This month, there was quite a stir in Lyme Regis. Timothee Chalamet (a young actor) was in town. Word was getting around like a sourdough starter among the book club members.
Witnesses reported a gaggle of ladies jostling for a position on the quay to get a snap of the wispy thesp, who’s taking on the role of the young Willy Wonka, currently being filmed on the Dorset coast.
‘We’re here for our daughters,’ they protested, although I doubt anyone actually asked. ‘They’re at school, and they’d never forgive us if we didn’t get a picture.’
Their daughters? Absolute rot. Those women were there to help. I imagine there was a bit of squealing and elbowing going on, as this 25-year-old, for whom the word ‘brooding’ seems to have been re-branded, was plumbing depths no HRT patch has ever reached.
Julia Lawrence explores Timothee Chalamet’s charm, 25-year-old, after he attracted a group of women of a certain age along the Dorset coast during filming. Pictured: Glenn Close and Timothee Chalamet
We all love him you see — and when I say ‘we’, I mean ladies of a certain age. And if you haven’t discovered him yet, my sisters, this is my gift to you.
Even the American-French actor’s name is delicious — try it out. Timothee . . Each syllable should be admired. It purrs, and it smoulders in a fug Gauloises cigarettes in a Seineside cafe. It takes your coat, pulls out your chair and calls you ‘cherie’.
He was on the red carpet last week, promoting the sci-fi blockbuster Dune.
Indie film-lovers can see him in The French Dispatch (a new Wes Anderson movie), where he plays a student revolutionary who has a brief romance with a journalist played in part by Frances McDormand (64). And I’m not the only one to fall prey to his charms; Timothee has been charming his way round Hollywood’s best for some years now — women who could, with a bit of imagination, be his grandmother.
Glenn Close, Meryl Steep, and Laura Dern were among those first to be seen mixing with him (aged 72, 52, and 52, respectively). Glenn Close was spotted getting very chummy with him at the 2019 BAFTAs, leading them to be dubbed ‘Glennothee’.
He’s been seen watching basketball with his Little Women co-star Laura. And Meryl Streep apparently latches onto him at A‑list ‘dos’ and parades him around, introducing him to people like a proud Nanna.
Julia said Timothee has the screen presence of James Dean or a young Marlon Brando — full lips, foppish chestnut hair, Bambi eyes and coltish limbs. Pictured: Timothee, Tilda Swanton
Oh, I’m not daft here. I am sure there was mutual professional benefit for both parties. It was like this: The new hot thing and the old Hollywood Titan, seizing control of the spotlight by both ends. They seem to be utterly thrilled by him. They are not smitten. . . no that wouldn’t be right. They’re enchanted.
What is it about him that makes him so special? He’s got the screen presence of James Dean or a young Marlon Brando — full lips, foppish chestnut hair, Bambi eyes and coltish limbs. He’s bilingual, multi-talented and, oh, he can act. He is a natural actor, my goodness.
I, like most people, stumbled upon him in 2017’s ravishingly beautiful, romantic, and erotic movie Call Me By Your Name. At just 22, he was nominated to an Oscar. He played the role of a boy who falls for Armie Hammer.
In fact, it’s safe to say that film enraptured everyone in my family that night (we watched it together — awkward, yes I know; I hadn’t read the book).
Julia said women of a certain age want to cook Timothee a Sunday lunch, ‘fatten him up a bit’ and send him home with a tupperware of homemade banana bread. Pictured: Timothee, Margot Robbie
My 24-year-old daughter saw 14.1 million Instagram followers as a cool, young thing. My 21-year old son loved music and loved his clothes. My husband fell for Italy while I fell for Timothee.
His appeal goes way beyond the Sunday night ‘phwooarrr’ of Tom Hiddleston in The Night Manager and all that flesh in War And Peace. With Tim it’s different, we love him because we can’t have him.
We want to cook him a nice Sunday lunch, ‘fatten him up a bit’ and send him home with a tupperware of homemade banana bread. We want to stand next to him in a wedding photo and introduce him to everyone as ‘my gorgeous son-in-law’.
I was utterly smitten by his role in Little Women, where he played the romantic Laurie. Watching him beg for Jo’s hand in marriage, I wanted to dash in and shake her!
I read that Little Women’s director, Greta Gerwig (aged 38) boasts that she and ‘her friend Timmy’, as she calls him, can talk on the phone ‘for an hour or more without even realising it’.
Julia stated that women of a certain age would like to introduce Timothee (pictured on the new Willy Wonka movie) as their ‘gorgeous husband-in-law.
Have you ever tried to speak to a twentysomething-year-old-boy over the phone? My experience is that it works like this:
‘What have you been up to?’
‘This and that.’
‘Have you had your dinner yet?’
‘No. Sorry Mum, it’s not a good time, can I call you later?’
Timothee, Timothee, my beautiful Timothee. Please call.