Call Me By Your Name: Greatest Scene–Intimate Talk between Liberal Father (Michael Stuhlbarg) and Young Gay Son (Timothee Chalamet)

One of 2017 Greatest Scenes

Call Me By Your Name

The most emotionally impactful scene in the romantic drama, Call Me By Your Name, is the tender and brutally honest conversation that Mr. Perlman (Michael Stuhlbarg) has with Elio (Timothee Chalamet) at the end of the film, where as father he offers his son unconditional love and support.

“Most gay people do not have that kind of father,” says producer Howard Rosenman. “The idea of this kind of man, loving and holding his child close to him and telling him to treasure the moment, is extraordinary. It’s almost like a fantasy, but it’s powerful and real because of the way Michael Stuhlbarg delivers it.”

Says producer Spears: “I saw a meme somewhere, ‘Be the person you needed when you were younger.’ Something about that has stuck with me and I feel like Luca and I, in so many ways from the very beginning, have made the movie we needed when we were younger that wasn’t there.”

Writer’s Father as Inspiration

The character of Mr. Perlman is based on author Aciman’s own father. “My father was a very open-minded person who had no inhibitions when it came to sexuality,” says Aciman. He was a man you could always have a conversation with about anything you wanted to discuss about sex. So I wasn’t going to write the usual kind of speech, like ‘everybody goes through this’ or ‘you should see a shrink,’ or the contentious father routine, because that’s not the father I knew. My father would have said exactly what the father does in the book and the movie.”

Says Timothee Chalamet: “What was cathartic and enlightening for me in doing the scene with Michael was the sensation that pain isn’t a bad thing. In fact pain needs to be nurtured and taken care of and if you ignore pain or in the words of Mr. Perlman, ‘try to rip it out,’ you’re going to rip out everything good that came with it. Obviously, there’s going to be disappointment and hurt, but in order to achieve the good again and to reflect on the good that did happen in a positive light down the road, you need to be gentle with yourself. Don’t kill the pain and all the good that came with it.”

“If you’re lucky enough to feel something deeply, even if it hurts, don’t push it away,” says Michael Stuhlbarg, who gives an impressively tender performance as the understanding father. “What a waste to feel something beautiful and then to try to pretend like it didn’t happen.”

“I think it’s the dream scenario of all teenagers, especially gay ones, to be fully accepted by their parents, especially fathers.”