Aside from the infamous peach scene, few moments in Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me By Your Name” are as memorable as Elio (Timothée Chalamet) and Oliver (Armie Hammer) walking around the World War I memorial in Pandino, Italy. The scene finds the two characters sharing their feelings for one another more directly than ever before, and it’s all captured in a dreamy single take by Guadagnino and cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom.
Chalamet recently joined musician Harry Styles for an interview in i-D Magazine, and he revealed it was this scene around the monument that stood out when he first read the script and made it clear to him he had to audition for the part. “The book is so genuine, so accomplished and well written,” Chalamet said, “and I felt like that one scene would be a barometer for whether we would pull it off or not.”
The defining element of the scene is the long take, and it turns out Guadagnino had nothing to do with coming up with the idea to film the encounter this way. Surprisingly, it was Armie Hammer who suggested the long take, and it was an idea that all three men gravitated towards to make the moment feel as honest as possible.
“On the day, Luca Guadagnino didn’t quite know how he wanted to shoot it, and it was actually Armie Hammer who had the idea to do it in one take and in a wide shot,” Chalamet said. “It took away the whole cringey Hollywood feeling. If you mute the movie you can’t tell it’s somebody telling somebody else that they are in love with them.
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When Styles said the long take made the moment feel “much more real,” Chalamet added, “I think so, you might scare someone away if you went too big.”
Chalamet will more than likely reprise his role of Elio in a future “Call Me By Your Name” sequel. Guadagnino and Hammer are on board with the idea for a follow-up film, which Chalamet has compared to “Boyhood,” but they’re all going to wait a couple years before jumping back in. Chalamet currently stars in “Beautiful Boy,” now playing in theaters.