Timothée Chalamet, U Good, King?

“I think societal collapse is in the air,” the actor mused while celebrating his new cannibal movie at the Venice Film Festival.

Timothée Chalamet, U Good, King?
Photo:Getty (Getty Images)

Timothée Chalamet may be on a late-summer Euro getaway at the Venice Film Festival, one of the most prestigious and glamorous events in the world, to promote his romantic new movie about cannibalism. But I’m here to tell you that things aren’t all sunshine and rainbows for the actor, even in the breathtaking “Floating City.”

Chalamet’s reflections on his film, Bones and All—and on the state of the world at large—took a rather dark turn at a festival press conference on Friday.

“I think it’s tough to be alive now,” Chalamet mused. “I think societal collapse is in the air—it smells like it—and, without being pretentious, that’s why hopefully movies matter.”

Chalamet stars opposite Taylor Russell in the “cannibal love story”—a “coming-of-age romantic horror film” that “follows two alienated teens, Maren (Russell) and Lee (Chalamet), who find a connection in a shared love of flesh during a road trip across the American Midwest in the 1980s,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. The movie happens to be directed by Italian director Luca Guadagnino, who worked with Chalamet on his 2017 breakout film Call Me By Your Name opposite the now notorious and famously cannibalistic Armie Hammer (seriously, what was in the water on that set?).

The actor said he believes that the feeling of isolation inherent to the film will resonate with those looking to be reminded of the COVID lockdown’s lowest points (I got lonely during COVID, I will admit, but did not resort to eating people). And, as he made clear in the interview, he is also one of many Hollywood men who finds social media to be mentally taxing.

“To be young now, and to be young whenever — I can only speak for my generation — is to be intensely judged,” Chalamet said. “I can’t imagine what it is like to grow up with the onslaught of social media, and it was a relief to play characters who are wrestling with an internal dilemma absent the ability to go on Reddit, or Twitter, Instagram or TikTok to figure out where they fit in.”

He added: “Without casting judgment on that— because you can find your tribe there—but I think it’s tough to be alive now. I think societal collapse is in the air—it smells like it—and, without being pretentious, that’s why hopefully movies matter.”

Watching the trailer for the movie, I couldn’t quite grasp the source of the characters’ isolation, nor where the whole eating-each-other thing kicks in, but I’ll take his word for it. And while his spirits might be rather grim at the moment, we hope Chalamet can enjoy a gondola ride while in Venice, taking in the aroma of something other than the demise of our world as we know it, and err, human flesh.

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