Timothee Chalamet Says He Was Rejected From ‘Bigger, More Commercial Projects’ Before Big Break

Timothée Chamelet
Timothée Chamelet Collier Schorr

One year ago, Timothée Chalamet was living off breakfast sandwiches as an aspiring actor in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City. Now an Oscar nominee, the 22-year-old breakout star doesn’t forget his humble beginnings.

“It’s been a nonstop, weird-ass six months,” Chalamet — who stars in Call Me by Your Name and Lady Bird, both of which are nominated for Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards — said during a new interview with singer Frank Ocean for V Man magazine. “A lot of fun, but trippy, too.”

The road to Hollywood wasn’t easy, though. “I was up for bigger, more commercial projects, but I didn’t get them,” the actor recalled. “They just didn’t choose me, and it’s been gratifying, coming from more of a place of artistry and not just pure exposure.”

Timothée Chamelet
Timothée Chamelet Collier Schorr

According to Chalamet, people on the street recognize him for playing Kyle in Lady Bird, even though he earned a best actor nomination for his role as Elio in Call Me by Your Name. “I actually get more people stopping me for Lady Bird, and going, ‘Is that the douchebag from Lady Bird?’ So that’s awesome,” he said.

Since filming Call Me by Your Name, Chalamet and his onscreen love interest, Armie Hammer, have become close friends, often traveling together for promotional appearances. But the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts graduate doesn’t believe his and Hammer’s characters would have fallen in love had the movie been set in present day rather than 1983.

“I don’t know if [we] would ever have that relationship if there was passive-aggressive commenting and ‘likes,’” Chalamet told V Man. “They actually had to talk, figure each other out and struggle with their emotions.”

Call Me by Your Name and Lady Bird are now in theaters.

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