Here’s Timothee Chalamet at the London premiere of Beautiful Boy inspired by Harry Styles. Timmy was in great spirits – perhaps he knew that the movie was doing very well stateside at the box office.
Beautiful Boy posted one of the highest per-screen averages of the year, with around $55,000 per screen at four theatres in New York in LA. It was frontloaded too, as early predictions had the gross pegged at $84,000. Part of the reason it did so well, especially on Friday? Pure Chala-mania. Amazon planned four Q&As with Timothee and director Felix Van Groeningen (and Plan B producer Dede Gardner, who I was totally nerding out over) in New York over 24 hours on Thursday and Friday. They sold out so quickly that they decided to add two others, which also sold out. I went to Q&A number four (of six), and it was WILD. His fans are WILD. They had gifts for him (at one of the Q&As, he received a framed drawing of himself) and most questions started out with lots of praise for his knockout performance in the movie and their love for him.
But, just like Lainey’s written about recently, Timothee is just as much of a fanboy – see aforementioned style crush on Harry Styles. Despite the number of Q&As, Timmy is patient, thoughtful with his answers, gracefully shifting gears to talk about how he’s obsessed with The Office and that it was surreal to have Steve Carell play his “movie dad” (something he’s spoken about before), to how serious the opiate epidemic is, and how grateful he was to bring Nic Sheff’s struggle with heroin and meth addiction to the big screen in a realistic way. Like he referenced on The Tonight Show a few nights earlier, he also talked about how the last thing he ever wants to do is become a “self-serious” actor, and expressed his gratitude for the ride he’s on, and how appreciative he is of the fans and how he feels “just like them” and loves movies just as much.
When Dede Gardner praised his audition as being one of the best she's ever seen, he said that he was so embarrassed and surprised to hear that, because he never knows how his auditions go, and that he was still wrecked by his White Boy Rick audition that same year (which he didn’t get). And once again, he sarcastically talked about how “self-serious” some actors can be, and says he met all kinds of those people while going to "performing arts high school."
He was gracious and appreciative of the fans, and showed his kinship with them in his own way - he was even wearing a Lady Bird + Julie pin on his jacket. Predictably, the Q&A went long, and lasted for a little over 35 minutes. On his way out, he was mobbed by fans (some of which who said they had gone to multiple Q&As just to meet him or give him gifts) asking for selfies, and signatures (many on Call Me By Your Name books) and he obliged as he got into the car. He had an ear-to-ear smile on his face the entire time. He didn’t seem tired or burnt out from the press tour, or the extra changes to his schedule. He was loving it…
Loving this moment of recognition and this appreciation. You could tell he fed off the frenzied energy, and the praise. It’s still not old to him. Erik Davis of Fandango moderated the Q&A I was at, and compared the fan flurry to that of post-Titanic Leo.
Definitely chalk this up to the power of Timothée Chalamet. I was with him for three Q&As over the past few days and was sort of blown away by the frenzied atmosphere. We haven’t seen anything like this kid probably since early DiCaprio https://t.co/OTlNLQa8Br— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) October 14, 2018
I can’t see him adopting Leo’s private (and often salty), press-averse personality though. At least, Timothee is going out of his way to insist he won't. If Leo’s what Timothee would consider “self-serious,” he’s way on the other end of the spectrum. Timothee's really enjoying this ride - the spotlight, the attention, the spotlight on his work, and it seems, more importantly, the opportunity.
As for the movie, I totally agree with Sarah’s review from TIFF. It’s uneven and disjointed, but Timothee’s performance is phenomenal, and he blows Steve Carell out of the water (which is saying something). But if this movie becomes an indie box office hit, and Timothee continues to charm not just fans, but the Academy — who loves to anoint a new star — he could conceivably earn yet another Oscar nomination… at 23. Of the 23 “experts” on Gold Derby, nine of them are currently predicting him to win Best Supporting Actor. Nobody else in the category is hustling this hard so far.