Call Me by Your Name star Timothée Chalamet still recalls his nerve-racking audition to play Peter Parker/Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming. It’s been a very eventful awards season for Chalamet, whose role opposite Armie Hammer in the coming-of-age romance Call Me by Your Name has earned him Best Actor wins from the New York and Los Angeles Film Critics’ organizations, among many others; and Best Actor nominations for the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards and the Golden Globes.
The great thing for Chalamet is, Call Me by Your Name is only one of the films that earned him critical acclaim in 2017. He also has garnered notices for his pivotal supporting role in writer-director Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird, which has several nominations for star Saoirse Ronan during awards season, including a Best Actress (Comedy or Musical) win at the Golden Globes. As part of the film’s diverse cast, Chalamet is part of the film’s Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture nomination at the SAG Awards.
According to THR, Chalamet, while accepting his Best Actor award at the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards Saturday night in Los Angeles, revealed that he once auditioned for another film that was a big winner in 2017. The 22-year-old actor says three years ago he was trying out for the lead in Spider-Man: Homecoming, but his two auditions to play Parker/Spidey left him a panicked mess. He says:
“I read twice and I left sweating in a total panic. I called my agent [UTA’s] Brian Swardstrom and I said, ‘Brian, I thought about this a lot and I have to go back and knock on that door and read again’ and he told me the story of Sean Young and how in an attempt to become Catwoman had scared everyone away when she showed up at the studio gates in costume.”
The Young story is in reference to the actress’ ill-fated audition for Tim Burton’s 1992 Batman sequel Batman Returns, where Michelle Pfeiffer went on to create an iconic performance as Selina Kyle/Catwoman opposite Michael Keaton’s Caped Crusader. And while the Spider-Man: Homecoming gig didn’t quite work out for Chalamet (and of course went to Tom Holland instead), it undoubtedly changed the trajectory of his career. Now, thanks to the success of Lady Bird and Call Me by Your Name, directors know Chalamet’s name, which means fewer auditions. Chalamet says:
“Honestly, my favorite part of this last year besides getting to act in other films and getting to talk about Call Me By Your Name is not to have to audition constantly.”
So, as Chalamet has learned, missing out on a chance to play a superhero doesn’t mean that your career won’t soar. Sometimes actors have to scale heights in a different sort of way to reach the pinnacle of their career.