Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides with glowing blue eyes and wind swept hair in 'Dune Part 2.'

Timothée Chalamet’s Best Film Roles

Whenever the subject of Timothée Chalamet comes up with my friends, I try really hard to pretend that I don’t find him just as attractive as everyone else in my friend group does, because it just feels like it’s too easy. Like, yeah, he’s adorable. He’s got sharp features that could easily cut the nice French cheese he probably eats on a daily basis. Got it, nice, moving on—what else?

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Well, thankfully, there’s a lot else. While it’s fair to point out that he, like many young actors, is a product of nepotism, however mild, I truly acknowledge him as one of the most talented actors in our age group. He’s got a very distinct style and range, and he picks really interesting projects to work on. These are the projects highlighted in this list of Chalamet’s best roles.

Call Me By Your Name (2017)

In the years since Call Me By Your Name was released, there’s been a lot of negative dialogue surrounding it, and for valid reasons. It does romanticize a relationship with an unhealthy age gap, and, consequently, an uncomfortable power dynamic. The days of gawking at “the peach scene” have passed and given way to a more critical analysis, and I understand where it’s coming from. Not even gonna get into all the Armie Hammer stuff, blech.

However, there still remains something to be said about just how authentically and beautifully Timmy sold this performance. It was his first major role in a film as an adult, and he took to it like a fish to water (or, rather, like a young Italian boy to disco). When I was younger, I was mainly excited for this movie because of Sufjan Stevens’ work on its soundtrack, but Timmy was the reason it stayed with me for so many years. He was able to come into his role so tenderly, it made you feel like you were the one in a riverside field, trying to articulate your feelings to someone for the first time. (Madeline Carpou)

Lady Bird (2017)


I have a lot of love for Lady Bird, because it was my own Boyhood—i.e. it was my younger life to a T, almost unsettlingly so. And while I wasn’t brazen enough to pursue the pretty boy that made my inner thoughts a persistent nightmare to endure, I could definitely recognize who Timmy’s character in this movie was trying to be.

As soon as Lady Bird went into his bedroom, I found myself shaking my head, saying, “No, no, bad idea, he’s gonna wreck your shit.” And then he did. But as horrible a plot point as that whole situation was, it’s a testament to Timmy’s acting skills that he was able to play into the art-hoe-douche stereotype so bloody well.

(Especially since he high-key looks the part, but hey, don’t we all dress for some sort of role?) (M.C.)

Beautiful Boy (2018)

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My god, this movie made me weep. It’s arguably the campiest movie on this entire list, and at times it feels a little heavy-handed in its emotional beats, but as someone who has experienced personal tragedies similar to the ones at the center of this film, I have to say that Beautiful Boy is as beautiful as its name implies.

And Timothee is at the heart of it all. While credit must absolutely go to Steve Carrell for his role as Timmy’s father, Timmy himself is able to play his role in an almost invasively accurate way. I had to pause the movie a couple times, just to collect myself, and even though I had a personal connection to the subject matter, I don’t believe it would have felt so devastating if it weren’t for how well Timothee embodied his role as Nic. (M.C.)

The King (2019)

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Yes, yes, Robert Pattinson was a meme in this movie, and the movie itself was kind of a meme (albeit a damn good movie, don’t get me wrong). But where Timothee really shone was in how seamlessly he transitioned from his more typical roles (a somewhat feminine and sensitive character) into King Fucking Henry.

I say this as someone who hated reading Shakespeare in high school, and still finds conversations about Shakespeare annoying: Timmy nailed this shit and made this movie infinitely more interesting than it would have been otherwise. He was a subtle badass all the way through, and even from the very beginning, you could see his character’s potential to grow into the king he was meant to be. He just made this movie so cool, my family watched it three separate times in one week. (M.C.)

Little Women (2019)

Gotta admit, as much as I love Greta Gerwig, I wasn’t totally sold on Little Women like everyone else seemed to be. It felt a little choppy and fast-paced for as ambitious as it was trying to be, but all the actors did a phenomenal job, every single one of them. And of course, Timmy killed it as Laurie.

Dude, I fell in love with Laurie. That scene where he and Jo slipped off? Good god, it was almost too fan-fictiony for me, but I loved it. Sometimes you just gotta let the pretty boy lean into his natural role, and Greta really lets him loose in that regard. (M.C.)

The French Dispatch (2021)

(Uploaded by ONE Media)

And sometimes, you gotta tickle a young leftie’s heartstrings a little and make the pretty boy a collegiate revolutionary. Thanks a lot, Wes Anderson, I didn’t need anyone fueling my already woeful attraction towards these types of dudes. And thanks a lot, Timmy, for once again playing the part so damn well.

But in all seriousness, thank you Wes Anderson for giving the boy a chance to speak in his native tongue. There’s a lot to love about The French Dispatch and it feels unfair to call out just one good role amongst many, but Timmy did phone home with this one, and was only elevated further by Anderson’s superbly sophisticated writing. (M.C.)

Dune (2021)

Trust me on this. I have great intuition for things I know I’ll be impressed by. And part of why I haven’t watched Dune yet is because I know it’ll occupy all the space in my brain that I’m currently reserving for work, love, and Disco Elysium.

But I already know it’s damn good, and that Timothee is damn good in it. Tell me more in the comments, why don’t ya? (M.C.)

Don’t Look Up (2021)

Don’t Look Up fictionalizes the apathy people have about world-ending events. Scientists tell everyone a planet-ending asteroid is hurtling towards Earth. They can literally just look up to see it, but many don’t want to. As a chaotic towny teen named Yule, Chalamet provides a strange comic relief to the frustrating events unfolding.

He’s the kind of guy everyone has in their hometowns who thought they were cooler than they actually were. This guy may act tough, but he’s just a baby underneath his faux leather jacket. One of the funniest scenes is when he delivers an out of nowhere heartfelt prayer to his new friends as they share a final meal before Earth is obliterated. (D.R. Medlen)

Bones and All (2022)

Timothée Chalamet reunited with Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino on Bones and All. Once again Guadagnino pulled a brilliant performance out of Chalamet, even though he played a supporting role to Taylor Russell’s main character, Maren. As Lee, Chalamet is a drifter who serves as a guide and love interest for Maren. Both Maren and Lee suffer from the same affliction that compels them to eat other humans.

Chalamet leans into the oddity of Lee. There’s something strangely sexual about the way he phrases eating another person. I became instantly obsessed with his crop tops and rope belt. He brought the character from the book to life while making Lee completely his own. (D.R.M.)

Wonka (2023)

Wonka tells the story of a young Willy Wonka trying to make his name in the chocolate business. Don’t trust the trailer, the movie is so much fun and enjoyable for audiences of all ages. Chalamet outdoes himself as Willy Wonka. He’s sweet, naive, charming, and maybe a little dumb. You can’t help but love him. He just wants people to share in his happiness while eating chocolate. It’s an admirable dream.

The most surprising part of Wonka for me was that Chalamet sings! His voice isn’t perfect, yet it fits the character so well. It’s earnest and clear while conveying all the deep emotions Willy feels on his journey. I kind of hope Chalamet decides to do more musicals in the future. Or maybe he could play a sleazy rockstar, I would enjoy that too. (D.R.M.)

Honorable Mentions: “Tiny Horse”

I’d watch a “Tiny Horse” movie. In any case, Timmy, if you see this: you were excellent on SNL and your eagerness to be good at this style of comedy only made you a more endearing actor to follow. Please consider hosting again, s’il vous plait. (M.C.)

“Giant Horse”

“Tiny Horse” was too good not to get a sequel. The year: 2057. Our heroes hide underground against the raging and world-ending force known only as Giant Horse. The only hope left is for one man to talk to his old horse friend, who used to be tiny. The power of friendship can save the world from a sci-fi dystopian future. There he is, my tiny horse. (D.R.M.)

(featured image: Warner Bros.)

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Image of Madeline Carpou
Madeline Carpou
Madeline (she/her) is a staff writer with a focus on AANHPI and mixed-race representation. She enjoys covering a wide variety of topics, but her primary beats are music and gaming. Her journey into digital media began in college, primarily regarding audio: in 2018, she started producing her own music, which helped her secure a radio show and co-produce a local history podcast through 2019 and 2020. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz summa cum laude, her focus shifted to digital writing, where she's happy to say her History degree has certainly come in handy! When she's not working, she enjoys taking long walks, playing the guitar, and writing her own little stories (which may or may not ever see the light of day).
Image of D.R. Medlen
D.R. Medlen
D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a pop culture staff writer at The Mary Sue. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer in 2019. She expertly fangirls over Marvel, Star Wars, and historical fantasy novels (the spicier the better). When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse, offspring, and animal familiars.