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Film

Six Definitive Films: The ultimate beginner's guide to Timothée Chalamet

@Russellisation

“We’re only here for so long. Be happy, man. You could get hit by a truck tomorrow.” – Timothée Chalamet

There may be no male actor currently working in Hollywood with the same cultural weight and dramatic talent as Timothée Chalamet, an individual who has managed to worm his way into the mainstream of the industry from relative obscurity. Having appeared in several TV series prior to his foray into movies, Chalamet starred alongside Claire Danes and Damian Lewis in Homeland among other shows in the late 2000s. 

Speaking to GQ in a sprawling interview, Timothée Chalamet revealed the intensity of his whirlwind fame in the past couple of years, stating: “I want to get back to the undefined space again”. Looking to tap into the feeling of his early career, Chalamet added, “I’m chasing a feeling. When you think you’re doing some great thing, it’s probably something you’ve done before, and when you really fucking have no clue, that’s when you’re doing something on the edge, good or bad”. 

Attaining cultural fame and critical acclaim almost simultaneously, Timothée Chalamet is a Hollywood enigma who operates on either side of the commercial model of the industry. Having already worked with the likes of Wes Anderson, Greta Gerwig, Denis Villeneuve, Luca Guadagnino and Christopher Nolan, the trajectory of Timothée Chalamet’s career suggests his supremacy in the industry is merely a matter of time.

Here, let’s take a look at the six films that have defined his career so far. 

Timothée Chalamet’s six definitive films:

Men, Women & Children (Jason Reitman, 2014)

Having worked in short film productions and TV series in his early career, Timothée Chalamet found success with his Off-Broadway play, The Talls, a coming-of-age comedy set in the 1970s, where he drew the attention of cinema industry insiders. 

Men, Women & Children, directed by Jason Reitman, was Chalamet’s debut feature film, appearing alongside the likes of Adam Sandler, Ansel Elgort, Emma Thompson and Kaitlyn Dever in an impressive ensemble cast of actors. Playing the young teenager Danny Vance, Chalamet shows shades of his acting talent, elevating the fairly rudimental material to higher standards. 

Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)

Four years after his feature film debut Timothée Chalamet would star in his breakout role in Call Me by Your Name by Luca Guadagnino having featured in a supporting role in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar in the meantime. 

With co-star Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet would help to create a passionate romantic drama, adapted from André Aciman’s novel, that defined the diversity and eccentricity of modern love stories. Turning Chalamet’s career on its head upon the release of the film, Call Me by Your Name demonstrated that the actor was capable of both critical success and commercial plaudits, with the film proving popular with newfound adoring fans as well as the Academy, awarding Chalamet with a nomination for Best Actor in 2018. 

Beautiful Boy (Felix van Groeningen, 2018)

Hot off the back of his success with Call Me by Your Name, Timothée Chalamet looked to establish himself in both facets of his acting existence, showing his face as the heartthrob in Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird before bolstering his dramatic potential with Beautiful Boy. 

Based on the pair of memoirs from father and son David and Nic Sheff that details the struggle with personal addiction and the effect of such on the loved ones around you, Beautiful Boy stars Timothée Chalamet alongside Steve Carell in this moving biographical drama. Nominated for several awards for his nuanced performance, Chalamet once again proved that he was capable of handling subtle emotional roles with dramatic prowess.

Little Women (Greta Gerwig, 2019)

Consistent success for Chalamet continued, featuring in the rom-com A Rainy Day in New York as well as the biographical historical drama The King where he starred alongside Joel Edgerton, Ben Mendelsohn, Sean Harris and Tom Glynn-Carney. 

Furthering his artistic and commercial reputation, he would reunite with Lady Bird director Greta Gerwig for Little Women, playing the heartthrob Laurie as part of an ensemble cast that included Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Saoirse Ronan, Laura Dern and Meryl Streep. An influential film of 2019, Chalamet’s supporting performance in the film showed off his newfound supremacy in the industry. 

The French Dispatch (Wes Anderson, 2021)

Ever since Little Women, Timothée Chalamet has been catapulted to the very forefront of the industry, succeeding in both critical and commercial fields, with his appearance in The French Dispatch furthering his place in Hollywood as an established artistic darling. 

As Zeffirelli the French revolutionary, Chalamet leads an entire chunk of Wes Anderson’s anthology film with a boisterous charm, no doubt with thanks to the supporting performance of the great Frances McDormand. Appearing in a Wes Anderson film is perhaps the mark of true cultural success for any acting hopeful, with Chalamet featuring alongside Hollywood mainstays Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody and Willem Dafoe. 

Dune (Denis Villeneuve, 2021)

As for his commercial appeal? Look no further than Denis Villeneuve’s science-fiction epic where he too starred in a cast of burgeoning contemporary stars, including Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Oscar Isaac and David Dastmalchian. 

Many have tried to adapt Frank Herbert’s iconic novel, and many have failed, with industry professionals believing that if David Lynch or Alejandro Jodorowsky cannot adopt the novel, then perhaps no one could. Delayed by the Coronavirus pandemic, time would eventually prove that Denis Villeneuve was the man for the job, transforming the novel into a cinematic masterpiece. 

There was truly no better actor to take on the lead role of Paul Atreides, with Chalamet perfectly capturing the fragility and power behind the iconic literary character.