Timothée Chalamet is having a moment. Actually, he’s not just having a moment.
With the recent release of Dune and The French Dispatch, he is the moment.
Since Chalamet’s 2017 performance in Call Me By Your Name earned him an Academy Award nomination for the Best Actor at the age of 22, he has shot into the spotlight. From Lady Bird and Little Women to The King, he has proven himself to be a rising star.
But before Timothée was Hollywood’s golden boy, he was just a nice Jewish boy.
So let’s unpack his Jewish identity:
He’s a New York native
Timothée Hal Chalamet was born on December 27, 1995, in New York City.
Timothée’s mother is a former Broadway dancer
Timothée’s mom, Nicole Flender, who was formerly a Broadway dancer, is Russian and Austrian Jewish. Needless to say, very Ashkenazi all around.
His French roots come from his dad’s side of the family.
His French dad, Marc Chalamet, is from Nîmes, France and Timothée grew up spending summers at his grandparent’s home in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, a small French village two hours away from Lyon.
He’s a dual citizen
Chalamet is fluent in both English and French and holds dual United States and French citizenships.
Judaism was a central focus for his breakout role in Call Me By Your Name
Chalamet’s Hollywood debut in Call Me By Your Name had a unique Jewish background. The film is based off a novel of the same name by Jewish author André Aciman and religion is a prominent theme throughout both the film and book.
In the movie, Chalamet plays 17 year-old Elio, an American Jew living with his parents in Italy in 1983. Elio develops feelings for Oliver (played by Armie Hammer), his father’s temporary assistant.
One of the first points of connection between Elio and Oliver is their shared Jewishness. Oliver proudly wears a Star of David, which shocks Elio, who rarely meets other Jews.
“My mother says we are Jews of discretion,” Elio tells Oliver.
By the end of the film, Elio follows Oliver’s lead and wears a Jewish star necklace, relating to his Jewishness in a different way than his parents.
In an interview about the film, Chalamet talked about the importance of Elio’s Judaism and called Jewishness a driving force of the plot.
“It wasn’t something I could verbalize or understand in a conscious domain, but rather there’s something inexplicable about it that is a driving force in the film,” Chalamet said.
He’s redefining what the filmstar heartthrob looks like
Timothée Chalamet doesn’t exactly look like your “usual” Hollywood heartthrob. He doesn’t have the Channing Tatum Magic Mike aesthetic. In fact, his lack of muscles has become a running joke in a few of his films.
Instead, he looks like a lanky, curly-haired nice Jewish boy. Yet, he has become the heartthrob of today’s generation.
Behold, at the height of Tik Tok, one user started the #TimmyTrend (this video has almost 3 million views!!!):
Despite NJB’s not generally being acclaimed for their appearance, it’s Timothée Chalamet’s looks that have made him Tik Tok’s golden boy.
What better PR move for the #NiceJewishBoy?
Have you seen Dune yet? Let us know on Instagram, Tik Tok and Twitter @JewishUnpacked.
Originally Published Nov 5 2021 09:56AM EDT