timothée chalamet’s best coming of age roles, ranked
The actor has starred in a lot of films you probably don’t know about.
Screenshot via YouTube
Although it may not feel like it, Timothée Chalamet did not become a star overnight. The 22-year-old spent years appearing in odd roles before starring in the career-defining Call Me by Your Name. (Fun fact: One of his first roles was playing a privileged 12-year-old in a 2009 episode of Law and Order. He gets killed.) Tiny Tim already has an long resume of stellar performances in indie films. Movies you’ve probably never even heard of. One of our favourite Timothée performances, in fact, was never even released in theatres. In the 2014 short film, Spinners, Timmy plays a wangsta who illegally purchases a gun to disastrous results. The performance is both hilarious and poignant.
There’s a host of other great coming of age roles starring our favourite Frank Ocean fanboy. Of course you’ve seen Timothée play Kyle in Lady Bird, but have you seen him play Zac — a teenager with superpowers — in One and Two? And what about his touching performance as a confused, wayward teenager in the indie drama Miss Stevens? Don’t worry, we have the essential Timothée Chalamet watch list for you.
Here’s Timothée’s best coming of age roles, ranked in order from amazing to super-amazing.
One and Two (2015)
One and Two sees Timothée star in his first thriller. Directed by Andrew Droz Palermo, the film centers on a brother and sister discovering they have teleportation powers. Tender Zac (played by Timothée) and headstrong Eva (played by Kiernan Shipka) go to great lengths to keep their abusive father from discovering they are teleporting. One and Two is deeply suspenseful, depicting two teenagers fighting to feed their curiosities and explore who they are. “You see that it’s genre-less,” Timothée said of the film. “That’s what really attracted me to this project. You have horror elements in there, you have action elements, you have superhero elements with the supernatural abilities. I’d love to do one of those franchise films, I would love to be jumping around. But it’s exciting to do something that has elements of that, but isn’t that.” One and Two is an enchanting glimpse at Timothée honing in on his signature acting qualities. There’s his contemplative gaze, his slow, measured words, and his ability to simultaneously capture the angst and beauty of youth.
Miss Stevens (2016)
In this indie drama, Timothée plays Billy: a rebellious teenager who gets taken under the wing of a caring teacher. The one place Billy is able to fully be himself is on stage. One of the greatest moments is when he stars in a production of Death of a Salesman, performing a powerful monologue that goes way beyond his years. It was the perfect moment for Timothée to put his fast-developing acting chops on full display. In an interview, he talks about how hard it was to slam-dunk the monologue. “Yeah, shooting that was like a marathon; we did maybe 20 takes of it,” he says. “The first eight takes were good … and then maybe the four ones after that — there was really something. I think it’s one of those that was used. And then maybe just eight extra. The monologue that plays in the movie — that was all in one take, and it was cut back and forth. It was all in one take.”
In this short film, Timothée is a bad boy fed up with being made fun of while advertising a cheap loan business. He and his friend decide to buy a gun from a down-and-out mother in the desert. When she refuses to sell to them because they are kids, Timothée’s friend turns violent and things quickly go awry. Spinners is a hauntingly timely work, touching on the excess of guns in America and how young people have easy access to them. On a lighter note, Timothée’s wardrobe — consisting of baggy cargo shorts, a white bandana, and a backwards baseball — is hilarious to look at.
Lady Bird (2017)
Timothée brilliantly captures the air of “pretentious douchebag” as President Bush-hating teenager Kyle. The actor masters the trope of brooding bad boy. Although Kyle is not exactly the most experienced kid. Let’s not forget the very awkward — yet realistic — scene of Lady Bird losing her virginity to Kyle. The unromantic moment lasts approximately twenty seconds. However, Lady Bird director Greta Gerwig knew Timmy would steal hearts in the role. “I didn’t know it was going to happen in 2017, but I did know that he would become a heartthrob,” she shared.
Hot Summer Nights (2018)
We might be jumping the gun on this one, but we have a strong feeling Timothée is going to absolutely slay in Hot Summer Nights. The film stars Timmy as a straight-edge teenager wasting his summer days in Cape Cod before inadvertently getting pulled into the drug market. The visually stunning film is set in the 80s and features vintage Jesse Jackson campaign memorabilia, neon lights, and arcade games. There’s also some pretty steamy scenes between Timothée and his love interest McKayla Strawberry (played by Maika Monroe). There’s nothing we love more than watching Timothée seamlessly go from good to bad. Talk about range.
Call Me by Your Name (2017)
We give this Oscar-nominated role 5/5 peaches. We don’t have to say much about Timothée as the hopeless romantic Elio in Call Me by Your Name. Because if you’re reading this, let’s be honest, you’ve probably already seen the queer love film. One of the most powerful scenes in Call Me By Your Name is the ending. In one continuous shot, Timothée sits in front of a fire and cries about the definitive end of his love affair with Oliver. It’s easy to feel like all of the actor’s roles have been leading up to this exact moment. A pure, uninterrupted shot of raw emotion.
Upcoming: A Beautiful Boy (2018)
This role is set to be Timothée’s darkest one yet. Also starring Steve Carell, the film is based on the best selling 2008 memoir A Beautiful Son: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction. Timothee plays the leading role of Nic, a boy struggling to overcoming his addiction to meth. A Beautiful Boy will be released by Amazon Studios, which hopefully means we won’t even have to leave our house to watch it. Earlier this year, Timothée talked to Frank Ocean about the challenges of the role. “It felt like a big responsibility to get [drug use] right,” he said, expanding on talking to a drug consultant for the role. “The movie is about addiction, and to get the actual using wrong would betray anyone’s experiences walking that path. It was very helpful.”
This article originally appeared on i-D US.