Timothée Chalamet Once Had to Lose Weight by Eating ‘Snowpiercer’ Goo Until Steve Carell Protected Him

Regardless of an actor’s body type, many directors ask for weight changes from their cast members. Timothée Chalamet is one of the buzziest young actors currently in the entertainment business. However, he isn’t immune to filmmakers asking for changes. Chalamet once explained how he had to lose weight by eating Snowpiercer goo for his role in Beautiful Boy, but co-star Steve Carell protected him from it going any further.

Timothée Chalamet and Steve Carell co-starred in ‘Beautiful Boy’

'Beautiful Boy' stars Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet, who said he had to lose weight for the role, smiling in front of white step and repeat
L-R: Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet | Steve Jennings/Getty Images

A teenager named Nicolas Sheff (Chalamet) appears to have a great life from the outside. He has good grades and is an actor, artist, athlete, and editor of the school newspaper. Young Nic has a bright future ahead of him, but everything changes when he develops an addiction to meth.

Chalamet’s character undergoes some serious transformations, including weight changes. Nic’s father, David (Carell), steps in to try and save his son and his family. The story is based on the best-selling pair of memoirs from the real-life father and son.

Timothée Chalamet had to ‘lose weight’ for ‘Beautiful Boy’, but Steve Carell stood up for him

Chalamet participated in Variety’s Actors on Actors conversation with Oscar-winning actor Emma Stone. They discussed one another’s filmographies and asked questions regarding their careers. Stone asked a few questions regarding the film Beautiful Boy. However, Chalamet shocked her when he brought up that he needed to lose weight for the role.

“I lost what was supposed to be 15 [pounds] and then it was 18,” Chalamet said.

Stone asked in total disbelief, “How could you lose weight? … What, did you just not eat?”

“It’s just very hyper-concentrated portions of nutrients,” Chalamet said. “Did you see Snowpiercer? It’s like the protein goo. (Laughs).”

The process certainly wasn’t easy for Chalamet to lose weight.

“It’s hard,” Chalamet said. “I feel like I influence my environment a lot when I act, that’s why I really don’t like to act on stages. I want to act with actual tactical, real things, and to just be in that state, it was jarring, and jarring for people around me. Especially with the makeup.”

However, Carell wasn’t willing to stand around and let Chalamet continue to lose weight for the sake of the movie.

The actor continued: “I could come on set, I would see Steve and his face would drop. He told me one day, ‘No more.’ He’s like, ‘You can’t do it anymore.’ He pulled me aside because you realize that SAG protects a lot of things. My mom works for unions, so they’re so important, but you realize it’s also not somebody trying to be malicious. They’re just trying to get their day done and not going into overtime or whatever. Maybe that’s malicious. (Laughs)”

The actor worked with Steve Carell to build trust

Chalamet explained that weight loss wasn’t the only thing that he had to work on before filming Beautiful Boy. There were other factors that played into his ability to dig into the character.

“There were the books that I stayed really close to,” Chalamet said. “A trust process with Steve, just getting to know him. Then, the gift from Nic [Sheff], who said, ‘We understand,’ and David [Sheff], who said, ‘This isn’t a biopic. Get this as right as possible.’ That was a big relief because I thought, ‘Okay, forget mannerisms or like picking up the cup in a weird way.’ Just do it Then, lastly, it was jumping into it.”

Chalamet ultimately earned a BAFTA Film Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. However, he lost out to Mahersha Ali for Green Book.

How to get help: In the U.S., contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline at 1-800-662-4357.

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