Timothée Chalamet broke out at this year’s Sundance Film Festival with his buzzy performance in “Call Me by Your Name,” coming out this fall. Two months later, the 21 year old, who appears alongside Christian Bale in Scott Cooper’s upcoming film “Hostiles,” hit the festival circuit again: this time to promote his role in “Hot Summer Nights,” which premiered at South by Southwest last week.
A couple of years prior, costar Maika Monroe made a splash at Sundance with her film “It Follows.” “There’s something very special about South by. There’s a low-key vibe, which is something you don’t always get with festivals,” mused the two-time attendee, who currently has five films on deck, including “The Tribes of Palos Verdes” with Jennifer Garner, “Felt” with Diane Lane and “I’m Not Here” with J.K. Simmons and Mandy Moore.
For both actors, writer-director Elijah Bynum’s script was a major draw. “He’s such a special writer. I’m so grateful that I got to work with Elijah at a young age,” said Chalamet. Costar Alex Roe, who plays Chalamet’s best friend, chimed in, “It’s not often that you read a script that you’re, like, completely blown away by, so I think all of us were pretty psyched.”
Rather than “manufacture chemistry onscreen,” Chalamet revealed that the three actors actually lived together in Atlanta where they filmed the coming-of-age feature. “We got there three weeks early and we spent a ton of time with one another. We drove to baseball games together, we ate dinner with each other every night,” shared Chalamet, calling the extra time “a luxury, especially on an independent film.”
Even after wrapping, the three remain tight. Case in point: “In my phone you’re still “Teeeeeeeeeeeemo,” joked Roe of his nickname, prompting a high five from Chalamet. “I was always Timmy. My full French name is Timothée — that’s impossible. And then somebody shortened it to Temo.” He explained, “My dad’s French, so I spent my summers in France growing up, but I’m a New Yorker at heart.” He quickly clarified, “Not fancy France, not Paris.”
Monroe already counted Roe as a “very good friend” thanks to their roles in the sci-fi film “The 5th Wave.” Although the former pro kiteboarder admitted, “I would get annoyed at him sometimes, but it was perfect because we played brother and sister.” She said, “You have two boys [in the house]. You gotta clean up the house, have ‘em do the dishes, maybe my laundry, as well.” By the end of production, costar Maia Mitchell canceled her hotel accommodations to partake in the after-hours cast bonding, too.
Roe, who plays a bad-boy drug dealer, immersed himself in the research stage, moving to Cape Cod, where the film takes place, for two weeks. “Because I’m English, I kind of know guys like this Hunter character, but not the American version. I actually met a dude who was basically my character in the Nineties, but now he’s in his late 30s, 40s. A friend of mine who has a sister who lives there said, ‘This guy was our weed dealer when we were younger,’ so I kinda picked his brain a little.”