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LFF 2018: Timothée Chalamet and Steve Carell talk addiction and challenging stigma in Beautiful Boy


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The National Student spoke to Steve Carell and Timothee Chalamet about their upcoming movie, Beautiful Boy, in which they play a father and son struggling with the effects of addiction on their relationship.

Photo by Tim P. Whitby / Getty Images

Both actors had much to say about their hopes for the film to challenge stigmas surrounding addiction, and for audiences to “realise that addiction isn’t a moral failing, and that it doesn’t discriminate,” explained Carell. “I think everyone will take away something different, and if it starts some discussions, and people think about it,” it will have done its job.

“There’s a comfort in thinking that drug addicts, or that addiction can’t affect your family or yourself, when the reality is that it’s a very human disease and it doesn’t discriminate,” added Chalamet.

Speaking on preparing for his role as drug-addicted Nick Sheff, Chalamet explained that he learned about the stages of addiction and usage through “videos on YouTube, and just go[ing] to rehab and asking people about their experiences.”

The film being based on two memoirs by the real-life Nick and David Sheff also provided an invaluable resource for the actors. Prior to filming, Carell met David Sheff and “we had lunch and he came to set a few times. He’s just a lovely man and very courageous and kind, and gentle… and also very generous!

“The fact that he and his son wrote these incredibly honest novels and then turned the story over to a bunch of Hollywood people that they didn’t know, and hoped for the best, that was a real leap of faith. So I give them credit for allowing that to happen, and I hope we did it justice.”

Beautiful Boy releases in cinemas on January 18th.

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