole room acclaims him. His blunders have genius. He is a pirouette virtuoso. This young man is so clever that he can afford to be clumsy; so comfortable that he allows himself the luxury of playing shy.
A committed actor
But above all he is a committed actor. This counts in our time where talent alone is no longer enough. It’s not enough to get involved in one or more causes, you still have to know how to choose them. Some pay better than others. Not shrinking from any audacity, Chalamet is committed to the climate and against the oppression of women. Obviously, global warming is not his thing and neither is violence against women. He is regularly cited among the personalities who will deliver us from “toxic masculinity”.
Indeed, Timothée Chalamet seems to have freed himself from certain codes linked to the virility of the man of yesteryear. “How Timothée Chalamet made me believe in the new man”: this is the subtitle of Aline Laurent-Mayard’s latest essay, published a few days ago. For information, “the man of old” is the one who showed off his chest hair and rolled mechanics. Chalamet for his part does not roll any mechanics, of which he is otherwise quite lacking. Regardless, tough guys are out of fashion.
A modern-day rebel: smooth, lacquered, snag-free
Chalamet, androgynous physique, regularly wears sequined jumpsuits on the red carpets and, proof of his extreme avant-garde, he appeared in a bare back at the last Venice Film Festival. He’s a rebel. But a modern-day rebel: smooth, lacquered, snag-free. A curse for gossip columnists who yearn to see him commit a blunder. A love affair would be enough for them. A waste of time, there was indeed a teenage love affair with Lourdes, Madonna’s daughter, then with Lily-Rose Deppthe daughter of the ex-husband of Amber Heard and Vanessa Paradis, but Chalamet remains discreet and proves to be a good comrade.
For a long time he was the faithful friend of actor Armie Hammer. At least until this one saw his career interrupted following accusations of cannibalism and sexual assault… Now 36, the cannibal Hammer has been banned from Hollywood. The last I heard, he was living on his wits in the Cayman Islands. Nothing to fear for “Timmy”, who eats mainly raw vegetables. Adored by most of those who have worked with him, adored by others, the actor takes every precaution.
Chalamet publicly apologizes for filming for Woody Allen
To date, he has only made one mistake: to shoot with Woody Allen. It was in 2018. In the wave of the #MeToo movement, the director’s accusations of sexual touching of his daughter Dylan, in 1992, remade the headlines. The release of “A Rainy Day in New York” is postponed before being definitively canceled across the Atlantic. What does it matter if the facts, which the director has always denied, are prescribed by justice. In the turmoil, Chalamet publicly apologizes for having shot for the director of “Annie Hall” and announces that he is donating all of his fee to feminist and LGBT associations.
In his autobiography published in 2020, Woody Allen, a little bitter, accuses him of having betrayed him to preserve his chances of winning the Oscar for best actor. Which Oscar will ultimately go to Gary Oldman. Leonardo DiCaprio himself had to wait until his fortieth year to win the supreme award. A hundred to one, we bet Chalamet won’t have to wait that long.
Since his act of contrition, the actor has notably appeared in “The daughters of doctor March”, by the rising star of independent cinema Greta Gerwig, before landing in 2021 the leading role in the spectacular “Dune” by Denis Villeneuve. Repeatedly delayed by the pandemic, the film would have generated more than $ 400 million in revenue to Warner to date. And too bad if the performance of the main actor has not this time convinced all the critics: we are already announcing the second part for 2023.
Chalamet will also be Willy Wonka, the character of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, in a “musical” freely inspired by the novel by Roald Dahl. And on November 23, we will find him in the new Guadagnino, “Bones and All”, presented as a “cannibal romance”… This time it will be necessary to count without Armie Hammer.