Timothée Chalamet is wasting no time in showing that his Academy Award-nominated performance in last year’s coming-of-age hit Call Me by Your Name was no fluke.
The 22-year-old is once again drawing raves (and Oscar buzz) for Beautiful Boy, a crushing drama about a father’s (Steve Carell) desperate attempts to break his college-age son’s cycle of drug addiction.
As Chalamet told Yahoo Entertainment at the movie’s press day, he dropped 18 pounds from his already-thin frame to play meth addict Nic Sheff (directed by Felix Van Groeningen, the story is based on the memoirs of both Nic and his father David Sheff), which ultimately enhanced the authenticity of his performance.
The weight loss made him feel disoriented and “addled,” he said (watch above). “The effect of methamphetamine on the brain and behavior is highly expression-oriented, and it’s full spontaneity. And it’s one of the terrible things about the drug. There’s a long period of rising with a feeling, but then there’s no come-down for a while, there’s just a mania that occurs afterward.”
Chalamet felt lucky to share many of his scenes with Carell, himself an Oscar nominee (Foxcatcher) and who continues to pivot to more dramatic projects after breaking out as a comedy star, particularly as the pair improvised.
“Some actors really like to know exactly how they’re gonna play a scene, but I think to be true to the nature of that kind of behavior, it had to be all over the place,” Chalamet said. “It felt like a tennis match with Steve … If I were to try something new, or if Steve tried something new, we would both kind of receive each other and listen and play off that and not go off a predetermined road map.”
Beautiful Boy opens Friday.
Watch the trailer:
Read more on Yahoo Entertainment: