Timothée Chalamet says Tom Cruise sent him an email with a list of experts for stunt training
“He said, in Old Hollywood, you would be getting dance training & fight training, nobody is going to hold you to that standard today. So it’s up to you.”
After walking a little, he looked up. “I would just go there, but is there a better place than that?”
It was a grimy bodega that I know to be run by cats.
I persuaded him to get a bowl of pasta from a place that was willing to stay open late. We talked about his forthcoming blockbusters, Wonka and Dune: Part Two, and the transformation that had occurred both professionally and personally since the last time I saw Chalamet, in 2020.
“I bet I’m way calmer than I was talking to you in Woodstock,” he said.
Assembled at the table were, yes, the many characters he’d embodied in films. But there were also the versions of himself that had been constructed in public and reflected back at him. There were the versions constructed through truth. The versions constructed through conjecture. The versions constructed through outright fabrication. And then finally—lastly—there was the person that he actually was and is beneath it all.
One weeknight this summer, after when I typically go to sleep, Timothée Chalamet—the real one—came by my apartment building in downtown Manhattan. It was steaming hot and he had his hood up and a jean jacket on. Layers. He had a mask, too, a holdover for so many of his kind, even as a mask in public, at night, draws more eyes your way than it diverts. He was walking with pep, with freedom of movement.
He preferred to prowl his hometown at night these days, like Batman, when he can move readily in the shadows. Batman was hungry. “Do you know where I can get a sandwich?” he asked me.