With Little Women, you obviously want to make sure you get the portrayal of the novel accurate, but at the same time you want to have your own angle on the character [of Laurie] that has been played many times in the past. It was an incredible experience getting to work with my friends Greta [Gerwig] and Saoirse [Ronan] – and it goes without saying that getting to do a scene with Meryl Streep is one of those moments you will remember forever.
I would work with [Little Women director] Greta on anything – anything she is in or has agreed to is going to be great. I am totally in awe of her. I could spend the whole time talking about what I have learnt from her, as she is nothing short of incredible.
There are so many [other] names that I respect [in Hollywood], but I have already gotten to work with two of them. I was totally starstruck when I worked with Matthew McConaughey on Interstellar, and the same goes for Christian Bale when I met him [doing] Hostiles. I am [a big admirer of ] his performance in American Psycho, so I picked his brain as much as I could.
I still remember so clearly [the night I saw Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight]. We had just been to see one of my sisters’ ballet performances and my mum and grandma, after many requests, came to see the movie with me. It was at a theatre in Times Square, and Heath Ledger’s performance had such an inward impact on me. It just brought up these feelings, and I left that theatre a changed boy and knowing I wanted to be an actor.
The vulnerability of [my character Elio in Call Me by Your Name] and the identity crisis the character is going through is what [drew me to the role].
I think an Oscar nomination does open doors. I have been fortunate to have had some incredible roles since the movie. [Whether] the nomination had anything to do with that, I don’t know – I just know I am incredibly grateful to be getting the work that I am.
I totally suffered an identity crisis [living between the United States and France as a child]. It’s weird for a kid to spend eight months of the year in a place like Manhattan, then spend the other four in a small French village. The cultural dissociation has certainly helped me as an actor, though, and I am convinced it helped me win the part of Elio.
[As a young person in Hollywood] I have always felt very supported in the industry. I have never felt that my age was an obstacle. The people I have worked with have always been ready to give me advice.
To continue to get roles that excite me [is what I hope for my career]. When I read a script and feel a sudden pressure inside me, I know it means that I want that role.
Theatre work is something I really enjoy. The fact that you can see your audience is very special. New York has such a unique theatre scene – if the right role was offered, who wouldn’t consider it?
Of course, a [work-life] balance is important, but to be honest I just get restless when I am not working. It’s nice to have downtime and hang out with friends, but at the end of a little break, I am always ready to get back to work.
I have had the privilege to work with some incredible directors, [some of whom] started out as actors. I can see the creative appeal for sure [of becoming a writer-director]. We will just have to see what the future holds.
I would love to see movies that tackle issues that people are facing. Especially as a young person myself – if any role I take resonates with a young person going through that issue or situation, I think it’s a pretty awesome thing.
I like cities, I like life. I grew up in Hell’s Kitchen [in Manhattan], that’s probably why. It’s hard to pick three [of my favourite places], but I always have a really amazing time in London, Paris and Los Angeles.
Travel is pretty much a constant for me at the moment. But if you have good books and music, you’ll never be bored [on a long flight].
3 must-see theatres in a few of Timotheé Chalamet’s favourite cities
Catch Oscar nominee Andy Garcia in Key Largo (until 10 Dec), see the Tony Award-winning Jitney (until 29 Dec), or be merry with A Charlie Brown Christmas (15 Dec).
Revisit the classics with The Miser (until 4 Jan), a stage adaptation of Around the World in 80 Days (until 21 Dec) or, playing for the first time here, Funny Girl (until 5 Jan).
The stars are out: Wendell Pierce in Death of a Salesman (until 4 Jan), James McAvoy in Cyrano de Bergerac (until 29 Feb) and Ian McKellen in Shakespeare, Tolkien, Others & You (until 5 Jan).
To book a flight to these destinations, visit singaporeair.com
This article was originally published in the December 2019 issue of SilverKris magazine