In the weeks ahead, the critically acclaimed Call Me by Your Name will expands into more theaters nationwide. The movie stars Timothee Chalamet as Elio, a teenager spending the summer in the Italian countryside with his parents when he falls for Oliver (Armie Hammer), a grad student who has come to stay and assist Elio’s father. I saw the movie at Sundance last year and it held up beautifully when I rewatched it in December. It’s a gorgeous, sumptuous, heartfelt movie, and I can’t wait for more people to see it.
Late last year, I got to do a phone interview with Armie Hammer. During our conversation, we talked about following the movie since its premiere at Sundance, preparing to play Oliver, starring in a gay-positive romance, how working with David Fincher on The Social Network prepared him for future roles, the possibility of a Man from U.N.C.L.E. sequel, looking back at The Lone Ranger, and more.
Check out the full interview below, and click on the respective links for Adam Chitwood’s review from Sundance, Steve Weintraub’s interview with Timothee Chalamet and Michael Stuhlbarg, and to find out when Call Me by Your Name is opening at a theater near you.
ARMIE HAMMER: Yeah, I mean it’s been a great situation. We made a passion project that we all really believed in and all kind of put a bunch of energy, and effort, and sweat equity into. To have people appreciate it is great.
You’ve spoken pretty openly about this film. I was just kind of curious. How did it compare to previous movies you had done in terms of your preparation and getting to live with this character?
HAMMER: My preparation’s pretty much the same for every project, just like how I approach it, and what I do to get ready, because I like to feel ready. The preparation was largely the same. It was just the experience that was so unique and rewarding. It was just an amazing opportunity to get to work in the Italian countryside with people who I really respect and admire.
Do you think, having worked with David Fincher so early in your career and his unique approach to working with actors, that that shaped your process, in a way?
HAMMER: It’s the first race you ever run is a marathon, and then every other 10K you run after that seems a little bit easier, you know?
One of the things that really jumps out to me about this film is how it’s willing to sit with these characters and live alongside them. I spoke with Luca a little earlier today, and he said he didn’t feel stressed out by this film. He felt that there was a joy to the filming. Did you get that sense?
HAMMER: Oh, 100%. The same feeling that people say they walk away with, where it feels like they went on an Italian vacation, that it was just relaxed and sunny, and they almost felt sweaty by the end of it because they could feel the heat and all that. That feeling was really pervasive on set. Luca intentionally fostered an environment that felt relaxing, and just languorous, and just enjoyable. It was one of the easiest feeling movies that we’ve ever worked on because Luca intentionally kept the vibe on set really relaxed and really true to the tone of the movie.