“[Director Luca Guadagnino] says they’re, like, his movies about people with wealth having problems,” said Timothée Chalamet, the young breakout star of the Italian director’s latest film, capping off a loose “trilogy” that includes “A Bigger Splash” and “I Am Love.” “No, I’m kidding,” the 21-year-old actor continued. “But they’re all odes to summer, and the idea that Europeans know how to waste time way better than Americans do.”
Chalamet costars with Armie Hammer in the film, which deals with sexuality. “We got lucky because we got to spend two to three weeks with each other in advance [of filming],” Chalamet noted of his costar. “And then there was just the random lucky universe where we actually really got along as human beings, and just hit it off as people.”
The two men, clad in wares by screening sponsor Calvin Klein, were clearly comfortable in each other’s presence — particularly when it came to dealing with press. (Like a song stuck in your head, “Love is love is love is love” sounded less charming the third time it was chirped back in response to a reporter’s question.) Nonetheless, it’s hard to deny the charm of either actor, or the critical buzz the film has generated since it premiered at Sundance in January.
“Similar to ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ by Stephen Chbosky — which is a book that I really tremendously love as well, that felt like a window into a young person’s existence — the amazing thing about reading ‘Call Me by Your Name’ and then the idea of actually getting to play it, is the idea that as playing a young person on the verge of sexual awakening, there’s little behaviorally where you can go wrong,” Chalamet said of his enthusiasm about the project. “Because whatever shape that takes on is the shape it takes on. It’s not playing a very famous person in a period piece.”