The first full day of the festival saw several prominent titles make their Los Angeles review, but the hot-ticket film was Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name. The film that’s captured audiences’ attention since it’s festival debut in January, fans started camping out in front of the TCL Chinese Theater for a chance to screen the movie starting at 10 a.m. (the film wouldn’t premiere until 7:30 p.m.).
Call Me By Your Name’s red carpet was a more subdued event than its previous carpets at other festivals, yet that didn’t stop cast and director Luca Guadagnino from stopping and chatting with The Young Folks.
How does one prepare themselves for this? I’ve heard so many wonderful things!
I feel you have a very open heart. That disposition is the one you have to have.
Your work is so distinctive between this, A Bigger Splash, I Am Love. How do you pick a project?
A project picks me up. I Am Love I wrote it and wanted to make it, and thanks to Marco Morabito we made it. A Bigger Splash, I was offered the movie. This one I was producing the movie before I became director. I think sometimes there’s something not related to the story that makes me make the movie; maybe it’s the idea of working with that actor or maybe I can control it. In this case this was a project that was up in the air for ten years and we had to do it, so I took the duty.
You’re finishing up Suspiria now.
That is a very personal movie and that’s a movie I’ve wanted to make since I was 14.
The original is so fantastic and beautiful so I’m excited to see what you do with it.
I really hope I don’t disappoint you.
I’m sure you won’t! And what do you say about the rumors that Call Me By Your Name is going to receive a sequel?
It’s not a rumor, it’s a fact! I’m going to meet Mr. [Andre] Aciman in New York next week. I’m going to sit in front of a cup of tea or coffee and we’re going to talk about what’s happened to Elio and Oliver.
You are just 21 and already have three movies out right now. How do you maintain it all?
The philosophy has been to try to work with good directors, good storytellers and actors like Christian Bale or Armie Hammer or Saoirse [Ronan], or someone like Greta [Gerwig]. The fact that they’re all coming out now in a row is certainly not by design, and it’s well appreciated.
What are your recommendations for how people should prepare for this movie?
Just go in with an open mind, open heart. Have fun! Enjoy the movie just like all the movies you get to see.
How does it feel to premiere this at the legendary TCL Chinese Theatre?
It’s very cool! The history here is fantastic.
You’re having a great year. As an actor what’s something you look for in all these different projects?
If I have a choice in the matter. I love material that makes me laugh, that makes me think, perhaps an opportunity to try something I’ve never tried before. Those are the things I really look for, if I’m lucky.
Producers Peter Spears and Howard Rosenman
What was the impetus to work together to put this project out?
Spears: The passion of having read the book and knowing that we were driven to make this into a movie, and not taking no for an answer for ten years.
Rosenman: There’s a great scene in the book between the father and the son that, when we both read [it], everybody wants to have a father like that – gay, straight, men, women. It translated into a universal thing. I wished I had a father like that and Michael Stuhlbarg crystallized that. For us it’s a joy to see our original dream.
How do you respond to the fervid fanbase that’s cropped up around this movie. The “Call Me By Your Name Mafia?”
Spears: The stans? I love the stans! It’s been great. I didn’t even know it existed. It’s wonderful and they’ve been there since the beginning.
What’s it like to premiere it here at the TCL, especially considering the subject matter wouldn’t fly in Old Hollywood?
Spears: That’s such a good point, actually.
Rosenman: I was telling Peter, in 1965 when I first came to Hollywood at 19, I remember coming here [to the TCL, then Grauman’s Chinese] – I was obsessed with Elizabeth Taylor – and I put my hands in her handprints and I said, “One day I’m gonna make a movie” and come here. I’ve been here several times.
Spears: When I came here in 1989 I did the same thing but with Madonna’s handprints. It’s pretty cool to be here, but it’s a good point, this theater wasn’t famous for this kind of movie.