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Michael Stuhlbarg on Why He’s Eager to Revisit His ‘Call Me by Your Name’ Character

The sequel, based on André Aciman's "Find Me," would put Stuhlbarg's Professor Perlman front and center.

"Call Me By Your Name"

“Call Me By Your Name”

Sony Pictures Classics

Luca Guadagnino has been vocal about wanting to return to the world created by author André Aciman with a sequel to “Call Me by Your Name,” based on the 2019 followup novel “Find Me.” As told to IndieWire during a recent interview promoting his new film “Shirley,” actor Michael Stuhlbarg is ready to get back to Elio and Oliver, too. In “Call Me by Your Name,” Stuhlbarg played Elio’s father, Professor Sami Perlman, and was given one of the film’s most iconic moments with a moving speech given to Elio after he and Oliver part ways.

But Stuhlbarg said he hasn’t been contacted about participating in the sequel yet. “I would be glad to if they were interested to discuss it with me,” he said. “I would be thrilled just to be a part of it, if it were to happen. I know that everybody seems very enthusiastic about it so. But I have no idea which direction it might go.”

In “Find Me,” Perlman takes up a romance with a younger woman he meets on a train while en route to Rome, and much of the novel is devoted to his story. Michael Stuhlbarg narrated the audiobook version of “Find Me,” which he was asked to do personally by Aciman, so he is deeply familiar with the character.

“Professor Perlman, the direction that his life at times went, I loved the journey he went on,” Stuhlbarg said. “It seems very true to who the original guy was, and it would be extraordinary to get to try to bring it to life in a film in one way or another. It’s melancholy in places, but it’s also full of vibrant life, true to the spirit of what we all go through in the first [novel], watching what Elio and Oliver go through. It honors who they were and who they could become.”

Whether or not Guadagnino would remain faithful to “Find Me” remains an open question. “Luca very likely could take this story in a very different direction,” Stuhlbarg. “The novel may stand in its own kind of existence.”

In an April interview, Guadagnino revealed he wants all the actors from the original film to come back, and that he was set to meet with a screenwriter for the sequel when quarantine hit. “I was going to America to meet a writer I love very much, whose name I don’t want to mention, to talk about the second part,” Guadagnino said. “Unfortunately, everything is canceled. Of course, it’s a great pleasure to work with Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer, Michael Stulhbarg, Esther Garrel, and the other actors. They will all be there in the new film.”

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