Warning: Call Me by Your Name spoilers ahead.
If you’ve seen Call Me by Your Name, chances are you shed a tear or two during the film’s poignant closing moments, in which a heartbroken 17-year-old Elio (Timothée Chalamet) hears from his professor dad (Michael Stuhlbarg). It’s an especially touching speech, given Stuhlbarg’s Mr. Perlman not only comforts Elio, but also lets it be known he’s aware his son is gay, and voices his support in the most eloquent and poetic of ways (and in 1983, mind you).
Stuhlbarg, however, deflected credit for the scene’s potency when we talked to him at Sunday’s Academy Awards, where Call Me by Your Name was up for four nominations, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, that latter of which was claimed by James Ivory.
“The sentiments I was given to say were very, very beautiful, they came straight out of the novel [by André Aciman],” Stuhlbarg told us (watch above). “They seemed to have a lot of resonance for people, particularly about the sentiments of ‘If you’re lucky enough to feel love, that it’s important if it goes away to not push the feelings away you have away with it, but to feel what you felt.”
Stuhlbarg, who also appeared in two other Best Picture nominees (The Post and The Shape of Water, which won), didn’t earn a nomination for the portrayal, possibly because he split votes with co-star Armie Hammer, who plays Oliver, the older object of Elio’s affection and who was also left off the ballot.
Impressively, he said the monologue was captured in only two takes. “I got to know Timothée and Armie over the course of the making of the film, and we were ready on the day to make that scene happen.”
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