Among the nominees for the 90th Academy Awards is Timothée Chalamet, star of "Call Me By Your Name," the youngest person to earn a best actor nomination in nearly 80 years. And although Chalamet is quickly becoming one of the biggest names in Hollywood, he's still a normal 22-year-old in many ways, as he reveals to GQ's Daniel Riley in the magazine's March 2018 cover story.
When Chalamet earned his first major paycheck from a commercial he did for Disney in 2010, for instance, he chose to spend it on something fun. The actor immediately bought season tickets up in the nosebleed section for the New York Knicks, he tells Riley.
However, the actor ended up only attending a few games that season. When he purchased the tickets, he was convinced that free agent LeBron James would sign with the Knicks, but after the basketball star headed to Miami instead, Chalamet decided to sell off a bunch of his tickets.
Chalamet's splurge makes sense: As a native New Yorker, he's is a long-time Knicks super-fan, so he was opting to spend on experiences over things. The same year, just a few days before James announced his decision to go to Miami, Chalamet saw Amar'e Stoudemire, another player rumored to sign with the Knicks, tweet that he was in New York and attending a Broadway show.
Upon seeing the tweet, then-14-year-old Chalamet raced from his home in Hell's Kitchen to the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in Times Square, where he waited outside for two hours to catch a glimpse of Stoudemire, he told Vulture.
When the player finally exited, Chalamet asked him to sign a jersey. "In fact, the first picture of Amar'e ever holding a New York jersey was in the Daily News, and there's a young me holding the jersey up to him to get him to sign it!" he told Vulture.
During his interview with GQ, the actor also skipped a tour of his high school in favor of watching the Knicks warm up at Madison Square Garden.
"Get Out" director Jordan Peele, whose film is nominated for best picture alongside "Call Me By Your Name," landed a role on MadTV in 2004 that later turned out to be his big break. He was still living paycheck to paycheck for a while, but he managed one "obnoxious" purchase for himself: an Xbox.
As Peele's career continued to take off, he realized earning bigger and bigger paychecks wasn't about buying as much as he could. "You realize the value is in not having a side job," he told Bloomberg. "Even today I don't splurge — I'm the anti-Scarface. All these things you imagined you'd buy, none of those would bring me much joy or peace."
The dream purchases he abandoned? "Props from movies or memorabilia — a nerd collection. At some point, I could let go of the fantasy of owning one of the Gremlins."
As for Chalamet, he's still figuring out his finances. He makes purchases using his debit card, even though experts would probably advise him to switch to credit, and constantly forgets to put in his frequent flyer number when he books plane tickets.
But he's also just beginning his career and excited to be doing what he loves.
"I've never acted with any sort of public image in mind, with anybody expecting anything," he told GQ. "It freaks me out a little.… If I had known people would be seeing 'Call Me by Your Name,' I don't know if it would've come out the same way."
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