In our next interview with the EE Rising Star nominees, the Call Me By Your Name star talks peaches and pianos
Where you know him from: As Elio, the heart and soul in coming-of-age romance Call Me By Your Name.
His character Elio in his own words: “He is a boy on the verge of an awakening as a man, both as a lover and also as an adult.”
Favourite reaction to the film: Elio’s father [Michael Stuhlbarg] ruminating on male sexuality in the movie’s climax. “One fan said that the monologue was a moment on screen he’d never had the opportunity to have in real life. And seeing someone else have that, even in fiction, was therapeutic to him.”
Why his favourite scene was also the hardest: “One of the centrepiece scenes in the film, where Elio and Oliver open up to each other, is a long, one-shot take. We follow them circling each other around a railed monument in a town square. To get anything in one take is daunting. I’m so proud of it.”
On the cultish legacy of the film’s peach-penetrating moment: “Everyone loves to talk about it. Any genuine reaction is always good, though, and the scene is so important to the film. It’s primal, and about instinct and desire. The peach bridges the two boys and binds them together. And it’s rare to see male masturbation on screen that isn’t seedy and gross-out.”
On learning the piano: “I was out there a month and a half before Armie [Hammer] so I could memorise all the pieces Elio plays. I’m still not at the stage where I could wow a crowd at a party by reeling off some Call Me By Your Name pieces, though.”
Why Frank Ocean is his muse: “He hasn’t played his cards yet and shown us his best work. It’s intimidating to think about someone I look up to so much seeing my work and reflecting on it. I’m in awe of his ability to maintain a sense of mystery.”
What Matthew McConaughey taught him on Interstellar: “He embodies the idea that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. That was good to learn at a young age.”
On what it means to be a rising star: “There was no expectation that this film would even be seen, let alone loved. I’m so honoured to be nominated, and that people reacted so strongly.”
See him next: As cynical heart-breaker Kyle in Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird. “He’s the anti-Elio, but Greta is so good at making someone who could be an asshole seem complicated and fascinating in their own right. He might also be an asshole.”
Get tickets to Call Me By Your Name
Want to see Timothée Chalamet in action before you vote for the EE Rising Star Award? ShortList is hosting screenings of all five nominees’ films, with Call Me By Your Name at Soho Hotel on 27 January. Tickets are free but limited, so head to seeitfirst.com and enter the code TSEV34 to secure yours now.
Have your say at the 2018 British Academy Film Awards by voting for the EE Rising Star Award
The EE Rising Star Award is the only accolade at the EE Baftas voted for by you. Now in its 13th year, the award is dedicated to recognising emerging acting talent that has captured the public’s imagination over the past year. This year’s nominees are Timothée Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name), Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), Josh O’Connor (God’s Own Country), Florence Pugh (Lady Macbeth) and Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok) who will need your vote to become the 2018 EE Rising Star.
To have your say, visit ee.co.uk/BAFTA and cast your vote before 14 February. The winner will be announced at the EE British Academy Film Awards on 18 February.