Timothée Chalamet on ‘Dune’ and Charting His Own Course | TIME

T imothée Chalamet and I are on the run, chasing down Sixth Avenue on a bright September day in search of a identify to talk. The restaurant in Greenwich Village where we had planned to meet ended up getting swarmed by NYU students while I was waiting for him, chattering excitedly to one another— “ Timothée Chalamet is hera ! ” “ Shut up ! ” “ Yeah, he ’ s right outside ! ” —so, trying to avoid a deluge of selfie seekers, I bolt from the mesa, tapping Chalamet on the shoulder where he stands under the awning, on the telephone, and we make our escape. font covered with a mask and hoodie pulled up over his curly hair, he ’ south by and large incognito but still cuts a distinct enough calculate that we ’ vitamin d better find a raw localization debauched, and standing at a crossing with him, I feel concisely protective, like I should be prepared to body-block an onslaught of fans at any moment. fortunately, we go undetected as we make our way to another diner a few blocks down—a true New York greasy spoon, less crowd and doggedly uncool—and slide into a back booth. He orders black coffee and matzo-ball soup, which he says he has been craving. It ’ s not an easy thing to come by in London, where he ’ second been in rehearsals for Wonka, an original movie musical that will serve as a prequel of sorts to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, following the titular chocolatier as a young man. He just spent a weekend recording music for the film at Abbey Road. “ I felt out of my league, ” he says of working in that fabled space. “ Like I was desecrating history ! ” But working on this project has been dependable for him. “ It ’ s not mining the dark emotions in life, ” he says. “ It ’ s a celebration of being off-center and of being O.K. with the eldritch parts of you that don ’ t quite equip in. ”


photograph by Ruven Afanador for TIME
Get a print of Timothée Chalamet’s TIME Next Generation Leader cover here If Chalamet—whom most people call, dearly, Timmy—sees himself as off-center, sol far it ’ second working. He ’ s back in New York for the Met Gala, which he ’ randomness co-chairing aboard Billie Eilish, Naomi Osaka and Amanda Gorman. ( He walked the red rug in a Haider Ackermann satin dinner jacket jacket and sweatpants. ) On Oct. 22, he ’ ll appear in two films released on the same day. There ’ sulfur Wes Anderson ’ s ensemble The French Dispatch, which earned raves out of Cannes, in which Chalamet appears antonym Frances McDormand as a revolutionary spearheading a student dismissal apparent motion. He besides stars as royal Paul Atreides in Denis Villeneuve ’ s towering sci-fi epic Dune, an adaptation of Frank Herbert ’ s beloved 1965 novel, budgeted at a report $ 165 million and slated for a massive cosmopolitan free. This makes it a adult here and now for Chalamet, who is not just an actor who works often, although he does, and not equitable a fame, although he is one, but a movie star in the antique sense of the word. ( More on this later. ) He ’ south nowadays the rare performer who, at 25, studios are betting can help launch a blockbuster franchise and a festival hit on the same sidereal day, with a pandemic still rumbling out of position. With great power, of course, comes great responsibility—including a spotlight on everything from his personal life ( he ’ s been linked to actor Lily-Rose Depp ) to his activism ( he ’ south outspoken on climate exchange ) to what he wears, whether on a red carpet or dashing to the bodega. The latter runs the gamut from embroider joggers to tie-dye overalls to space-age suiting—or, say, a Louis Vuitton hoodie spangled with 3,000 Swarovski crystals. ( All this has led GQ to crown him one of the best-dressed men in the populace. )

“I feel like I’m here to show that to wear your heart on your sleeve is O.K.”

Chalamet belongs to a generation that ’ s known for oversharing, particularly on sociable media, but his Instagram is frequently enigmatic ; he holds more back than many of his contemporaries. He cites as role models Michael B. Jordan, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence—the latter two of whom he ’ ll appear antonym in Adam McKay ’ s star-studded Don’t Look Up on Netflix in December—actors who are more probably to talk about craft than to post selfies doing patronize contented. If fame is phantasmagoric to him, he besides doesn ’ t make a indicate of resisting it. “ I ’ thousand figuring it out, ” Chalamet says. “ On my worst days, I feel a tension in figuring it out. But on my best days, I feel like I ’ thousand growing correctly on clock. ”

Timothée Chalamet Wants You to Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve
Ruvén Afanador for TIME
Timothée Chalamet Wants You to Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve
Ruvén Afanador for TIME
As we sit and talk, a emanation of fans stop by the table to ask for photos—mostly young women, but there ’ s one sheepish-looking guy, besides, who looks to be in his 40s. Chalamet indulges them all gamely, making conversation. “ Oh, you go to Columbia ? ” he says to one female child. “ That ’ s aplomb ! I did too. ” He stops himself. “ Well, I dropped out. ” If the challenge is staying degree amid all this attention, he has a game design. “ One of my heroes—I can ’ t say who or he ’ d kick my ass—he put his arm around me the first night we met and gave me some advice, ” he says. What was it, I ask ? “ No arduous drugs, ” Chalamet says, “ and no superhero movies. ” Chalamet grew up in midtown Manhattan, where his ma was a Broadway performer and his father worked as an editor for UNICEF. He went to the arts high gear school La Guardia, where he performed onstage. not retentive after graduating, he booked a character as Matthew McConaughey ’ s son in Christopher Nolan ’ second 2014 space drama Interstellar, which he, along with everyone he knew, expected would catalyze his career. “ I remember seeing it and weeping, ” he says, “ 60 % because I was so moved by it, and 40 % because I ’ d idea I was in the movie so much more than I am. ”

He briefly attended Columbia, then NYU, but didn ’ t finish college, which he says seems “ harebrained in retrospect. ” He remembers the insecurity of those years, which he describes as “ the soul-crushing anxiety of feeling like I had a distribute to give without any platform. ” But he waited for the kinds of jobs he wanted, trying to avoid getting locked into a commitment that might stifle his growth, like a years-long television contract. “ not that those opportunities were coming at me plenty, ” he says, “ because they weren ’ t. But I had a marathon brain, which is hard when everything is instantaneous gratification. ”

That paid off in 2017 with the publish of Luca Guadagnino ’ s cheery beloved report Call Me by Your Name, which earned him an Oscar nomination and catapulted him to fame. ( He demurs when asked about co-star Armie Hammer, who has denied a wide publicized accusation of rape. “ I wholly get why you ’ re asking that, ” he says, “ but it ’ s a question desirable of a larger conversation, and I don ’ metric ton want to give you a overtone response. ” ) That lapp year, he featured in Greta Gerwig ’ s Oscar-nominated Lady Bird. He followed up with the addiction drama Beautiful Boy, then Gerwig ’ randomness adaptation of Little Women, both of which earned him distillery more critical praise. If his filmography has made him an art-house darling, Dune feels like the perfect boastfully movie for an actor like Chalamet : despite the booming seduce and dazzling ocular effects, there ’ s a graveness to it—and an unusual prescience. “ Dune was written 60 years ago, but its themes hold up today, ” Chalamet says. “ A warn against the exploitation of the environment, a warning against colonialism, a warning against engineering. ” Dune is besides the kind of cinematic event that demands to be seen in theaters, which spelled controversy when Warner Bros. announced that, due to the pandemic, all of their 2021 films would premiere on the cyclosis service HBO Max coincident with their theatrical performance unblock dates. Chalamet shrugs about it. “ It ’ s so above my pay grade, ” he says. “ possibly I ’ megabyte uninstructed, but I trust the powers that be. I ’ thousand just grateful it ’ s coming out at all. ” A day later, we meet at a barroom in Tribeca. As he arrives, he ’ second wrapping up a call. “ Love you excessively, Grandma, ” he says gently into the earphone as he ’ randomness hanging up. male movie stars have long been defined by an old model of masculinity. Chalamet, who rose to fame playing a thwart quality and whose style is frequently described as androgynous, evinces a kind of maleness that ’ s a little different : more sensible, more emotional, in keeping with his generation ’ s permissive attitudes about self-expression. “ Timothée is a thoughtful, poetic intent, ” says Villeneuve. “ I am constantly impressed by his beautiful vulnerability. ” Chalamet doesn ’ t always uncover much, but what he does is intentional. Ask him what he stands for, and he considers it badly. “ I feel like I ’ meter here to show that to wear your affection on your sleeve is O.K., ” he says .


Ruvén Afanador for TIME
so far Chalamet knows better than to obsess about how he ’ second perceived by the public. “ To keep the ball rolling creatively takes a certain ignorance to the way you ’ re consumed, ” he says. He calls it a “ mirror vacuum ” : the black hole you disappear into studying your own observation. He wants to use his chopine thoughtfully, to spread the right kinds of messages through the world—whether that ’ randomness about mental-health awareness, a subject which he wants to see become “ less of an Instagram slide share and something more intrinsic, ” or climate. “ I don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate think it ’ s a coincidence that the same coevals that inherits the overheat satellite is the generation saying, ‘ Hey, there ’ s a degree of complacency here, ’ ” he says. All that said, Chalamet doesn ’ t take himself besides seriously. The estimate that he ’ second seen as a movie star—let alone his genesis ’ s most promising—seems to make him squirrelly. “ I don ’ thymine want to say some vapid, reticent thing, ” he says. “ It ’ s a combination of fortune and getting dependable advice early on in my career not to pigeonhole myself. ” The term movie star, to him, is “ like death. ” All it does is make him think about ’ 90s-nostalgia Instagram feeds.

“ You ’ re just an actor, ” Chalamet says, like a mantra. “ You ’ re precisely an actor ! ” then he looks to me, as if control to see if he ’ s convinced me it ’ randomness true. Cover styled by Erin Walsh; grooming by Jamie Taylor Contact us at letters @ time.com.

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Category : interview

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