Timothée Chalamet may be the stand-out star of this year's awards circuit (and likely many more to come), but the talented 22-year-old actor is quick to divert attention away from his impressive performance as Elio Perlman in Call Me By Your Name and instead shine the spotlight on his high school teacher, Mr. Harry Shifman.
While on the red carpet for the 9oth Academy Awards, Chalamet and his date (his mom, Nicole Flender) received a surprise shoutout from Mr. Shifman and his newest class of future Oscar nominees. ABC correspondent Michael Strahan introduced the clip to the stunned young performer who immediately started to tear up at the kind words from his previous mentor.
By the end of the brief shout-out, Chalamet was clearly choked up — you can tell the incredible impact that this LaGuardia High School drama teacher had on this budding icon. Between the tears, the angelic suit, and the look of utter and complete gratitude, this instantly became a priceless moment for the LaGuardia graduate.
The Best Actor nominee also told Strahan that he would literally not be at this award show if it weren't for Shifman, who auditioned Chalamet for the school and fought for him to get accepted into the school even reaching out directly to the principal and vouching for the teenager.
In an interview with VanityFair.com, Shifman praised Chalamet's raw talent, telling the website, "I auditioned Timmy to get into this school. He just happened to come to my room for the callback audition, and I remember his audition because I gave him the highest score I’ve ever given a kid auditioning. He was really that good, and he must have been, I don’t know, 13 at the time. It was riveting." Wow — chills!
And Shifman really isn't bias — many other prominent players are eager to gush about Chalamet's talents on the red carpet: Matthew McConaughey, who starred in Interstellar as Chalamet's father, and Guillermo del Toro, whose film Shape of Water is nominated for 13 awards tonight, both congratulated him on his incredible acting. McConaughey told Strahan that the Chalamet he acted with was a "good man" with "natural talent and real confidence." He also dubbed his portrayal of Elio as "fierce" and informing the viewers at home that "he is here to stay." Del Toro was a little more direct and appeared to tell Chalamet that he was going to win the Oscar, to which Chalamet said, "We'll see."
We shall see, and we will know exactly who to thank.
Read These Next: