Back to IndieWire

Frank Ocean and Xavier Dolan Interview Timothée Chalamet About High School, Intimacy, and the Future

The youngest Best Actor Oscar nominee in decades sits down with two of his biggest idols as part of this months' V Man cover story.

Frank Ocean, Timothée Chalamet, and Xavier Dolan


When Timothée Chalamet’s name was called during the Oscar nominations announcement, the 22-year-old breakout star of “Call Me by Your Name” become the youngest Best Actor nominee in almost 80 years. The nomination followed numerous award wins from critic groups throughout the fall, and his role as Elio in Luca Guadagnino’s coming-of-age romance has put Chalamet on the radar of everyone in Hollywood and beyond. It turns out he’s also made big fans out of two of his idols: Frank Ocean and Xavier Dolan.

For the new edition of V Man magazine, Chalamet got to meet both Ocean and Dolan for two separate interviews in which he was asked about a variety of different topics, from his high school days in New York City to his movie career in “Call Me by Your Name” and beyond. Ocean wondered if anyone in New York has stopped Chalamet on the street and called him Elio, but the actor’s answer was a bit of a surprise.

“I actually get more people stopping me for ‘Lady Bird,’ and going, “Is that the douchebag from ‘Lady Bird?'” Chalamet said. “So that’s awesome. I’ve seen certain actors, or musicians like you, keep a sense of integrity and mystery. That’s ultimately what’s been really awesome about “Call Me By Your Name” and “Lady Bird” as an introduction [to me]: I was up for bigger, more commercial projects, but I didn’t get them. They just didn’t choose me, and it’s been gratifying, coming from more of a place of artistry and not just pure exposure.”

Ocean slightly embarrassed Chalamet when he revealed he had seen a high school music video Chalamet made about statistics. Ocean said he saw the footage on “Ellen,” and therefore felt like it was fair game to bring up with Chalamet during the interview.

“Oh, fuck. [Laughs.] I can’t believe you saw the statistics video,” Chalamet said. “That’s embarrassing.”

The Oscar nominee said he was never “that guy who enjoyed high school too much” when he was a student, but he did call LaGuardia High School a “really amazing place to go to school.”

“I got to work creatively— I’m an over-exuberant guy and I can go a mile a minute, so having a place to channel that energy was really great,” Chalamet said.

In his interview with Dolan, Chalamet continued to sing the praises of his co-star Armie Hammer. He revealed to the director that creating the intimacy between them wasn’t hard at all because Hammer is an “instinctual caretaker” as an actor on set.

“I wish everybody could hang out with Armie, because our relationship, the way it blossomed when we first met, was so conducive and helpful to what it is in the movie,” Chalamet said. “I was way more inexperienced, and I knew seconds after meeting Armie that I was in the best hands. He’s an instinctual caretaker, which is part of his incredible performance in the film: his character wants to succumb to his love and desire for another human being, but also doesn’t want to hurt him.”

When asked by Dolan how the success of “Call Me” will affect the choices he makes about acting jobs in the future, Chalamet said he “will be very careful” about whatever he decides to do next.

“I understand how difficult it’ll be to replicate the experience I had [on “Call Me”],” he said. “With Luca, we were shooting in his town, sitting in his screening room, watching movies he loves. Luca has worked with his editor, producing partners, camera people, costume designer, etc. for 25 years. So you’re stepping into a system. It’s almost like the Warhol factory. That’ll be difficult to find and match.”

Click here to read Chalamet’s interview with Ocean, and you can head here to read his chat with Dolan. “Call Me by Your Name” is now playing in theaters. Chalamet will be in attendance at the Oscars Sunday, March 4.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Film and tagged , ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox