Timothée Chalamet in Conversation: A Raw, Honest Talk About Addiction, Recovery, and His Film Beautiful Boy
Going deep on Beautiful Boy, the addiction film that caused Chalamet to lose 18 pounds.
In the words of Timothée Chalamet, he auditioned for Beautiful Boy “many, many, many times.” The first time was in December of 2016, then just fresh off shooting Call Me By Your Name, but before its theatrical release and Chalamet’s subsequent ascent to Hollywood stardom (not to mention a 2018 Academy Award nomination). It was a months-long audition process, during which the now 23-year-old went up against just about every young working actor also vying to land the role of Nic Sheff, a real life figure who struggled with methamphetamine addiction.
So it’s no wonder that, having got the job, Chalamet is excited to talk about the film. And when he talks, you want to bend an ear—he can be just as charismatic offscreen as he is compelling on it. Chalamet stars alongside Steve Carrell, who portrays Nic’s father, David Sheff, the author of Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction and Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines (cowritten with Nick), the books upon which the film is based. For Chalamet, navigating Nic’s ongoing addiction over years of his young life was a meaty, at times heartbreaking role.
To prepare, Chalamet met with many recovering addicts to learn more about the very real crisis happening in the world today; he also met with Sheff to discuss his own experiences. (Not to mention he also lost 18 pounds leading up to production.) “There was nothing about Nic and meeting him that rubbed me of addiction, or whatever my stereotype would’ve been of that at the time,” Chalamet explains. “And that was the learning grace of this movie for me; addiction doesn’t have a face, it has no preferred class, or gender, or race. I think it’s almost easier or something to be like, ‘Oh, well, that doesn’t affect me or my family or my friends. That’s another thing. When the reality is, it’s every where. And it’s one of my favorite things about the movie, too, and I think it’s sometimes uncomfortable for audiences where they go, ‘Why?’ And that’s not the point. It just is.”
Here, Chalamet goes deep on his performance, what he’s learned about addiction in the process, and what he hopes audiences will take away from the film.
How did Beautiful Boy come to you?
Beautiful Boy came to me in an audition two years ago and I was aware of the books. The movies based on two books, Beautiful Boy and Tweak. One’s by David Sheff, who’s the father in this story, and other is by Nic Sheff, who’s the son and was addicted to methamphetamine. I auditioned many, many, many times. I auditioned for the first time in December , and there was a call back process through January and February. Fun fact: I am quite close to Kiernan Shipka, who I did a movie with called One & Two a number of years ago, and her family has always been really, really kind to me. I didn’t really know a lot people on the West Coast when I first started coming out here, so they always took me and really made me feel like one of their own. Her mom drove me to that last call back with Steve Carell.
Was this your first time meeting him?
Yeah, the first time I met Steve was at a chemistry read. I shouldn’t even say a big The Office fan—I’m the typical The Office fan, which is like a big The Office fan [laughs]. I didn’t want to weird him out. Have you ever get it wrong when you meet a famous person you really like? And then it’s kinda your learning experience? And you’re like, “Okay, I’m not gonna do it like that again.” And that’s what it was with Steve. I gave him a big hug, and tried to keep it focused to the scenes. The irony is that since we’ve been promoting the movie, it’s come out that [I’m a fan]. Now I can be honest about it and a total weirdo. And there’s Amy Ryan, who is also in The Office. They’re Michael and Holly.
And now they’re your parents.
It’s like the weird alternate spin-off. They’ll be talking sometimes and I just kinda look at them, because it’s just so odd that I’m a part of this experience where Michael and Holly are in tandem. I’ve had some great movie parents, I’ve gotta say. A lot of great movie dads, too. Michael Stulhbarg, Steve Carell, Matthew McConaughey.
How did you find out that you got the part?
I got a call from my agent, Brian, and he was being kind of coy about it. Every other project I’ve been a part of, whether it’s Call Me By Your Name or Ladybird, or they’re things that I kinda stumbled into. We didn’t know what they were gonna be when we made them, and I think the difference with Beautiful Boy, is that it was a script they’d been trying to get made for 10 years. Every guy actor my age had gone in for it, and when you ask how’d I find out about it, that holds a special place in my heart. I’ve been lucky, but a lot of the bigger things, like Spider-Man, I didn’t get. Like I said, I’ve been really lucky but then that was the moment where I was like, “Oh, wow. That’s something I went in for like six times.”
I have a lot of gratitude to Felix [Van Groeningen, the film’s director], to Steve Carell, to Plan B, who made the movie, to Nic and David Sheff. It is a really serious subject and a lot of people in the world, in America, and a lot of people my age are going through this with opiates. [But] there’s still a taboo.
My 15 year-old-niece and all her friends are taking it as a cautionary tale, which is a really great thing. It is really scary for them, because they love you so much.
You use the word ‘scary,’ so I don’t want to indicate a positive overture out of that, but that’s kinda how I feel. It’s been really interesting, the more we talk about the movie, the more I’m aware of what it is to the world and I realize, “Oh man, we made like an anti-glorification of drugs.”
You can really feel your character’s agony.
Thank you for saying that. That became the most important thing for me in prepping for this role. Meryl Streep says,”When you finally understand that part of your character you didn’t get or didn’t like, then you’ve got it.” I think it’s something like that, the quote. For me, especially going up for this role so many times, I thought, “Oh man, what’s this bridge I’m going to have to cross?” What’s the thing that can legitimize me to an audience without falling into a masochistic trap of a young actor of throwing myself against the wall every night like, “Good, I’m in pain, so I must be doing well.”
Did you meet Nic before you started shooting?
I met him a week before we started shooting. We got lunch together with Daisy, who’s his little sister, who’s not a little person anymore. She’s like a grown adult which was very weird because in the books she’s very young. I realized, “Okay, wait a second.” There was nothing about Nic and meeting him that rubbed me of addiction, or whatever my stereotype would’ve been of that at the time. And that was the learning grace of this movie for me; addiction doesn’t have a face, it has no preferred class, or gender, or race. I think it’s almost easier or something to be like, “Oh, well, that doesn’t affect me or my family or my friends. That’s another thing.” When the reality is, it’s everywhere. And it’s one of my favorite things about the movie, too, and I think it’s sometimes uncomfortable for audiences where they go, “Why?” And that’s not the point. It just is. And how do you get by it? You know there’s no rehabilitation center regulation in America. Anyone can open a rehab, basically. And for these really intense substances, you don’t want to be swinging your shot.
There was that scene in the bathroom that killed me where you’re scraping off the black tar, essentially. And I was really worried for you, because it felt like a death wish.
I think that’s what that scenes about. People will ask me sometimes if that scene is a death wish or if its addiction run rampant. I think it’s both, and I’m always careful when I talk about it. The experience of doing it is obviously nothing of what Nic and David went through, actually living it. And yet sometimes when you act, your mind knows you’re acting, but your body doesn’t… It’s another tension for the audience, because you think, “Okay, either this movie’s gonna flourish up in a celebratory, very redemptive fashion, or it’s gonna end really tragically.” And I think the reality is, it’s a day at a time. You never really beat it. You know, Philip Seymour Hoffman was sober 22 years or something.
The credit at the end says [Nic]’s 38 and he’s been sober for eight years or something, and you’re in your 20s in the movie, so obviously he had a lot more relapses.
There were 13, I think. We did a Q&A with David Sheff, the father. One of the seminal parts of the movie and a big function of Al-Anon meetings, is that a parent can only acquiesce so much before it starts to affect their life or their other children’s lives, and you’re kind of taught to say “no” at a certain point. David was saying in this Q&A that he feels like in his experience now that is not the right thing, because we don’t want tough love, we want love. David was telling these stories were you’ll have family members reach out, or parents that say, “You know, I shut the door on my kid and the next thing I knew they weren’t around anymore.” David really got lucky with Nic. And Nic says it, as well, that it’s a bit of a miracle that on two occasions he survived really close calls. Again, I don’t want to be too dramatic or statistic-y about it because if David and Nic were here, they’re really hopeful about it and they feel there’s a lot of redemption in this story.
You were obviously very slender in this role. Did your mom ever get worried?
My mom was worried. First there was a movie where I was having sex with the peach, and then it was like, “I got another movie!” And she’s like, “Great!” And I was like, “Uh…” and I had to tell her what it was about. I lost 18 pounds [for the role]. It was supposed to be 15, but at a certain point you think you can just start eating the same again, but your body is really not ready for it. The first week of scenes we shot out of order, but it was kind of the stuff that would’ve been his worse physically. Then I had a week off after that where I was conceivably to put on a lot of weight, and look like a healthy Nic. I went to get spaghetti like that first night, and I was like, “This is not happening!” I couldn’t get it down.
And you spent time with people in rehab?
I spent a lot of time in inpatients and outpatients. This felt less like a drug movie and more of an addiction movie or recovery movie. I could see the temptation to talk about it like, “Well, how did the drug stuff prep go?” The reality of that is there’s a lot of sometimes disturbing videos online that are clear about what the active stages of use would be. To spend time in these rehabs or in meetings, it was fascinating to me, the humanity of it. You go into those meetings, and I think there’s a misconception that they’re… I don’t know. In reality people, are really grateful and thankful to be saving their lives, basically. I feel so lucky that I’ve been able to, work on things that are eye-opening,
I think what makes your performance so amazing and the movie, in general, is it is like a time bomb. There’s sort of a fight internally all the time.
I so appreciate you saying that because I think with how intense these substances are now, any sort of recovery process would be a difficult period. I think it’s one of the illuminating factors of the movie though, and the books, especially Tweak, and why I’m really excited that in the following weeks we’re going to start doing some Q&As in schools, is that when you’re a young person, you’re kind of like, shopping for your personality, you know? You try this outfit at school, it doesn’t work and you’re like, “Okay, I’m not that guy. Maybe I’m this guy.” And that’s like what it is to become an adult, right? They say the male brain develops when you’re 25. Like, I’m not 25 yet, so that’s still that process. But then the most accepted methods of recovery, the mainstream ones, are really around the idea of habit-forming. Those realities are totally at tension with each other when you’re young. Because on one hand, you want to find yourself, and on the other, you have to find that cycle to ground yourself.
Was Nic on set at all?
Nic came to set when we were shooting at UCLA, the second rehab sequence in the movie. It’s a scene where David interrogates Nic, for lack of a better word, about his use. And he basically says, “You’ve got to come clean about what you’ve been using, because if we keep putting you in these rehabs, we’ve got to know what, what you’ve been up to.” And Nick came to set that day, with Daisy. I was grateful we shot my side of the coverage before he got there. And I think it was surreal for him, just down to the costumes and the settings we shot.
How did he feel when he saw the finished product?
I was in England, shooting The King, and I got an email that he was going to see it. So that Friday passed, and I didn’t hear anything. And then on like a Sunday or something, I heard he was going to see it again on Tuesday. So I thought, “Okay, that could be good or bad.” And then I didn’t hear anything, and then I heard on Wednesday, he set up another screening for that following Saturday. And I was like, “Okay, that, I don’t think he hates it, because that would be masochistic to keep seeing it.” [I got] a text that was like, “Hey, I saw the movie.” I gave him a ring after that, and it was really surreal. I don’t know, it’s like one of these moments you’re like, “Oh wow, this is why you do it.” I think any artist, you can accept if people don’t like your stuff. that’s fair; the art takes place in the head of the audience. But if he didn’t like it, or if he didn’t like the movie, that would have been such a travesty because it’s beyond it being about addiction or drugs. It’s his life.
And I’ve got to tell you, in talking to him, to have somebody confirm back to you on the phone, “Hey, we trusted you with this story and this process, and thank you, because we appreciate it. And we like it. And we feel it is a fair representation of what it was.” It’s so surreal. We’ll do Q & A’s with David and Nic sometimes, and it’s like, “Why are you asking Steve and I anything? [laughs] Like we, we have no authority on this.” And it’s one of the amazing things about the movie too, and I really would encourage people to see it. Even though, it is not the most uplifting thing in the world. But when we get there with David and Nic, and they get on stage, this amazing things happens, where people are … I think people are grateful for bravery. Like, or I think about the music I love, there’s a gratitude. You’re like, “Thank you for bearing, thank you for that.”
Best Performances: Featuring Nicole Kidman, Claire Foy, Rami Malek, and 29 of Hollywood’s Biggest Stars
Claire Foy wears a Burberry top, corset dress, socks, and shoes; Charvet scarf. Emily Blunt wears a Burberry dress, shirt, socks, and shoes; stylist’s own top.
Kiki Layne wears a Prada top and headband; Tiffany & Co. earrings. Jonah Hill wears The Row jacket, shirt, and tie.
Margot Robbie wears a Chanel cardigan and skirt; stylist’s own top. Michael B. Jordan wears a Calvin Klein 205W39NYC cardigan and vest; Brioni trousers.
Nicole Kidman wears an Armani Privé dress; Cartier earrings; Cornelia James gloves; stylist’s own veil.
Mahershala Ali wears a Prada suit; his own top and bracelet. Amy Adams wears a Givenchy dress and belt.
Eddie Redmayne wears a Givenchy shirt and pants. Rami Malek wears a Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello shirt.
Saoirse Ronan wears a Celine by Hedi Slimane dress.
Nicole Kidman in Boy Erased and Destroyer
“In Destroyer, I play a cop who’s been through a lot—she’s very American, very angry, distressed, and disturbed. I wasn’t the first choice for that role—it went to somebody else and she didn’t want to do it. I read the script and put my hand up and said, ‘What about me?’ ” Did the wardrobe contribute to the character? We took so long to find the leather jacket that I wear in pretty much every frame of the film. I became so obsessed with that jacket, I would wear it at home. I put it on first thing in the morning. My kids visited the set and were shocked at the way I looked. You know, I’ve been working as an actor since I was 14 years old. It’s a choice, but it’s also a calling. Sometimes, I kind of try to move away, but it always pulls me back.
Comme des Garçons coat, T-shirt, skirt, tights, and boots; headpiece by hairstylist Malcolm Edwards. Inflatable latex costumes by artist Sasha Frolova (throughout).
Amy Adams in Vice
“My role in Vice is Lynne Cheney, Dick Cheney’s wife. It’s a huge responsibility to play a living person. I didn’t meet Lynne, and that’s interesting too—playing somebody who’s alive but whom you’ve never met. Plus, I age from 20 to 70 in the film, so that was another challenge.” Did her conservative politics affect your performance? I really just absorbed her point of view. Whether I agree with it or not doesn’t really matter. To get into character, I would have long debates about policy and politics as Lynne Cheney with our director, Adam McKay. I called him many names. I teased him about wearing shorts on set and how that was disrespectful. But I didn’t swear, because Lynne wouldn’t swear.
Valentino gown; Valentino Garavani earrings; Marc Jacobs boots.
Saoirse Ronan in Mary Queen of Scots and On Chesil Beach
“This is the first time I’ve played any queen or monarch. Mary had to hold herself in a certain way when she was presenting herself at court, but when she was on her own, in her intimate quarters, she was quite different. I began to feel like a bit of a boss. A boss queen!” Did you learn any royal skills? Yes, I learned to ride. My horse in the film was also Wonder Woman’s horse—his name is Prince, and he is the biggest diva I’ve ever met. Prince doesn’t do anything for anyone, especially me, and had a nervous cough that you’d hear right before we’d do a take. Everything I did was for that horse, just to get his approval.
Balenciaga dress and shoes.
Lakeith Stanfield in Sorry to Bother You
“The director of the film, Boots Riley, had been following me for quite a while before I finally met him. He handed me the script for Sorry to Bother You literally put it in my hands. I was like, Who is this strange person? When I read the script, I realized I had no idea how deeply strange he is. But his strangeness revealed itself to be another form of beauty.” Growing up, who was your cinematic crush? Jennifer Love Hewitt. I loved her. I couldn’t comprehend anything, except that she was beautiful. What’s your favorite Halloween costume? I’m always the Joker. Every year. Soon there will be a black Joker movie, and it will be me.
Maison Margiela Artisanal Men’s Designed by John Galliano suit; Tiffany & Co. earrings; John Hardy cross necklace; Chrome Hearts thick chain; Hoorsenbuhs long chain; Stanfield’s own rings.
Margot Robbie in Mary Queen of Scots
What was your first red-carpet outfit? I was 18. The Australian equivalent of the Emmys is called the Logies, and I was nominated. It was my big moment, the biggest thing that had happened to me. So I went all out on the dress: It was very short at the front, long at the back, lots of layers, bright colors, and shiny fabric. It was, like, orange, black, orange, black—with a big bow at the back. I had stipple-looking hair, and I was very tan. It was…a look. I don’t regret it, because I was 18 and having fun. I can dress boring for the rest of my life.
Staud coat; Giu Giu turtleneck; Vex Clothing tights; Urstadt Swan gloves; Manolo Blahnik shoes; stylist’s own veil.
Timothée Chalamet in Beautiful Boy
“Beautiful Boy [which is about a father and his son, who is addicted to drugs] was a script they’d been trying to get made for 10 years. Every guy actor my age had gone up for it. I’ve been lucky, but a lot of the bigger Hollywood movies like Spider-Man, things like that, I didn’t get. So, for Beautiful Boy, I did a lot of research and read about drugs, and I brought the books to my first meeting with the director. I could see in his eyes that he was thinking, This kid is nuts. But I felt this movie—the subject of drug addiction—was so important. I wanted to make an anti-glorification-of-drugs movie. And I think we did.” Did you meet Nic Sheff, whom you play in the film? Yes. I met him a week before we started shooting. And there was nothing about Nic that fit my stereotype of an addict. That was the learning grace of this movie: Nic is alive and well, but the reality is, it’s a day at a time. You never really beat it. You lost so much weight. Was your mom worried about you? My mom was worried! I lost 18 pounds. First, I’m in a movie where I was having sex with a peach, and then it was like, “I got another movie!” She said, “Great!” And then I had to tell her what it was about.
Claire Foy in First Man
Growing up, what was your favorite toy? I had a disgusting pillow until I was about 21. Shamefully, I took it to university. Do you get nervous before filming? Oh, yes, I get nervous. It’s a gradual process of trying to work yourself up to being brave enough to be on set. You always worry that everyone’s going to say, “Ooh, we’ve made a terrible, terrible mistake.” What was the name of your first pet? Thumper. And the first street that you lived on? I don’t know. So you’re a one-name sensation: Thumper is your porno name. Thumper it is.
Burberry cape; Falconiere bonnet.
Eddie Redmayne in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
What was the first record you bought? Bon Jovi. “Livin’ on a Prayer” is such a good song. I love a good emotional ballad. The greatest YouTube hole to go down is Leona Lewis when she was on The X Factor. Every week, she just came and delivered. Occasionally she’d take her shoes off. Do you watch other reality shows? I’m quite excited because The Hills, which is my original reality-TV guilty pleasure, is coming back. I had a bit of a love-hate relationship with Heidi Montag. Do you have a secret skill? Yes. I’m incredibly good at being early. I’m always the person who gets to the airport four hours early. I drive everyone crazy.
Dior Men jacket and pants; Urstadt Swan gloves; Givenchy boots.
Michael B. Jordan in Black Panther
Do you have a favorite movie villain? For me, it’s a tie between Heath Ledger as the Joker and Michael Fassbender as Magneto. Villains, like Erik Killmonger in Black Panther, are the most interesting characters. They are the ones you can empathize with—they want you to not like them, but you can still understand their motivation.Even though you’re the villain in Black Panther, do people on the street still say “Wakanda forever” to you? They don’t immediately realize that my character is not exactly pro-Wakanda. Midway through saying something, it registers: Oh, he wasn’t really with Wakanda. But by then they’ve already committed.
Is it difficult to act when you’re basically naked? I’m always naked. So, no.
Joanna Kulig in Cold War
“The director, Pawel Pawlikowski, wrote the part of Zula for me. I knew that the inspiration for the character came from his mother. Zula is her real name, and, like me, she was blonde. I saw her photo.” Was that the hardest part about portraying the character? No. The hardest part was the dancing. In general, I have a problem with coordination. I spent six months in a Polish folk ensemble learning how to dance. We partied together, we drank together, and we’d dance for six hours during a concert. It was like a family, and I started to build the character of Zula. Soon, I had her thoughts and personality. And I finally learned how to dance!
Chloé dress; Louis Vuitton hat.
Elizabeth Debicki in Widows
“I was a dancer for many, many years, and I thought I was going to be a ballerina. When I was about 12, I went to a summer school for the Australian ballet and I was already taller than my teacher. So I remember saying to myself, I’m going to have to rethink this plan.” Did you audition for Widows? Yes, I put myself on tape in my friend’s garage. How glamorous! I remember wearing a lot of eyeliner. I picked out some hoop earrings. And, funnily enough, in the finished film, she ended up looking a lot like she did in my test.
Marc Jacobs coat; Noel Stewart headpiece; Cornelia James gloves; Falke tights; Vivienne Westwood shoes.
Regina King in If Beale Street Could Talk
“I took a break from making films. My son, Ian, was getting to the age, around sixth grade, when kids are starting to spread their wings, and everything that was being offered to me was outside of Los Angeles, except for TV. I didn’t want to travel to make films. So I like to say I was one of the first movie actors who made the leap into television.” Do they call Beale Street your comeback film? I like to use the LL Cool J song: “Don’t call it comeback. I been here for years.”
Givenchy dress; Graham Tyler hat; Linda Farrow sunglasses.
Willem Dafoe in At Eternity’s Gate
“I painted in a movie called To Live and Die in L.A., but it wasn’t about painting—it was more about counterfeiting and killing people. In playing Vincent van Gogh, painting was the key to the character. I had to know what I was doing. The director, Julian Schnabel, would say, ‘Hold the brush like a sword’ and ‘There’s no such thing as a bad mark.’ I began to think that painting is about making an accumulation of marks. Acting is the same: You create a character scene by scene. It’s a series of marks that start a rhythm, and that rhythm sends you where you need to go.” Who is your cinematic crush? Warren Oates. When I saw him perform, I thought, That’s not an actor, that’s a man. It kind of broke my heart to find out he was actually a trained actor.
Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie in Leave No Trace
“I play a girl who is with her father in the wild, far away from civilization. Since I live in New Zealand and couldn’t fly to America, I auditioned on tape. We had a lot of props: a bucket, a toothbrush, a sleeping bag, and a rabbit named Coco. I also ran through the New Zealand bush with a GoPro in my mouth and sent that off as well. I didn’t meet the director in person. Six months later, on Christmas, I found out that I had gotten the part.”
Moschino Couture dress; Capezio tights; Sergio Rossi shoes.
Steven Yeun in Burning
“I like filming death scenes. When I was on The Walking Dead, I had known for some time about my character’s death. I was really excited for that day—I was looking forward to getting my skull bashed in. In Burning, my death scene was really fun. That was the only time it snowed, which was unexpected, and it added some magic to the moment. Everybody fantasizes about what it would be like to die. If I could make a career out of being killed, it would be okay.” Do you have a secret skill? Yes. I’m really good at getting parking spots. I’m so confident that the spot is going to be there, that it’s always there. Right in front.
Gucci jacket, shirt, pants, hat, and shoes; Charvet tie.
Elsie Fisher in Eighth Grade
“I have been acting since I was 5. My first job was doing the voice of Agnes, the youngest daughter, with the big ponytail on top of her head, in Despicable Me. I was in the sequel, but I was too old for Despicable Me 3, because I can’t do my 5-year-old voice anymore.” In Eighth Grade, there is a pool-party scene that is nerve-wracking. You wear a very awkward green bathing suit. Yes, it is anxiety inducing. I did not pick the bathing suit. They wanted a lime green one so my character would stick out. I still have it. I mean, I don’t go to the pool that much, but that’s my bathing suit now. I love it.
Gucci dress; Eugenia Kim hat; Sophie Buhai necklace.
Jonah Hill in Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot
In the film, your character, Donny, has a fantastic fashion sense. One of the things that inspired me was a photograph of Yves Saint Laurent in Morocco in the ’70s. I looked at it and was like, Oh, level-10 Marrakech! So Donny wears a lot of caftans and Moroccan stuff in the movie—kind of our Tom Petty and Yves Saint Laurent level-10 Marrakech. He also has a very calm, Zen outlook on life. Donny had conquered a lot of the things that were dark and demonic about himself, and he was able to be peaceful and calm. That was a joy to play. I miss being Donny— even his long blond hair. What was your most memorable birthday? My mom once sent a mariachi band to play my favorite song, “Feliz Navidad.” It was winter in New York and eight mariachis played my song. I was like, “Am I hallucinating right now?”
Raf Simons coat; the Row T-shirt and jeans; Paul Smith boots.
Kiki Layne in If Beale Street Could Talk
How did you find out you had the part in Beale Street? It was nine in the morning and Barry Jenkins, the director, called and woke me up. He just got to talking and didn’t introduce himself. Finally, he said, “Girl, do you even know who you’re talking to?” He went on to tell me that they were giving me the role! I was trying to rush him off the phone so I could really go crazy and cry and call my mama. What is your go-to karaoke song? “Drunk in Love,” by Beyoncé. Especially if you’ve got somebody that’ll hold down Jay Z’s part. That’s definitely the move. I feel like you have mood hair: Sometimes it’s long, sometimes it’s short—up, down. Oh, yeah, we gotta switch it up. You never really know how it’s gonna be: Will it be curly? Straight? And watch out when those colors start coming in!
Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello dress and boots; Prada headband; Tiffany & Co. earrings.
Carey Mulligan in Wildlife
“Paul Dano, who cowrote and directed Wildlife, called me and said he was going to send me the script. I was kind of flattered that he thought I could play Jeanette.” She’s a tormented character. Did you have trouble shaking her off at the end of the day? No. When you’ve got kids, they expect you to come home and be Mom, not some weird drunk woman. At the end of the day, I take off that hat, leave that person at work, and come home and watch the Food Network. I love Chopped. They make disgusting things, but I do like Bobby Flay. Chopped and Bobby Flay are the perfect antidote to films like Wildlife.
Michael Kors Collection dress; vintage hat from New York Vintage, New York; Tiffany & Co. earrings; Carolina Amato gloves; Capezio tights; Jimmy Choo shoes.
Yalitza Aparicio (far left) in Roma
“The shoot for Roma lasted six months. We shot in chronological order. It was a very long process for me. I had not seen any of Alfonso Cuarón’s films. I actually didn’t know who he was. Alfonso asked me not to watch any of his films until we were done with the filming. He didn’t want me poisoning my mind with any images or ideas.”
Marina de Tavira in Roma
“I was the only actor in Roma with any previous experience. It was really challenging. First-time actors—and many of them were children—have a completely different way of working. Alfonso Cuarón would play tricks on us—make things happen that we were not expecting. That way, he made real life appear on set.”
From left: Valentino gown. The Row gown; Tiffany & Co. earrings.
Emily Blunt in Mary Poppins Returns
“The hardest thing about playing Mary Poppins was learning how to dance. One day, you’re handed a hat and a cane, and I was like, Oh, my God. And, also, the initial idea of taking on a character that iconic was daunting. But once I got over my fears, it was deliciously fun.” What was your first red-carpet outfit? It was for My Summer of Love, and I was far too tanned. I was wearing a very bright yellow dress. I always laugh at how sweaty I looked. Horrible. Who is your girl crush? Rihanna. I mean, come on. She’s smoking.
Louis Vuitton coat; Eugenia Kim hat; Manokhi gloves.
Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody
“The first thing I auditioned for I almost wasn’t allowed to audition for. I got a call from a casting director, and she asked to speak to the agent representing Rami Malek. I said, ‘Uh, speaking.’ She kind of laughed and said, ‘Call me when you have an agent.’ I go, ‘You’re already laughing—give me a shot.’ It was three lines in Gilmore Girls. I convinced her to let me read, and I got the part.” Besides in the film, have you ever sung any Queen songs in public? In Japan, with our version of the band, we dressed up in animal onesies and did “Bohemian Rhapsody,” like the original video. It was filmed, and I’m sure someone will get drunk and throw it out there into the ether.
Officine Générale pants; Atsuko Kudo Couture Latex Design gloves.