Call Me By Your Name was the movie that introduced many viewers to Timothée Chalamet. He’d been acting for 10 years, but the love story between Elio (Chalamet) and Oliver (Armie Hammer) touched hearts. Still, there were two alternate versions of that development audiences never saw.
Chalamet revealed two improvised takes that weren’t used in a pivotal scene in the Call Me By Your Name bonus features. The film is now included in the Sony Pictures Classics 30th Anniversary 4K UHD Collection. You can hear this story and more in that collection.
The ‘Call Me By Your Name’ scene between Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer’s bathing suit
Early in the film, Elio is still just silently pining for Oliver. He comes into a bedroom to see a pile of laundry. In the laundry is Oliver’s bathing suit, so Elio puts it on his head.
“We did three versions of this with the bathing suit that are different sexual expressions of the same idea,” Chalamet said on the audio commentary track. “The one that made it in that’s going to come up here where I put it on my head, lean backwards, and arch my back.”
Timothée Chalamet did one wilder take with Armie Hammer’s bathing suit
Chalamet revealed the other two takes he tried of that scene. Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino made the right choice. But imagine the way the scene could have gone.
“There’s a version I like too where I ran around the bed for three minutes,” Chalamet said in the commentary. “It’s tough to describe literally but the sheets were all messed up. This one was the most succinct of the takes. This is from the book as well.”
More about the unused takes
Another bonus feature has the cast and Guadagnino in a Q&A after a screening. There, Chalamet elaborated on the bed sheets take and the third which was too quiet to convey Elio’s passion.
“I think the first take was really restrained,” Chalamet said at the Q&A. “There’s a weird ass second take where I’m running around the bed and tearing the sheets up. The third one is the one that’s in the film with the bathing suit on the head which wasn’t necessarily in there each take.”
Chalamet credited Guadagnino with giving him the space to explore all three versions. Ultimately, Chalamet trusted Guadagnino to choose the take that’s in the film. The film made Chalamet a movie star, even though he hates the term.
It first comes with the trust of the director and all the stuff you don’t see in the movie where I’m doing things that are terrible and don’t make any sense. But what has always turned me on as an audience member when I see coming of age films, or in particular sexual coming of age films are moments of spontaneity where as an audience member you think no way they could’ve planned that. With that sense of protection it frees you and makes you look way better than you are as an actor. It’s really a trust for the director and that if there are things that you’re going to do that aren’t pre-ordained choices and are going to be spontaneous, you’re not going to find yourself watching yourself [doing] something weird, outlandish and really big or something.Timothee Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name 4K UHD, Sony Pictures Classics 30th Anniversary Collection