Actor Timothée Chalamet may be an A-list Hollywood star, but most people don’t correctly pronounce his name. Don't worry, though, because even Chalamet doesn’t seem too concerned about the diacritical mark hovering over his first name.
Chalamet became a household name, ironically, thanks to his performance in Luca Guadagnino’s 2017 coming-of-age drama Call Me by Your Name. That same year, Chalamet portrayed the brooding heartthrob Kyle Scheible in Greta Gerwig’s Oscar-nominated film Lady Bird. Throughout his career, Chalamet has consistently proven himself on screen, dating all the way back to an early performance in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. In 2019 alone, the 23-year-old actor headlined Woody Allen’s A Rainy Day in New York and David Michôd’s The King, and has a prominent role as the lead male in Gerwig’s Little Women. Still, many people struggle mightily when pronouncing “Timothée Chalamet."
Chalamet’s name derives from his father's French heritage. The family surname is pronounced “SHALL-AH-MAY.” During an August 2019 appearance on The Graham Norton Show, Timothée stated that he’s “97 percent” fluent in French, and that his first name is technically pronounced, in proper French, as “TEE-MO-TAY.” But Chalamet often goes by what his first name looks like: “TIMM-O-THEE.” He told Norton, “It’s whatever you like.” In the clip, Chalamet appears alongside his Little Women co-star, Saoirse Ronan, who similarly must often explain the correct pronunciation of her name. Check out the clip below.
In 2018, while speaking to E!, Chalamet and Ronan discussed the weirdest pronunciations of their first names. According to the male performer, his last name is “butchered” a lot, and he was once identified as Timothée “CHAIR-MONT.” In general, Chalamet seems to embrace the various pronunciations of his first and last names, and doesn’t seem to mind if fans and critics alike simply call him “Timothy.” But for all the die-hard Chalamet fans out there, the accent in Timothée is key. If you ever meet the actor in person, it be may worthwhile to correctly pronounce his name: TEE-MO-TAY SHALL-AH-MAY, which has a much better ring than Tim “CHAIR-MONT.”
Of course, Chalamet and Ronan aren't the only two people in the industry with hard to pronounce names. Other well known actors such as Chiwetel Ejiofor and Ioan Gruffudd have had their names butchered over the years. Others, like Charlize Theron and Ralph Fiennes, may have names that appear easy to pronounce, but even then people tend to get them wrong.