Armie Hammer found fame playing the Winklevoss twins in 2010, and found our hearts in the role of Oliver in 2017’s stunning Oscar nominee Call Me by Your Name. We sat down with the 31-year-old Californian to talk everything from peach shagging to feuds with James Woods
Hi Armie. Congratulations on successfully beefing with James Woods on Twitter. Talk us through it.
Well, he tweeted that Call Me by Your Name was “chipping away at the last barriers of decency” because it’s about two males, a 24-year-old and a 17-year-old, who fall in love.
And you said…
“Didn’t you date a 19-year-old when you were 60?”
So, yeah, that became a thing. And here’s the truth: no one I’ve come across who has actually seen the movie has anything bad to say about the movie.
Although I guess these critics hate the gay thing. It’s not like any amount of smart dialogue will make them root for two guys on the big screen.
Well yeah, there’s that. But James Woods said something I found really offensive about the movie, and he missed the entire point with regards to what we did. I felt like I had every right to speak out. I certainly wasn’t expecting all of… this to happen.
Were you surprised that conservative-minded people wouldn’t support the film?
No, because you have to remember that people get annoyed by the stupidest shit. Look at all the people who are annoyed that NFL players are choosing to kneel.
You filmed in Italy. Be honest, was it just pasta and wine on repeat for two months?
We worked hard! [Pause] But it’s totally like a holiday – we’d work ten hours, then we’d go out and eat wonderful pasta dishes.
What was the best pasta you ate?
Director Luca Guadagnino cooked for us – he lives in Crema, 40 miles from Milan where we shot the film, and he made my favourite pasta dish of all. It was cooked with bottarga, which is sort of a fermented roe. It was amazing.
There is a scene in the film where someone fucks a peach. That’s pretty wild.
My first impression was… I can’t blame him. I tried masturbating with a bunch of weird things when I was a kid. It’s just the way it goes.
Could you expand on that?
Anyway, the peach scene is a key one in the film…
It became a kind of stand-in for the two of them, Oliver and Elio, and their interaction, and the power dynamic between them as they were negotiating this emotional moment.
So have you fucked a peach before?
I have not. Timmy [Chalamet, who plays Elio] and Luca have done it, though. Maybe peach sales will go up after the film.
You fly around the world a lot. Got any good travel tips?
When I go on a long flight, I like to change into pyjamas. It’s just nice to fold your clothes up and put them somewhere, then put them on when you land, so they’re fresh and you haven’t slept in them for a while. I have some lucky pyjamas, they’re navy blue with white polo horses on them. I’m like an athlete, there’s got to be a routine. If I don’t wear them, I feel pretty unlucky.
What’s the snack situation?
I’m wary of eating too much on a flight – did you know it can really mess up your circadian rhythm? I’ll drink a couple of glasses of wine, it helps you sleep. Otherwise, if it’s a short flight, I’ll binge some movies.
You’re into acupuncture. Should more men get needles shoved into their person?
Oh yes. Preventative maintenance, it’s good to keep the whole engine running. It’s like getting a massage. I don’t think people take enough care of themselves, so anything that helps: massages, acupuncture, cupping…
Are you a sporty boy, Armie?
I always like physically pulling or twisting something. Having to use my strength. I was in pretty good shape for this, but it wasn’t about getting ripped, it was actually about doing less – in the ‘80s, where the film’s set, people weren’t ripped. So I jump-roped every day, first thing. Plus, I had to burn off the pasta.
Call Me by Your Name is out now on DVD