For the first time in British Vogue’s 106-year history, the fashion magazine has put a man on its cover: Wonka star Timothée Chalamet.
As the magazine explains, the 26-year-old star has left an indelible mark on his generation that's too hard to ignore. But, if you ask the actor himself, he'd say he never anticipated that his life would be so momentous at his young age.
“I had a delusional dream in my early teenage years to have, in my late teenage years, an acting career,” he told the magazine. “And in my late teenage years, working on Homeland and starting to do theatre in New York, I felt like I reduced my goal to something more realistic, which was to work in theatre and hopefully make enough money doing either a TV show or something I could sustain myself [with]. And then it felt like every dream came true, exponentially. And then life is moving at six million miles per hour.”
Of course, there are some learning curves. Chalamet says the pandemic brought unique opportunities for him to grow and mature.
“When Covid hit, it required me to take a step back,” he said. “[Everyone has to] deal with, like, taxes and the dentist and real adulting, you know? I should have been trying to get my adult feet under myself a little bit earlier than I did.”
“I found myself having to really, you know, be honest with myself that where I’ve been able to get myself to in life was balls to the wall, like throwing everything at [it] at a young age that, by some miracle, got me to where I am,” he continued. “But to then transition to an adulting mindset.”
That’s not to say the Wonka star hasn’t always felt like an old soul. Indeed, he has.
“The perspective that feels ‘old man,’ I feel like I was born with it,” he said, later explaining it as “the empath thing, the thinking for everyone in the room, the sort of misplaced idea, this sort of illusion, of control based on trying to feel for everyone.”
In a followup video interview with British Vogue’s editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, Chalamet talks of his career in plain terms, saying he’s been intentional in choosing roles that speak to him — regardless of how many lines he has.
“I feel like early on in my career, I just wanted to work on things that were great, regardless of the size of the role,” he explained. “And it often meant working with a great director. I guess I'm trying to go where it's not obvious to go.”
As far as understanding his role in the celebrity zeitgeist, that he represents what Enninful describes as “a moment in history, a moment in time,” the humble actor couldn’t seem to wrap his mind around it.
“That's scary as f***,” Chalamet said with a giggle.
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