INTERVIEW – While filming his big-screen debut, Christopher Nolan’s astrophysical drama Interstellar, Timothée Chalamet knew very little of Hollywood, let alone the world. The native New Yorker had completed two short films and a role on Homeland, but at 17 did not yet know how to drive a car (though one of his scenes did require him to take over steering a pickup truck barreling through a cornfield). Thankfully for him, his onscreen father, Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey, was there to give Chalamet some guidance, through the stalks of corn and beyond.
In the time since Interstellar’s 2013 release, the 21-year-old actor has gotten his license, spent a year studying at Columbia University, and worked on upcoming films with everyone from Christian Bale (as a soldier in Hostiles, a Western directed by Scott Cooper), Steve Carell (as a young man struggling with addiction in the film Beautiful Boy), and Greta Gerwig (in the actress’s directorial debut, Lady Bird). He also learned to play a couple of musical instruments and picked up Italian, all in preparation to star in this year’s Sundance sensation Call Me By Your Name. In the romantic drama adapted from the novel by André Aciman, written for the screen by James Ivory and directed by Luca Guadagnino, Chalamet plays a teenager who falls in love with Armie Hammer’s character, an older American grad student working with his father for the summer.
To hear Chalamet tell it, though, there is still much to learn. And there is no better mentor to have than McConaughey, which the rising star was reminded of when he called the screen-veteran last month to discuss finding balance in their business.
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W MAGAZINE – When Timothée Chalamet talks about his challenging upbringing in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen, or the behavioral issues that plagued him as a teenager, or his struggles with how to approach this whole acting thing, he would like you to understand that he is not doing so from inside a bubble. He knows that there are people out there with far worse problems, so please don’t judge him, okay?
“These are first-world problems to the max. Seriously, I don’t want anyone reading this to think, ‘Woe is me,’” says the excitable 20-year old actor. Over 45 minutes in a booth at the Cozy Soup ‘N’ Burg, in Soho, he repeated multiple variations on this phrase. “In these kind of interviews—and this isn’t a woe-is-me kind of thing, these are just observations—for whatever reason that I’m supposed to be wide-eyed, very thankful, excited. You hear that word a lot, excited—exciting, fresh-faced kid. And that part of me really exists… but, well, there are other shades of me.”
Okay, perhaps we start over. So Timothée Chalamet, an attractive 20 year-old actor who would never want to be pigeonholed as wide-eyed, is seated in the corner booth of a Soho diner, stealthily decimating a bowl of matzo ball soup. He is here to talk about his role in Prodigal Son, a new play written and directed by John Patrick Shanley, which opens in a Manhattan Theatre Club production at City Center—Stage 1 on Tuesday, February 9th.
DEADLINE – EXCLUSIVE: Maika Monroe, who starred in the Sundance 2015 horror pic It Follows, will star opposite Timothee Chalamet (Interstellar) and Alex Roe (The 5th Wave) in Imperative Entertainment’s Hot Summer Nights, the coming-of-age drama pic set in 1991 Cape Cod. This is the 2013 Blacklist script from Elijah Bynum about a teenager whose life spirals out of control when he befriends the town rebel, falls in love, and gets entangled in a drug ring all during one hot, stormy summer.
Bynum is making his directorial debut on the pic, which is targeting an August production start. Imperative’s Bradley Thomas and Dan Friedkin are producing, and Peter Farrelly and Casey Mott are executive producing.
Imperative has been busy: The group formed last year by Friedkin, Thomas, Zak Kadison and Tim Kring are producing NBC’s upcoming series Heroes Reborn and on the film side is financing and producing the adaptation of E. Lockhart’s bestselling YA novel We Were Liars. They just set set Nicholl Fellowship winner Stephanie Shannon to adapt.
Monroe and Roe are repped by WME and Luber Roklin. Chalamet is repped by UTA and attorney Lev Ginsburg.