Timothée Chalamet Thinks ‘Date’ Is “Very Much a Scary Word”

The Call Me By Your Name actor opens up about his favorite childhood memories, attending prom, and the film that made him a star.

Perhaps no one had as much of a breakout year than Timothée Chalamet. The 22-year-old actor starred in not one, but two of the year’s buzziest films—Call Me By Your Name and Lady Bird—and thanks to a series of leaked high school projects that went viral, has quickly become one of the Internet’s most beloved figures. Of course, those high school years were not too long ago, meaning Chalamet has plenty more charming memories to share. Of his senior prom, the actor recalled, “I wore a silly green suit that I wore to many an event after that. I got good use out of that. My junior prom I was invited to by someone that had wanted nothing to do with me so that was fine. Senior prom was more fun; I was with friends.” Here, Chalamet talks about his role in Call Me By Your Name, recounts the best advice he’s ever received, and details his most scandalous New Year’s Eve to date.

Tell me your favorite Halloween costume.

I did Yugi from Yu-Gi-Oh one year when I was 10 or 11. Yu-Gi-Oh was an animated series that is not a direct spinoff but it sits in the same ecosystem as Pokémon and the lead character is a guy named, Yugi, and he has an incredible haircut and he wears a cool necklace.

What did the hair look like?

It’s spiky and triangular. I didn’t get this far because I only wore plastic wig or something of that nature, but it is blond frosted tips with a black interior, if you can describe hair that way. I did Spiderman on Broadway one year, which is good because all of the Spiderman guys were getting injured on Broadway, so I got a Spiderman costume and crutches, too.

That’s very meta.

It is meta. There was a big high school costume competition. I didn’t [win.] The guy that won was wearing something that a lot of effort had been put into it. I didn’t deserve to win there.

What was your favorite New Year’s Eve?

I would have been 15 and I was linking back up with a friend from elementary school that I hadn’t seen in a long time. My sister was at a very cool New Year’s party in New York at like some sort of club or something—somewhere that at 15 I shouldn’t have been able to be inside of. Some folks got me and this buddy [in]and that very much felt like a New Year’s Eve where we were not supposed to be where we were and that’s probably the best New Year’s Eve memory I have. That time of the year is weird because my birthday is there, December 27th.

And you also had Call Me By Your Name in theaters around then.

It came out November 24th and it’s the Italian countryside and Armie Hammer and myself and Michael Stuhlbarg and it’s lush and it’s a movie I’m very proud of. It’s romantic and it’s a Luca Guadagnino film, and I would encourage everyone to see it. I probably won’t say this about everything I’m in in my career but this is really a movie I’m very proud of and it’s an awesome movie.

How do you feel when you watch it now?

I was loosely attached to it for four years and it never seemed like it was coming together and then it did. So in many ways it will have been the project of my youth, and now it has been a year-and-a-half of promoting. it’ll be something I think [about when] I’m older and remember what it was like not to be jaded and old and washed up.

What is the best advice you’ve received?

I’ve gotten great advice everywhere. I think it’s a consequence of the types of projects I’ve been trying to work on with great filmmakers and great storytellers. There’s a great level of you know humanity and self-awareness with Luca and Armie and Greta [Gerwig] and Saoirse [Ronan] and the people I’ve been able to run with and now at these events I’m running into people that I really admired and studied closely for years. Someone said to me to keep a journal of this moment in life because it really is in many respects just an intense period. I thought that was great advice and I am trying to like write down and just [inhales] commemorate and appreciate and sit in a place of gratitude. I also like the idea to treat it like any other moment in life and just try and enjoy it.

What was your favorite toy growing up?

I was a big Power Ranger guy growing up. That probably stopped at nine or ten—nothing wrong with the fandom that continues into later years, but that wasn’t what it was for me. But around seven, eight, or nine, if you walked into a nine-year-old Timmy taking a bath, it would have been Power Rangers everywhere. Halfway through the season they’d bring in like a color that they hadn’t introduced yet, so [my favorite] was whoever that would have been that season.

What was your first job?

I was a bad soccer coach at 13-years-old in a tiny town in the north of France. The kids were ten, so they were like my age. And I was a small guy growing up anyway. I love soccer. That was the first dream until I realized I’m not nearly big enough or strong enough or fast enough or talented enough to be a soccer player.

Where was your first date?

I don’t know. Date is very much a scary word, because then that context has been established. You can always see people on early date behavior.

What was the first album you purchased?

First record I got was at Tower Records in New York, and I was like seven or eight. We were in there because my sister was getting a record and my mom went in there with me. I picked up 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’ and it had the parental advisory sticker on it, and I remember my sister chastising my mom saying, “You’re going to let him get the explicit version?” Thank you, Mom, because explicit 50 Cent records played in my bedroom from the ages of seven to nine.

What was your first red carpet outfit?

It was for Homeland at the SAG Awards, [maybe] at the InStyle event, and I was going to go in sweatpants and Morgan [Saylor] actually texted me before, “You cannot come in sweatpants, you know this is like a formal thing.” I had shiny black leather pants, shoes I’d probably worn to prom the year before, a black shirt, and this rose colored tie that I didn’t know how to like fully do all the way. If you see a picture online it’s like half-way off. The lesson, as always, is nobody cares. No one is looking at these pictures anyway, or those that are, what are you doing looking at those pictures? Then the next night was SAG awards and I had a black suit with silver tie. I’ll never forget that.

What was your prom like?

There’s a junior prom and a senior prom. Junior prom was at the South Street Seaport. Senior year was just at some random event space in New York and I wore a silly green suit that I wore to many an event after that. I got good use out of that. My junior prom I was invited to by someone that had wanted nothing to do with me so that was fine. Senior prom was more fun; I was with friends.

What was your first pet?

Urdle, still my pet. Urdle the turtle.

And what street did you grow up on?

I was on 43rd, it’s Hell’s Kitchen.

So your porno name would be Urdle 43.

It’s outside the box.

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