The Dune actor Timothee Chalamet talks about the difficulties he faced in his career

As Hollywood actor Timothee Chalamet is excited about the big release of his sci-fi movie Dune, we take a quick detour to his beautifully maturing filmography.

Timothee Chalamet in a still from Dune

It appears like every day a new face arrives along the horizon and makes a stunning debut that is spoken about for a while. There is so much talent, multiple names that occasionally it becomes tough to keep count of several artists. But the 25-year-old Dune celebrity Timothee Chalamet is different. From the way he executes himself on and off-screen, it looks evident the kind of effort he is inducting to have a long and healthy career in the big, bad world of Hollywood.

Timothee earned his big-screen debut in 2014 and became the cynosure of all eyes three years later with the coming-of-age movie Call Me By Your Name, directed by Luca Guadagnino. Till now, he has been mired in no animosities, is normal with his social media updates, which sometimes makes him very relatable and at other times, he gives the impression of an ethereal being. In his interviews, he is simultaneously awkward and communicable. His one-on-one interview with Emma Stone kindness of Variety is a treat to watch. He comes across as somebody who is interested in arts and films, which basically translates to — ‘His passion for his job shows.’ It is unusual for a person to have that, and let alone for an actor to pass that feeling of interest to his audience.

Plus, Timothee Chalamet is a fine actor, someone who is becoming better with every passing feature. That is growth, and that is the only way for an artiste to keep his career in a highly active field with a million distractions. Remember Timothee in Christopher Nolan’s praised Interstellar? He depicted the younger version of Matthew McConaughey’s son. The actor had conceded in an interview with co-star Emma Stone that he cried for an hour after finding out his part was smaller than he had ‘figured.’ Apparently, Chalamet’s long monologue was a part of the film, but it largely showed the lead star Matthew’s face.

Post Interstellar, he had work, but it was not until the wonderfully told love story of a young man in Call Me By Your Name that Chalamet was brought to the spotlight. And he has maintained in it since then. The accessible, confused, artistic side of Elio Perlman, who falls for his older guest was praised by reviewers and respected by the viewers. That final part which has Chalamet silently whimpering over his new heartbreak is touching, and almost unbearable to watch. It is as if you can see Elio recollection, reliving and mourning what was a bittersweet summer. After a while he lets out a soft whiff and credits begin to roll on the side as we see the young boy transform into a young man.

Holding your own in such a still, long close-up is no easy duty. But Timothee made it look effortless. And then came another Oscar nominated movie knocking on his door. Yes, I am speaking about Lady Bird. The film was more Saoirse Ronan’s character’s tale than this young, wayward tease she had a fling with (played by Chalamet). But even in those few moments, their chemistry was tangible, almost asking to be recast in another film as leads. And that went on with another Gerwig film, Little Women. But before that, Chalamet dazzled as a drug addict in Amazon film Beautiful Boy alongside Steve Carell. While the movie was a bit of a mess and long-winded, it was the achievements that made the passage worthwhile. Here too, it was the on-screen partnership of Carell and Chalamet, their scenes that was the USP. There is one where the father-son duo meets their feelings and each other in a diner. A heart wrenching but brilliant example of how a performer is supposed to make you feel. For his performance in the film, Chalamet was nominated for a Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award and a BAFTA.

Then arrived Little Women and Netflix’s The King. Both are flawed but well-made films with a starry crew. Chalamet did what was inquired of him, he engaged us. In a recent interview with the Time magazine, the Dune actor was asked what does he think he stands for. The response was simple — “I feel like I’m here to show that to wear your heart on your sleeve is O.K.”


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