Season 2 Episode 1
TIMOTHÉE IN PARIS
Brynn Wallner rêves about the day Timothée forgets his French🥐😷🇫🇷
Words by Brynn Wallner Images by BAFTA
Posted October 27, 2020
Timothée Chalamet wakes up, and it’s morning, and he’s in Paris.
“It’s morning, and I’m in Paris,” he says to himself, combatting the familiar but never not foreign feeling of 5-second amnesia. Whose bed is this? What time zone am I in? This is not my beautiful house. This is not my beautiful wife.
Because he could be anywhere. The East Village, the Sunset Tower, Budapest, the Zurich airport, the new Popeyes on Delancey.
But it is today. And it’s Paris, and it’s morning.
He rolls over and checks the date. October 27. The light from his phone illuminates a soft blue glow on his famous face as he opens his calendar. He’s due in 2 hours at the Louis Vuitton Headquarters, where one of his favorite designers and friends will walk him through the new collection.
He scrolls through his emails, responds to some texts, takes a quick call from his publicist who’s on EST (why is she awake? PR people do not sleep). He gets dressed – black jeans, black hoodie, white sneakers, dad cap and the brand new Virgil LV rectangular purse, gifted to him by Kid Cudi. He bursts out of his apartment with a calm sense of purpose. Sunny morning in Paris, an hour-ish to kill.
“Bonjour Timothée. Comme d’habitude?” The nice old lady at the patisserie hands him a coffee and a croissant. So simple. Like his life would be if he hadn’t been born in Hell’s Kitchen, if he’d never attended LaG, if he’d botched his audition with Luca Guadagnino.
“TIMOTHÉE, TIMOTHÉEEEEE! Puis-je avoir une photo s'il vous plaît? Un selfie?”
He smiles for the camera, head to head with a fan about his age, pretty and French and beaming. “Merci beaucoup, Timothée, je t'aime.”
“Vous êtes les bienvenus,” he responds, ever polite. “Bonne journée!”
You could call his morning walk to LV a stroll. He’s strolling. Only one other fan notices him. He’s dumb happy, smiling under his Jack Skellington mask.
He arrives at the massive Louis Vuitton building; he feels the moisture in the air drifting from the Seine.
“Bonjour monsieur Chalamet. Bienvenue au siège de Louis Vuitton.” The receptionist identifies him immediately. “Monsieur Abloh sera à vous dans un moment.”
He waits in the sleek, dimly lit foyer. Foot twitching, checking his phone.
“Virgil! What’s up man! Been too long.”
A warm embrace, a kiss on the cheek. Friends reunited 👨❤️💋👨
“You want anything? Coffee? Water?”
“I’m good, man. How’ve you been?”
“Been good, been good. Working on this new collection. Can’t wait to show you.”
Virgil walks him through the hallway into the showroom. A seamstress is adjusting the hem on a blazer. She looks up – “Ah, le plus bel Américain de Paris. Nous sommes très heureux de vous avoir ici.”
Timothée blushes and keeps moving, letting his fingers stroke all the different textiles. The leather, the silk, the mesh.
“Timothée – back here. This is what I’m the most excited about. Swarovski gave us this gigantic crystal. We’re going to chop it down so that each piece has a 1/1 cut on it. It’s up here.”
Virgil reaches up to unlock a glass box sitting on a pedestal. Timothée looks up from under it, inspecting the sparkling hard edges. Virgil struggles with the lock. “This thing gets a little sticky.” He lightly taps the box. The pedestal shifts. The crystal drops right on Timmy’s head, and he’s out cold, his curly hair limp on the marble floor.
Call Me By Your Name (2017)
Timothée sees orange, which he quickly realizes is the back of his eyelids. He slowly blinks his eyes open, groggy, disoriented. A violent flash of fluorescent light. Surgical masks. A team of doctors.
“Bienvenue à nouveau Timothée”, one of the doctor exclaims. “Tout va bien?”
“Where am I?” Timothée’s head is spinning. “What happened?”
“Vous vous êtes évanoui. Une petite commotion cérébrale.”
“I’m sorry… I don’t understand. Do you speak English?”
A nurse whispers under her breath to another nurse: “Je pensais qu'il parlait français.” I thought he spoke French.
“Timothée, tout va bien? Est-ce que tu parles Français?”
A wave of panic crashes over him. They’re speaking French. He knows French. Why isn’t this registering? What the fuck happened? Put the pieces together. Louis Vuitton… Virgil… the crystal. The crystal! He checks his wrist and sees a plastic band that reads University Hospitals Pitié Salpêtrière with his name Timothée Chalamet.
“I have to get out of here.”
A Rainy Day in New York (2019)
He hastily checks himself out of the hospital, fumbling with his words, everyone around him speaking French, which could be Greek, which could be gibberish. Oh my god, I need silence.
He’s speed walking toward the river. Opens his iPhone. The language is set in French. Jesus Christ.
“TIMOTHÉE! Puis-je avoir un selfie s'il vous plaît?” Another fan. He knows what she’s asking for. He poses for the selfie and stumbles off.
“Timothée, mon cher!”
“Mom, mom. Listen to me. I don’t speak French. I forgot how to speak French.”
“Timothée, what are you talking about? Are you okay? What’s going on over there?”
“I got hit in the head with this giant Swarovski crystal at Louis Vuitton –”
“I know, I know, just listen. I need you to call my manager and have him book me a flight back to New York.”
“Okay baby are you sure? Did you get enough sleep last night?”
He rushes to his apartment and packs up his stuff. Puts on sunglasses, a mask, ties his hair back into his hat. Puts on a Prada puffer, despite the unseasonably warm weather, to conceal his striking skinny frame. Hops in the Uber, arrives at Charles de Gaulle. Miraculously makes his way through check-in.
He reclines into a first class Air France seat, thankful for the decline in travelers, the flights that aren’t selling out. A female’s voice on the overhead speaker. French, French, blah, blah, blah.
“Asseyez-vous, détendez-vous et profitez de votre vol pour JFK.”
He covers his ears with his oversized Sony headphones. Changes the language preference in his iPhone from French to English. Opens Spotify, presses play on his “liked songs” playlist. Le temps de l'amour by Françoise Hardy. Skip. La Ritournelle by Sebastien Tellier. Skip. Cudi. Not right now. Skip skip. A song by French Montana. Fuck. You just have to laugh.
He plays Blonde by Frank Ocean and is able to drift off in a momentary spell of peace until “Facebook Story” comes on and he’s triggered by SebastiAn’s thick French accent. No music. Emergency xanax 💊
He reemerges at JFK, and in the Uber back to Manhattan across the Williamsburg Bridge it’s like Rhapsody in Blue is playing, and he’s never felt so relieved in his life. His manager has talked to his friend, a French street artist, on his behalf, and arranges for him to stay at the Lower East Side apartment they share. He has the key, affixed to an Eiffel Tower keychain that makes him wince. Lets himself inside, calls his manager to reschedule his meetings, crashes for 12 hours.
When he wakes up, he does what he always does when he needs to disappear. He takes a long aimless walk through Manhattan. Up through the East Village, avoiding Lucien, avoiding the Bowery Hotel, avoiding any place where anyone might know him. Great Jones to Lafayette to West Fourth through Washington Square Park. French tourists under the arch spot him and giggle but are too shy to ask for a photo. Life’s small graces. There’s a Le Pain Quotidien (cringe). There’s the church on 5th ave featured in the last scene in Lady Bird. Up through Union Square, a Pret a Manger (wince). Anything French and his heart drops. He feels insane.
A call from his publicist. “Timothée, darling, are you available tomorrow for a remote press conference about The French Dispatch? Wes will be on. Frances will be on.”
The thought of speaking publicly about a movie that takes place even in a fictional French city sends a shiver down his spine. “I’m sorry I can’t, I’ll be on the next one.”
He mindlessly scrolls through Instagram and there’s Lily-Rose Depp in black and white, speaking French in a new Chanel ad. Pain 🥖
A text from a New York-based Parisian model he always hooks up with when he’s in town. Comment vas-tu chérie? Je veux te voir. How did she know he was back in New York? There’s literally no escape. Seeing his name spelled out in emails and messages makes his stomach turn. He’s a fraud. He’s le plouc. He contemplates changing his name to Timothy.
Timothée calls his manager: “Yo, I need you to book me a flight to Wyoming.” ✈️
A black car picks him up in Casper and whisks him 3 and a half hours through the mountains to Cody, Wyoming, where a long windy road leads them to a sprawling ranch flanked by nothing but flat land and blue skies.
“Timothée! Welcome to our home away from home.”
“Kanye, man, you are a sight for sore eyes.”
“What’s going on, Timmy, you look beat. You’re good now. Breathe in the mountain air. Linda will make us lunch with fresh vegetables, meat, and dairy from our farm. We’ve got everything we need here. You’re good now.”
And so for the next two months, Timothée enjoys utter privacy and space, taking solace in the great outdoors on Kanye’s ranch. ⛰️
He spends his days taking walks, reading, resting. Kanye hires a gentle tutor to teach them both French. “Hell, I might as well learn too.”
Kanye and Timothée practice with each other, watch French New Wave movies together, make mistakes together, laugh together. And when he returns to New York, he’s rejuvenated; and his French is rusty but he gets by, and it’s business as usual.