Timothée Chalamet, Hollywood’s Heartthrob

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If you had met 22-year-old Timothée Chalamet just five years prior, he would have been a senior at New York City’s renowned Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, preparing to enter Columbia University in the fall of 2013. However, instead of staying on his intended academic path, Timothée dropped out of Columbia after just a year, moved to the Bronx, and decided to focus on his acting.

Five years later, he now boasts something a lot rarer than a Columbia degree: an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. The nomination was for his leading role in the recently released film, Call Me by Your Name, where he plays Elio Perlman, an angsty 17-year-old who enters into a relationship with his father’s 24-year-old graduate student, Oliver, during a summer in Northern Italy. Timothée’s performance as Elio is enchanting, and, as a 2017 Vanity Fair article says, “it is Call Me by Your Name that launched Chalamet’s upward trajectory.” This “upward trajectory” includes his garnering more than 1.6 million followers on Instagram and over a quarter of a million followers on Twitter, as well as interviews in magazines such as GQ and Vanity Fair, and, most notably, his aforementioned Oscar nomination, as well as his nomination for Best Actor at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards.

Timothée’s performance as Elio was far from his first time acting: he starred alongside Matthew McConaughey in the 2014 film Interstellar, and, more recently, portrayed a shallow and brooding high-schooler, Kyle, in the 2017 film Lady Bird. Later this year Timothée will be starring in Beautiful Boy and A Rainy Day in New York. In the former film, he plays a struggling, meth-addicted adolescent. In the second film, he joins Selena Gomez in a romantic comedy.

Timothée’s appearance in the latter film has received a fair amount of controversy from the media, as the movie is being written and directed by Woody Allen, whose 1992 accusation of sexual assault has been brought back into the spotlight by the #TimesUp movement. In response to the criticism he received for choosing to work with Woody Allen, Timothée posted a note on Instagram, where he wrote how he has, “to this point, chosen projects from the perspective of a young actor trying to walking in the footsteps of more seasoned actors… but 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.”  

Furthermore, his note promised that he would donate the entirety of his A Rainy Day in New York salary to three charities: the LGBT Center in New York, the Time’s Up movement and Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). According to a January article by Insider magazine, Timothée’s significantly more famous co-star Selena Gomez has yet to either take any sort of stance on her work with Woody Allen, nor has she issued an apology for said work.

Marianne Lu ’19, who was struck by Timothée’s talent in Call Me By Your Name, thought his stance on his situation regarding Woody Allen was an admirable one. “For Timothée to [make] such a well thought out and understandable decision about such a complicated situation, especially when his co-stars are making far less respectable decisions regarding their situation, makes me respect him so much more. I loved Call Me By Your Name, and knowing that I’m supporting such a respectable and talented actor has me looking forward to many more of his movies,” said Marianne.

Kochoe Nikoi ’19 also spoke of Timothée’s inspirational talent: “To see an actor that young be that capable and able to take on that many different roles is really refreshing.”

Timothée is just one of many that are helping to usher in a new era of talented, adept, and also outspoken actors, so it is no surprise that he is becoming such a beloved and well-known heartthrob.