News & Opinion | February 15, 2018 5:00 am

Timothée Chalamet is a Once-in-a-Generation-Talent

He came out of nowhere, but audiences are thinking of his future not in years, but decades.

Timothée Chalamet
Timothée Chalamet from "Call Me By Your Name" poses for a portrait during the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival at Intercontinental Hotel on September 8, 2017 in Toronto, Canada.
Maarten de Boer

Timothée Chalamet, a 20-year-old from New York, arrived on the set of Call Me By Your Name six weeks before the rest of the movie cast in order to learn two instruments and a new language for a role as a brainy trilingual teenager swept up in his first love affair. On the third-to-last day of production, after falling in love with the cast and the director, the young actor is ready for his close-up. The close-up held as the credits rolled. The director films three takes, each four minutes long, matched to the length of the end-credit song. Chalamet’s face communicates the hurt his heart feels, the longing and nostalgia and love he’s displaying are all real. This scene has audiences stuck to their seats, wondering if they will ever see someone this good again. “He’s Christian Bale, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio,” Lady Bird‘s Greta Gerwig says, according to GQ. “A heartthrob, but with thoroughbred acting chops. Everyone else will be amazed by what he grows into, but I won’t—I’ve always known that he’s a unicorn.” Chalamet has received 40-plus nominations for Best Actor and Best Newcomer and Best, etc. during the awards season. He continues to express endless gratitude for the awards, all the while telling himself “don’t be awkward, don’t be awkward.” The world’s love for Chalamet was clear when he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. He is the third-youngest actor ever to be tapped in the category, and the youngest in 80 years. The best thing about this for the rest of us? He’s got decades of performances to go.