Hollywood heartthrob, academy darling, fashion icon, et cetera. If you have seen a famous film in the past ten years, it probably starred Timothée Chalamet. Everyone is familiar with the mysterious French allure of this captivating actor, and he has found a secure home for himself in the Hollywood media cycle promoting his next high-profile blockbuster or Indie Letterboxd favorite. However, what many might not be aware of is that despite only being 28 years old, Timothee has already had an illustrious career in Hollywood, boasting an eclectic back-catalog of films and characters, each instilled with Chalamet’s once-in-a-generation charisma.

Like most actors, Timothée Chalamet got his start on stage and with supporting roles in television, but, unlike most, he also made his mark in the hugely popular, unabashed financial hit “Interstellar,” which remains for many one of the best films of the 21st century. From there, his career went from strength to strength, with 21 film credits to date. I’ve done my research, and after watching all of his films (in addition to more YouTube edits than I care to admit), I proudly present the very strongest among them, with my top 10 Timothée Chalamet performances. (Apologies to any “Wonka” fans out there…)

10. Don’t Look Up (2021)

Best Timothée Chalamet Performances - Don't Look Up (2021)

Timothee has had a number of smaller parts, including “The French Dispatch,” “Hostiles,” and “Interstellar,” but his minor role as Yule, the laid-back, rebellious skateboarder in Adam McKay’s polarizing feature, “Don’t Look Up,” takes the cake as his most unforgettable. The film was widely discussed, but Chalamet’s performance is not an aspect that receives as much attention as it perhaps should. It is an efficient performance, as despite his limited screen time and lack of presence in much of the narrative, he still delivers some of the funniest lines in the film.

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As a parody, the surreal one-note nature of his character is kind of the point, but it does mean that the performance lacks nuance and richness. This kind of role is undoubtedly an outlier compared to the rest of his quite heavy filmography. At the same time, it is one that caters to his comedic strength. Chalamet indeed proves capable of pitch-perfect timing and delivery.

9. The King (2019)

Timothée Chalamet - The King (2019)

If you are still high off of the spice of “Dune: Part Two” and want a Chalamet performance with a similar flavor, then 2019’s “The King” might just scratch that itch. “The King” is filled with monarchical power plays, with Chalamet’s Hal, the eldest son of King Henry IV, at the heart of a complex web of competing personalities. It is among a select group of films where Timothee is able to experiment within genre conventions and carries the Shakespearean gravitas of the story with an authoritative register throughout. Hal is forced to undergo a lot of change over the course of the film. He is, in parts, frankly unlikable, anomalous amongst Chalamet’s catalog of generally endearing and relatable characters.

Chalamet’s arrogant confidence is well conveyed, and I firmly believe that without the experience developed during this film, his far more recognizable turn as Paul Atredies would not be of the caliber that it is. While other roles may be more suited to the actor’s skill sets, it doesn’t mean they should be any more noteworthy than the brilliance he brings to this film.

8. Hot Summer Nights (2017)

Timothée Chalamet - Hot Summer Nights (2017)

Hot Summer Nights” is not a brilliant film, but for Chalamet completionists, it isn’t one to miss, as he still stands out as one of the film’s redeeming qualities. Timothée plays Daniel, an awkward, aimless teenager who begins a foray into the dangerous world of drug dealing and hooking up in Cape Cod during the hottest summer on record. His boyish appearance doesn’t hinder the performance, and Chalamet is more than up to the task of conveying Daniel’s transition from a self-conscious nobody to an immature small-time criminal.

What is so impressive about Chalamet is his ability to create engaging chemistry with the performers around him, specifically his romantic foils. The palpable connection to Maika Monroe’s McKayla is evident albeit underserviced by Elijah Bynum’s script, and you genuinely grow to believe that this character would strike a connection with Dex (Alex Roe), his guide to the world of drug dealing and partner in crime.

I would really only recommend this film if you, like me, are interested in consuming everything the man touches, but Chalamet is among a few actors working today where such viewing consumption would be a worthy endeavor. (Except 2019’s “A Rainy Day in New York,” which divorced from the Woody Allen of it all, is a bad film and, for my money, the weakest performance he’s ever delivered).

7. Dune (2021)

Timothée Chalamet - Dune (2021)

Dune” may well be Chalamet’s most high-profile credit to date, but it is also where we see him at his most alien. Paul Atreides, the son of the powerful Atreides household, which has been recently assigned to rule over the desert planet Arrakis, is a natural fit for Chalamet and a logical career progression for the A-List star. The restrained, cool exterior of Paul Atreides may hold the performance back from being among his best work. But he manages to communicate the necessary depth to sustain the mammoth runtime and remain compelling throughout.

Paul is seamlessly brought to life, infused with both vulnerability and determination. Chalamet’s performance is vital in grounding the epic scale of the universe. As with all his films, Timothée has a magnetic quality, drawing you in and encouraging you to experience this journey alongside him. However, it has to be said that with Paul’s arc as incomplete as it is, Chalamet’s strongest character moments are reserved for the second installment.

6. Little Women (2019)

Timothée Chalamet - Little Women (2019)

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It feels like Timothée was built in a lab to play Laurie, the love interest of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel. His screentime centers on his various romantic escapades with the March sisters, and he effortlessly slips into the shoes of this high-class American aristocrat. Timothée has an impressive ability to match the tone of any film he stars in, completing the assignment every time with flying colors. However, his unique performance style most perfectly complements Gerwig’s equally off-kilter flair.

Aided by source material that serves the character well, Laurie is perhaps the most stylish Chalamet has ever looked in a film. Yet, his impressive fashion sense merely cements the lovably oafish interior he captures. There is a surprising depth to the character and performance as well. Laurie is integral to some of the most impactful and quotable moments of the film. The best performances are always the ones in which you feel no other actor could have quite produced the same results, an idea that is applicable to much of Timothee’s filmography, but especially “Little Women.”

Related to Timothée Chalamet: 10 Best Greta Gerwig Movies as a Writer, Director and Actor

5. Lady Bird (2017)

Timothée Chalamet - Lady Bird (2017)

In his initial collaboration with her, Timothée Chalamet can wholeheartedly thank Greta Gerwig for his distinctive media image, as it is built off of his turn as Kyle, the mystifying and aloof romantic interest of the eponymous “Lady Bird.” He is a quintessential teenager, skillfully capturing the archetype of the pretentious rebel. Everybody knows or knew someone like Kyle at some point in their lives, meaning he is a truly timeless character. Chalamet once again excels in his deadpan delivery of hilarious Gerwig dialogue, with every line uttered by him not only transfixing but also supremely funny.

His chemistry with Saoirse Ronan is electric, and Chalamet is immediately able to demonstrate the assured screen charisma he has since become synonymous with. It is not the most challenging or complex role Timothée has had to contend with, yet it is certainly a memorable one. “Lady Bird” is an incredible film with a host of aspects that leave it far greater than the sum of its parts, but Chalamet’s performance stands strong as one of the core components.

4. Dune: Part Two (2024)

Timothée Chalamet - Dune: Part Two (2024)

The latest performance of Timothée Chalamet also happens to be one of his most exceptional. Whilst “Dune” may have laid the foundations, it is in part two where his performance of Paul Atreides comes into its own. Chalamet carries the burden of the colossal scope and weighty ambition on his shoulders; the story is filtered primarily through his perspective.

He possesses the commanding presence of a performer far older yet simultaneously evokes the naivety of a man needing to learn to adapt to the constantly evolving power dynamics of this absorbing world. It is in this complexity where Timothée Chalamet thrives. Paul’s intense internal monologue is never explicit but is clearly conveyed.

While his relationship with Chani (Zendaya) is too simplistic to be fully bought, this fault never lies in the performance. Chalamet proves himself an expert in hand-to-hand combat scenes, agile and physically threatening, and a master of articulating alien dialects—another performance to add to his impressive roster. “Dune: Part Two” will make you question whether Chalamet is the “Muad’Dib” messiah of the acting world.

3. Beautiful Boy (2018)

Beautiful Boy (2018)

Following his breakout in “Call Me By Your Name,” released the year prior, Timothée Chalamet (or more likely his agent) made the wise decision to star in Felix van Groeningen’s “Beautiful Boy,” as it allowed Chalamet to showcase his immense range. Here, he portrays Nic Sheff, a troubled teenager whose drug use causes him to have a fractious relationship with his father, David (Steve Carell). What is astonishing about this performance is that he is somehow able to overshadow a career-best performance from Carell. Perhaps one of his most challenging performances, Timothée Chalamet subtly reigns supreme in the world of acting, offering a nuanced and surprisingly endearing take on an individual with substance abuse problems.

“Beautiful” Boy allows Chalamet to further flex his dramatic muscles. He sells every line of Luke Davis and Groeningen’s screenplay, balancing the restrained and unrestrained elements integral to the character. Nic undergoes a harrowing series of events, and Timothee Chalamet is particularly adept at ensuring every moment is believable and grounded, never once verging into melodrama territory.

2. Call Me By Your Name (2017)

Call Me By Your Name (2017)

The performance that started it all still stands as one of his best and worthy of the Oscar nomination it received. This meditative, slow-burn coming-of-age story takes place over the course of a fairytale Italian summer, as teenager Elio (Chalamet) finds himself embroiled in a doomed romance with Oliver (Armie Hammer), a 24-year-old student staying with Elio’s family over summer. Chalamet proves himself capable of holding his own as a leading man against a supremely talented ensemble and turns in what is perhaps his most human performance to date.

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Each subsequent performance from Timothée Chalamet builds on this impeccable foundation laid in “Call Me By Your Name,” as he expertly conveys the wide-eyed innocence and heart-wrenchingly tragic qualities essential for the role. Moreover, the methodical and rhythmic nature of the storytelling allows us to chart the character’s drift, ensuring the emotional beats Chalamet goes for towards the end are more than earned. Most importantly, he lends the character a sense of universal relatability. If the eyes are the windows to the soul, his longing, wistful gazes capture the essence of adolescent love in a way few but Chalamet could convey.

1. Bones and All (2021)

Bones and All (2021)

Perhaps an unconventional choice for the top spot, but Chalamet’s turn as the cannibalistic Lee in this poetic romance is undoubtedly his most unconventional role. He eats up screen time as he accompanies Maren (Taylor Russell) on a road trip across rural 1980s America, finding companionship in one another whilst seeking to find their place in a world that does not accept them.

Despite having become accustomed to the mysterious, romantic interest role throughout the late 2010s, his chemistry with Russell is perhaps the strongest he has ever had with a co-star. Together, they construct a steamy, intimate, and profoundly expressive relationship, with Chalamet’s subtle charisma still shining through despite his blood-stained exterior and crazed mannerisms.

Given his previous experience with Guadagnino, Timothée Chalamet seems to have been given the space to let loose and embody the role with an exceptional amount of commitment. He develops his trademark soft-spoken vulnerability, combining it with the air of danger. “Bones and All” is packed with tension, and much of this is carried by his commanding performance. You, as a viewer, never feel safe in his hands. Timothée’s performance is resoundingly impactful as he meets his most gruesome of fates to date.

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