FROM HOMELAND TO DUNE: WHY WE LOVE TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET

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FROM HOMELAND TO DUNE: WHY WE LOVE TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET


Heralded as the movie star Hollywood needs right now, Timothée Chalamet combines sensitive performances with charming talk-show appearances and trailblazing red-carpet style. Since his Nomination for a best-actor Oscar (the youngest nominee in 80 years!) for his stirring, fully realized performance in Call Me By Your Name, he’s captivated global audiences, inspiring a fan following that rivals 1990s Leo-mania. Hell, he’s even rapping Cardi B on red carpets and pitching himself to acclaimed directors like Paul Thomas Anderson from stages.

Timothée Hal Chalamet is a French-American actor born on December 27, 1995 in New York City and was raised in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City’s Manhattan borough. His parents are Nicole Flender, a real estate broker and former Broadway dancer, and Marc Chalamet, an editor for UNICEF. His American mother, a third-generation New Yorker, is Jewish (of Russian Jewish and Austrian Jewish descent), and his French father, who lived in Nimes, is from a Protestant background.

He gained a love of acting early in life when he starred in several commercials before starring on the New York theater scene. After high school, he attended a performing arts school in LaGuardia, which he graduated from in 2013.

Chalamet began his acting career in short films, before appearing in the television drama series Homeland in 2012.  His future Homeland co-star Claire Danes, attended the same school but dropped out before graduating. When Homeland premiered back in 2011, it became an instant smash hit. Besides speaking to American anxieties in a post-9/11 world, it also was a sexy, bracing spy thriller anchored by the performances of Claire Danes, Damien Lewis, and Mandy Patinkin. Over the last eight seasons, it’s also courted controversy and sparked debate over its depiction of Muslims and Arabs, as well as its sensational twists. In retrospect, though, Homeland‘s biggest twist might be that it helped give one of the biggest names in Hollywood his very first major professional boost.

Yes, like a lot of young actors growing up in New York City, Timothée Chalamet didn’t just get to go to the illustrious LaGuardia School for Performing Arts; he also got to guest star in television shows throughout his teens. Maybe you caught him on Law & Order or a four-episode run of Royal Pains, but chances are you first noticed him in Homeland.

Chalamet was introduced in the second season of Homeland as Finn Walden, a charming, if also spoiled, classmate of Dana Brody (Morgan Saylor) who also happened to be the Vice President’s son. The two teens began to date, and because this is Homeland, wound up killing a woman in an a hit and run car accident. Finn would later feel remorse for this action, but we’ll never know if he would grow up to be an honorable man. He died in an explosion at his own father’s memorial service. Again, this is Homeland. 

Chalamet’s time on Homeland was brief, but thanks to the ubiquity of streaming, it is eternal.

Two years later in 2014 Timothée made his feature film debut with a minor role in Jason Reitman’s highly-acclaimed Men, Women, and Children, a film with a focal point in the digital age that showcases the effects of the internet on a group of high school students. Navigating changed relationships and understanding a new perception of self-identity, Chalamet’s character Danny Vance plays a crucial factor in the film’s coming-of-age storyline.

Making a name for himself, Chalamet landed himself a role on a roster alongside Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway for Interstellar, a film that follows a team of space travellers on a mission to save humanity’s existence. Playing the role of McConaughey’s character’s son Tom Cooper, the young actor’s supporting role provided for one of the movie’s most powerful scenes where McConaughey becomes emotional while watching tapes that Tom recorded before the space voyage.

Finishing out a year of major film success like One & Two and The Adderall Diaries, Chalamet co-starred in 2016 opposite Lily Rabe in Julia Hart’s Miss Stevens, a comedy centered around a teacher-chaperoned trip to a state drama competition. Playing the troublemaker Billy, Chalamet certainly added his own sense of humor to the film.

With an impressive film repertoire already under his belt, Chalamet truly put himself on the cinematic map with the debut of Call Me By Your Name in 2017. The story of a first love: the summer of 1983 a young Italian-American spends with his parents in a northern Italian villa and feels attracted to an older man.

The film still captivates international audiences as Chalamet’s character Elio becomes deeply enamored with the graduate student Oliver, played by Armie Hammer, who stays at his house for the summer. Adventuring through the warmer months and forming an unbreakable bond, Oliver and Elio redefined the modern love story.

The story, carried by a quiet melancholy, is told primarily through looks and gestures. In addition, an intelligent use of music – in addition to songs created for the film, essentially characterized by compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach – ensures dignified elegance. By the way, director Luca Guadagnino (A Bigger Splash) also used this to stage the often quite explicit sex scenes. The more the plot progresses, the less it matters that a same-sex relationship is at the center. For general questions about the beauty and difficulty of the first great love are illuminated. The emotional alternation of attraction and rejection, affection and doubt under the spell of shimmering eroticism provides suspense. The love story also takes place on the beautiful Lake Garda.

To top it off, in late January, the transformation of a 20-year-old nobody into a 22-year-old movie star culminates when an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor is granted to Timothée Chalamet, the third-youngest actor ever to be tapped in the category, and the youngest in 80 years.

In 2017, Timothée gained wider recognition for his supporting role in the coming-of-age film Lady Bird. In this movie Timothée is not your typical dirtbag boyfriend. One of the most relatable aspects of the film – for women who are attracted to men, at least – is Lady Bird’s fascination with (and subsequent disappointment by) her chain-smoking, leather-jacket wearing boyfriend Kyle, played to small-town snob perfection by Timothée Chalamet. Lady Bird is probably one of the best independent productions of recent years and is definitely worth a look, even if Timothée only plays a small part here. In addition, it not only received five Oscar nominations, but also two Golden Globe awards, including one for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.

In 2018, Chalamet starred in Felix Van Groeningen’s biographical drama Beautiful Boy, one of his perhaps not best known, but most impressive acting performance.

Timothée Chalamet struggled with drug addiction as he portrayed the real-life Nic Sheff. The movie follows the efforts of his father David Sheff, (played by Steve Carell), to help his son achieve sobriety. Chalamet was nominated for a Critics’ Choice award, a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) award, and a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award for his heartbreaking performance.

The film drama Beautiful Boy shows how strongly an addiction can affect people’s behavior and that it can also affect people from less precarious circumstances. In addition to the truly convincing Steve Carell, who threatens to despair over his son’s illness, Timothée Chalamet shows an unparalleled acting fervor and authenticity. In the roller coaster of emotions and moods, he manages to stage the drug-addicted Nic in an overwhelming way and proves once again that it is the multi-layered and profound characters that suit him.

Let’s now turn to a controversial romantic comedy in which Timothée Chalamet takes on the role of the rather aimless roaming New Yorker Gatsby. We’re talking, of course, about Woody Allen’s 49th film A Rainy Day in New York.

Chalamet’s character has planned a romantic weekend in New York for himself and his girlfriend Ashleigh, who is traveling to the cosmopolitan metropolis for an important interview with director Pollard. But instead of discovering New York together, Ashleigh stumbles from one important meeting to the next, while her boyfriend wanders the streets alone and meets an old acquaintance.

A Rainy Day in New York could not have seen the light of the cinema screens at a more inopportune time, which is why it was punished with disregard and harsh criticism, especially in America. Whoever nevertheless gets involved with this film will not only be presented with a typical Woody Allen, but also with a schmaltz that drips with romance.

Film Still The King © Netflix

In the Netflix feature film The King, released in 2019, Timothée Chalamet as the English King Henry V and Robert Pattinson as the French heir to the throne Louis face off in 1415. It’s bloody, exciting and sometimes unintentionally funny.

Timothée’s image – one of Hollywood’s hottest-talking up-and-coming stars – is also something David Michôd and his co-writer Joel Edgerton take advantage of, at least at the beginning: In his first shot, Chalamet is lying across a bed – with his gaunt torso and curly black hair, he looks more like an emo model or the protagonist from a film by Larry Clark (Kids, Ken Park) than a future king. A little later we see Falstaff (played by Joel Edgerton) politely but firmly removing a young woman from the bed of the playboy prince, while the latter continues to sleep off his drunkenness next to him. This could have been interesting: an anti-war hippie with Instagram-worthy looks as a king in medieval England.

Let’s call a spade a spade: Shimmy-Shimmy-Chalamet delivers a top-notch King. His performance is remarkable and worthy of an award. He fights bravely, he gives a good speech before the Battle of Agincourt (“You are England. England is you!”), he wants peace, he’s thoughtful, and he stands out in his skinny pants and brocade vests as the most handsome ruler in the Middle Ages – and he’s probably the first king of England who doesn’t speak straight British English! Timothée Chalamet obviously didn’t go through any special language training, but just speaks English as usual – like a New Yorker.

In 2021 Chalamet will play a French student revolutionary in The French Dispatch. This latest visual as well as narrative masterpiece by exceptional director Wes Anderson was this time inspired by The New Yorker newspaper, which has become famous for its extraordinary stories. In his usual wacky manner, the director here brings to life some of the bizarre stories populated by characters at least as obscure.

As we have come to expect from Anderson, he also gathers for The French Dispatch a squad of the most outstanding actors the film world currently has to offer, among which are some repeat offenders. Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Jeff Goldblum and Frances McDormand are once again part of the cast of Wes Anderson’s new film.

After working with Timothée Chalamet on The French Dispatch, Wes Anderson is convinced the 25-year-old would have been right at home in the films of the French New Wave, according to the director in GQ magazine for Chalamet’s new cover story. In the upcoming, anthology-inspired “French Dispatch,” Chalamet stars as a student revolutionary, whose story appears to have a few nods to the Nouvelle Vague, from its black-and-white cinematography to its focus on rebellious and liberated youth.

“I had seen Timmy in “Lady Bird” and “Call Me by Your Name” and I never had the inconvenience of ever thinking of anybody else for this role even for a second,” Anderson said. “I knew he was exactly right, and plus: He speaks French and looks like he might actually have walked right out of an Éric Rohmer movie. Some time around 1985. A slow train from Paris, a backpack, a beach for 10 days in bad weather. He’s not any kind of type — but the New Wave would have had a happy place for him.”

Timothée Chalamet covers the November 2020 issue of GQ. Click here to subscribe to GQ.

Chalamet is one of the newcomers to Anderson’s troupe in The French Dispatch. How did Chalamet fare as a new arrival to Anderson’s world? “It was immediately as if it wasn’t his first time with our group,” Anderson said. “He was somehow already part of the family. The youngest member.”

“I think my favorite moments with Timmy during a scene were the ones where I saw him pause and find a new attack,” the filmmaker added. “A new angle, which he does very clearly and assertively. What I love is how he will surprise you with something new, completely unexpected and perfect.”

The French Dispatch was originally on the release calendar for July 24, 2020 but was moved by Searchlight Pictures amid the coronavirus pandemic. The film was named an official selection of the 2020 Cannes Film Festival. The movie’s second release date for October 16, 2020 was also removed. Searchlight has not announced a new date, but the film could pop back up at Cannes in 2021.

Dune' Trailer 2020: Watch Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya
Film Still Dune © Warner Bros

There are all kinds of marks with “making it” in Hollywood; it just depends on who you ask. For some, it’s getting invited to the Oscars, while others may realize it while recognizing themselves on a poster along the highway. Maybe it’s getting to work with one’s hero in the business? It’s different for everyone, but having your own action figure is another level of fame that Timothée Chalamet has just reached with Dune.

Denis Villeneuve’s remake of Frank Herbert’s science fiction novel Dune is a bombastic blockbuster waiting in the wings for 2021. Back in 1984, exceptional director David Lynch took on the material under the same name Dune. What Lynch only partially succeeded in doing back then due to technical limitations, now promises to be a gigantic science fiction epic that will make fans’ hearts beat faster.

Dune is also a big step for the up-and-coming talent Timothée Chalamet, who not only takes on the leading role of Paul Atreides, but also moves from the independent sector into the world of blockbusters.

After all, nothing else is to be expected after the breathtaking trailer of Denis Villeneuve’s film, which once again fueled fans’ expectations with its comparison to the Star Wars franchise.

Dune is set in a distant future where Prince Leto is sent to Arrakis, better known as Dune, along with his son Paul and his concubine Lady Jessica. Here, the valuable Spice is mined, a substance that not only prolongs life, but also enables supernatural thought processes and navigation through the universe. However, mining is hampered by giant sandworms and the planet’s population is oppressed by Emperor Shaddam. Paul is soon given a significant role in this conflict, which demands a lot from him.

Timothée Chalamet’s role as Paul Atreides in Dune is his biggest role yet, and it has earned him his own official action figure. Following the milestone, Timothée shared that he is spending quality time with the plastic toy.

Over on Instagram, Timothée Chalamet shared a group of photos of his Dune action figure in front of the TV, alongside his remote and atop his guitar at home. In addition to the action figure reveal, the actor shared a cheeky caption that said “I’ve been playing with myself all day.” It’s been a while since he shared a new update on social media, but this is the perfect pandemic flex.

Luca Guadagnino is eyeing a new movie with Timothée Chalamet, with breakout Taylor Russell also circling a role.

Currently, Armie Hammer’s Call Me By Your Name team is shooting a cannibal movie.

The sequel to the Oscar film Call Me By Your Name with Armie Hammer now seems to have moved further away, because another project has apparently become more important for director Luca Guadagnini.

As soon as one learns what it is supposed to be about, one will be able to understand that. Bones and All is namely announced as a horror-love story from the cannibal milieu.

According to Deadline Dave Kajganich will contribute the script based on the novel by Camille DeAngelis. His collaboration with Guadagnini already worked well on A Bigger Splash and the idiosyncratic Suspiria remake.

Timothée Chalamet will star alongside Taylor Russell (Waves, Escape Room). It is said to be about a young woman who undertakes a long journey in search of her unknown father. She also wants to find out where her urge to kill and eat all those people who love her comes from.

Armie Hammer is not involved in the project, but funnily enough he has recently made headlines for bizarre leaked direct messages involving sexual preferences and cannibalism.

The floppy-haired, indie it-boy barely out of adolescence with the bleeding-heart good looks of a Beat poet swaggered onto our screens last year sporting all the enthusiasm of a Sunday hangover with his effortlessly brilliant performances. He receives 80-plus-ish nominations for Best Actor and Best Newcomer and Best etc. during the season of awards, and spends most of the winter ping-ponging back and forth between Los Angeles and New York, expressing exuberant gratitude and pleading with himself again and again to keep it cool — “don’t be awkward, don’t be awkward” — as he falls out of chairs onstage at screenings, and folds open his pay-it-forward acceptance speeches, and rapidly, alchemically, gradually becomes a Known Person before our eyes.
He instantly became everyone’s uber-cool, yet precious, new obsession. And that’s why we love Timothée Chalamet.

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