15 Surprising Facts About Timothée Chalamet

If you don’t know about “Lil’ Timmy Tim,” you will soon.
Timothée Chalamet at the premiere of 'Wonka' in London, 2023.
Timothée Chalamet at the premiere of 'Wonka' in London, 2023. / Gareth Cattermole/GettyImages

Everything’s coming up Timothée Chalamet. Ever since the actor’s breakout performance in 2017’s Call Me by Your Name (for which the then-22-year-old earned an Oscar nomination), Chalamet has taken over Hollywood—and the dreams of adoring fans all over the world. He’s played a cannibal in love (Bones and All), a boy messiah (Dune), and the other half of Saoirse Ronan’s situationship not once but twice (both times for Greta Gerwig, in Lady Bird and Little Women). 

And he’s not slowing down anytime soon: On deck is Wonka, hitting theaters on December 15, with Dune: Part Two following just a few months later. Gear up for Chalamet’s return to the silver screen with 15 facts you might not have known about him.

1. Timothée Chalamet went to the same high school as Nicki Minaj.

Both Chalamet and Minaj attended New York City’s prestigious LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, whose other famous alums include Jennifer Aniston, Awkwafina, and Sarah Paulson. Though Chalamet is too young to have overlapped with Minaj, he was only a year behind Ansel Elgort, who graduated in 2012. “They were both popular. They were both like rock stars, in a school full of rock stars,” Harry Shifman, the drama teacher who directed them in school plays and musicals, told Vanity Fair in 2018. “Everybody recognized them as being particularly gifted.”

2. He has a rapper alter-ego named “Lil’ Timmy Tim.”

Back when Chalamet was a high school student, he created a music video as “Lil’ Timmy Tim” for his statistics teacher. Four years after he graduated, when he shot to stardom thanks to Call Me by Your Name in 2017, that video went viral. Ellen DeGeneres even played the clip during an appearance on her show and learned that despite all the effort, the teacher only gave him a D+ grade.

3. Chalamet auditioned for Spider-Man: Homecoming.

At the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards in 2018, when he was receiving the Best Actor Award for Call Me by Your Name, Chalamet shared a story about auditioning for Spider-Man: Homecoming. “I read twice and I left sweating in a total panic,” he told the audience, per The Hollywood Reporter. It’s unclear whether he read for the actual role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man or someone else, but the door remains open for a future Marvel Cinematic Universe appearance.

4. Chalamet learned how to drive on the set of Beautiful Boy.

Timothée Chalamet attends the Cannes Film Festival in 2021.
Timothée Chalamet attends the Cannes Film Festival in 2021. / Kate Green/Getty Images

Chalamet starred opposite Steve Carell in the 2018 drama Beautiful Boy. According to a 2020 profile in GQ, Chalamet learned how to drive on the set because he had to film scenes where his character drives. (He grew up in New York City—give him a break.)

5. He once brought bagels to a film premiere.

After he was spotted grabbing a bagel at Tompkins Square Bagels in New York City, a fan asked if Chalamet was bringing some to the New York premiere of The King. So he did. According to reports, he brought a bag full of bagels and doled them out to fans. On the red carpet, he told Paper that his bagel order was a classic “bacon egg and cheese.”

6. He’s best friends with Saoirse Ronan (he thinks).

Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet celebrate the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards in 2018.
Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet celebrate the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards in 2018. / Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon

Chalamet has worked with Saoirse Ronan twice, in Lady Bird and Little Women—both films directed by Greta Gerwig. “Saoirse’s one of my best friends in the world—at least I think we’re best friends,” he told GQ in 2020 while promoting Little Women.

7. Chalamet dropped out of Columbia University.

Chalamet began attending Columbia University, studying cultural anthropology, just as his career started taking off. He ended up dropping out after his first year in 2014, just before the release of Interstellar (his first major motion picture role). “I just couldn’t figure out the balance,” he told Interview Magazine of juggling a budding career with college. “So I left school after a year, got an apartment in the Bronx, where I had some family years ago, and have since been getting a nice steady stream of work.”

8. He’s bilingual.

Chalamet’s father is French and he himself is fluent in the language. He’s even done full interviews in French. And speaking with Matthew McConaughey for Interview Magazine, Chalamet said that he was fairly confident in his Italian skills after having filmed Call Me by Your Name there for three months.

9. He donated his A Rainy Day In New York salary to Time’s Up.

As the Time’s Up movement took hold in 2018, Chalamet publicly announced that he would donate the salary he earned from working on the Woody Allen film A Rainy Day In New York to Time’s Up, the LGBT Center in New York, and RAINN. “I want to be worthy of standing shoulder to shoulder with the brave artists who are fighting for all people to be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve,” he wrote in a statement on Instagram.

10. Chalamet is Kid Cudi’s biggest fan.

Timothée Chalamet and Kid Cudi in Los Angeles in 2018.
Timothée Chalamet and Kid Cudi in Los Angeles in 2018. / John Sciulli/Getty Images for GQ

For as long as he’s been in the spotlight, Chalamet has been praising Kid Cudi in the press. He even said on The Tonight Show that he “wouldn’t be acting” if it weren’t for the artist. The two have developed a friendship over the years, famously having dinner together with Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, and Pete Davidson in 2019.

11. He studied interviews of Jennifer Lawrence and LeBron James before his first big press tour.

To prepare for his first major press tour for Call Me by Your Name in 2017, Chalamet told Vulture that he went back and watched videos of Jennifer Lawrence and LeBron James to see how they handled the press early in their careers. “When I go back and watch [Jennifer's] early press kits, or even LeBron’s, I’m so impressed because they were so poised and well-spoken,” he said at the time.

12. Chalamet really, really loves The Office.

Steve Carell, Amy Ryan, and The Office superfan Timothée Chalamet attend the Beautiful Boy afterparty during the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.
Steve Carell, Amy Ryan, and The Office superfan Timothée Chalamet attend the Beautiful Boy afterparty during the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. / George Pimentel/Getty Images for Hugo Boss

Chalamet is a huge fan of The Office, so he was a bit starstruck when he ended up playing the son of Steve Carell and Amy Ryan—The Office’s dynamic duo of Michael Scott and Holly Flax (later Holly Scott)—in Beautiful Boy. He actually kept his fandom a secret while they were filming. “I didn’t want to weird him out,” Chalamet told W Magazine. Carell only found out about Chalamet's Dunder Mifflin obsession when they were promoting the film.

13. Chalamet and Hugh Grant liked to gossip between takes of Wonka.

In 2023’s Wonka, directed by Paddington and Paddington 2 director Paul King, Chalamet plays the titular fictional chocolatier during the early days of his career. He sings, he dances, and he consorts with an inches-tall Oompa Loompa portrayed by Hugh Grant. 

Grant didn’t enjoy his time in front of the green screen, to put it mildly. “It was like a crown of thorns, very uncomfortable. I made a big fuss about it. I couldn’t have hated it more,” he said during a press conference. Though he and Chalamet couldn’t exactly shoot their scenes together, they weren’t totally siloed. As Grant explained in an interview with USA Today, “We did try a hybrid where I was on set in a little tent nearby so we could hear each other.” Between takes, they bonded over “gossip about Hollywood people.”

14. His sister is an actor, too.

Pauline and Timothée Chalamet at the 2018 Critics' Choice Awards
Pauline and Timothée at the 2018 Critics' Choice Awards. / Tommaso Boddi/GettyImages

Chalamet’s sister is Pauline Chalamet, who, like her brother, attended LaGuardia High School (Class of 2010) and pursued acting. She currently stars in Max’s The Sex Lives of College Girls, co-created by Mindy Kaling, and can also be seen in the 2020 Pete Davidson–starring film The King of Staten Island. The Chalamets are close now—Timothée has called Pauline his “best friend”—but they had their fair share of antagonistic sibling spats as kids. 

“Growing up, my shoes would be in places I couldn’t reach. Her background on her desktop was this picture in Italy where my hair was really … she’s pulling it out of my head. She made that her desktop picture so every time I’m in her room it was like I was suffering on her screen,” he said in a 2019 interview. “But I think … all in all it was healthy by the end.”

15. Austin Butler’s Elvis team is helping Chalamet prepare to play Bob Dylan.

Chalamet first witnessed Austin Butler’s commitment to immersing himself in a role during the initial cast read-through for Dune: Part Two. Butler had finally shaken his Elvis accent—a holdover from the 2022 Baz Luhrmann film he’d adopted it for—but had already started sounding like Stellan Skarsgård, who plays Butler’s character’s father in Dune: Part Two. “I can’t overstate how inspiring it was to me personally,” Chalamet told GQ, regarding Butler’s ability to take his work—but not himself—so seriously.

So inspiring, in fact, that Chalamet decided to enlist Butler’s team from Elvis—including dialect coach Tim Monich, vocal coach Eric Vetro, and movement coach Polly Bennett—to help him prepare to play Bob Dylan in the upcoming James Mangold–directed biopic A Complete Unknown. “I just saw the way Butler committed to it all—and realized I needed to step it up,” Chalamet said.

A version of this story ran in 2020; it has been updated for 2023.