Armie Hammer Talks 'Stripping Everything Away' in 'Call Me By Your Name': 'I Didn't Know If I Had It In Me'
By Liz Calvario
Nino Muñoz for OUT Magazine
Armie Hammer's latest film, Call Me By Your Name, is unlike anything the actor has done in the past, which he admits in OUT Magazine's November issue scared him at first.
In the film, which is already generating Oscar buzz, the 31-year-old actor portrays Oliver, a graduate student who sparks a romantic relationship with Eli, a 17-year-old boy who lives at the cliff-side mansion on the Italian Riviera where Oliver is staying.
In the interview released on Wednesday, Hammer admits he initially demurred accepting the offer, telling the publication, "It seemed so subtle, so personal, and so real that I didn’t know if I could do that as an actor."
"I didn’t know if I had it in me to give such a tender performance. It scared me," Hammer shares, adding that director Luca Guadagnino "assuaged all my apprehensions by helping me to realize that fear and desire are part and parcel."
The indie film, which received critical acclaim at this year's Sundance Film Festival, made Hammer realize that the challenges he faced were a personal reward as well.
"So much of this movie is about stripping everything away and exposing yourself,” he says. “I grew up in conservative white America, where you just don’t talk about yourself, your desires, wanting to express your sensuality --it’s taboo. To be fully immersed in Luca’s world was just an incredible gift."
"I know that I will carry the experience of making this movie for the rest of my life,” Hammer adds. "I don’t want to say movies can change the world, but if we can change one person’s perspective, we can change that person’s world.”
Known for his roles in action films like The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and The Lone Ranger, Hammer has also had smaller roles in indies like Nocturnal Animals and The Social Network. But with Call Me By Your Name, the actor felt as if Guadagnino pushed his boundaries to the next level.
"I’ve never been so intimately involved with a director before,” expresses Hammer. "Luca was able to look at me and completely undress me. He knew every single one of my insecurities, every time I needed to be pushed, and when I needed to be protected."
Call Me By Your Name arrives in theaters on Nov. 4. See more of Hammer in the video below.