No problem here

Armie Hammer addresses Call Me By Your Name’s age-gap romance

The gay romance Call Me By Your Name has proven itself to be a critical darling.

But some have condemned the film’s central relationship, which is between a 17-year-old named Elio and a 20-something professor named Oliver.

Armie Hammer, who portrays the latter, says it’s all about context.

“We weren’t trying to make some salacious, predatory movie,” he tells The Hollywood Reporter

‘The age of consent in Italy is 14,” he says. “So, to get technical, it’s not illegal there. Whether I agree with that or not, that’s a whole ‘nother Oprah, you know?”

Related: Armie Hammer lashes out at James Woods’ latest homophobic tweet

“Would it make me uncomfortable if I had a 17-year-old child dating someone in their mid-20s? Probably.

But this isn’t a normal situation: The younger guy goes after the older guy. The dynamic is not older predator versus younger boy.”

In the book. the characters are 17 and 24, respectively. Meanwhile, Hammer is 31-years-old in real life, and Timothée Chalamet is 21.

Related: Armie Hammer was ‘terrified’ before filming gay sex scenes in “Call Me By Your Name”

Back in September, malignant veteran actor James Woods lashed out at the film, saying the subject matter was “quietly chip[ping] away at the last barriers of decency.

Hammer hardly let that comment go unanswered.

Related: Armie Hammer’s Twitter “likes” include rope bondage

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41 Comments

  • Bopper1

    …I saw the film last night, it’s beautiful…

    …as Mr. Hammer points out, both characters are legally consenting adults…if anyone has issues with the age gap, they shouldn’t see the film…it’s their loss…

    • Stache

      I have no problem with a 17 yo and a twenty something. Mentally they’re not that far apart. However, say a 30 or 40 something would definitely give me the creeps.

    • john.k

      I agree, a wonderful film. The acting by Timothee Chalamet was extraordinary for such a young actor. The emotion he conveyed in the final scene, without moving or saying anything, brought a tear to my eye.

  • Tim Winfred

    I got to see an early release of this movie and it was PHENOMENAL! I felt a little awkward about the topic as well when I was watching it, but (**SPOILER ALERT**) Elio’s father has a great conversation with him toward the end of the movie about love and giving yourself permission to follow your heart. I don’t see a lot of movies in theaters more than once (unless they are amazing), but this was such a beautiful love story with a really great moral, that I wouldn’t mind watching it again when it gets released.

  • JaredMacBride

    I can believe that a 17 year old would fall for a 24 year old, or vice versa. But Armie Hammer just doesn’t look anywhere near 24 to me, which spoils the illusion.

    • Stache

      Ha. I just looked and you’re right. That’s not a face just 4 years out of his teens look.

    • baggins435

      It depends upon your preconception of what a “teen” is supposed to look like, or a 21 year old, or a 30 year old.
      As a junior in college, I was told repeatedly that I looked 16. I had a full on hairy chest.
      Almost 20 years ago I worked with this little cutie who was around 26, 5’6″ (maybe). If he quit shaving for a week or two he might look like a 15 year old trying to grow facial hair. I ran into him a few years ago and he looked like he was nearly 30.
      Back in high school I was in the band. Summer practice before my junior year it was super hot in August and boys were allowed to practice shirtless on the field. There was a 15 year old Sophomore saxophone player running around shirtless. He was about 5’8″, stocky build, no fat. And the entire front of his body was covered in a thick, brown, pelt of hair. The boy’s dress code meant we had to be clean shaven with short hair, but he looked like he needed to shave by the time we broke for lunch. There were only maybe three seniors who had hairy chests and they weren’t in his league. I had a hairy chest by the time I started my senior year, and while it covered my front, it wasn’t thick and opaque like his.
      When I was in college I worked part-time for a national department store chain that is currently on it’s last legs. There was a 17 year old who had Patrick Stewart’s hair from STNG. Just a fringe around the sides and back. He said when he hit puberty and started growing pit and pube hair the hair in his head started falling out so he just shaved it.
      The point is, you can’t assume someone’s age by their looks. So, just go with the illusion.

  • topsyturvy

    Did people complain about the age gap between Baby and Johnny when Dirty Dancing came out?

    • Donston

      Why does “Dirty Dancing”, a movie that came out 30 years ago, the only example that’s ever brought up? DD got away with it because of the time it was released, the age difference was never emphasized and Patrick and Jennifer looked to be similar ages.

    • jkb

      The only complaint was putting Baby in a corner.

    • topsyturvy

      Donston Name another movie that people are APE SHIT in love with that features a teenage girl who is seduced by an older man and then I’ll sit down.

    • john.k

      Lolita

  • jd.cali

    Omg how many times can this story be covered… ;) got it already.

    • cory_orsborn

      DAMN!

  • Donston

    I am as well getting sick of this “story”, but it’s a story again because of recent events.

    I get where Armie is coming from. But saying that because the younger guy “goes after” the older guy that makes everything okay is kinda stupid. As if 15 year olds don’t hit on 40 year olds, especially when it comes to teenage boys and older women. Also, Hammer does not look anywhere near 24. He didn’t even look 24 in The Social Network. While Chalamet could still pass for like 15. So, it does make it a more awkward pairing than it should be. Then you have the recent stories (particularly Spacey’s) and Hollywood’s history of homophobia. And it all ends up going beyond what’s on the actual screen.

    I’ve seen the movie. It’s not as problematic as I feared. In fact, it’s very good. And Chalamet is a stand-out. However, it is an “easy” movie. It’s a pretty film with low stakes and low tension and a lack of entertainment value. The movie doesn’t question itself nor does it truly challenge the characters or the audience. It’s barely a “romance”, and there’s nothing erotic about it. Not really the “step forward” we were promised and not a masterpiece. Just a good movie, which I guess is good enough but not worthy of all the hype.

  • Bob LaBlah

    Meh. I just watched the trailer. Its a bunch of ol’ foreigners speaking gibberish one minute and then english the next. Bah, humbug. For those of you who were into Meryl Streep back into the days when she was always in foreign movies you should love this one.

    • Donston

      A lot of the English is borderline “gibberish”. It tries incredibly hard to be fancy and pretty and sophisticated and likable. And that takes away from some of its overall effect.

  • dean089

    “Age of consent” often gets taken out of context. In many U.S. states it simply defines the line between gross criminal activity and sexual misconduct. I know a fellow who spent time in jail and will forever be on the Michigan sex offenders registry because when he was 18 he had a 17-year-old boyfriend — they were both in high school at the time — and the young man’s parents pressed charges. 17 might be within the age of consent, but a 17-year-old is still a minor child. This was 12 years ago and the guy has to be careful of everywhere he goes in case someone recognizes him from the sex offenders website. So anyone thinking that a 17-year-old can do whatever he/she wants is sadly mistaken.

  • Ryan Field

    What really surprises me is that so many don’t know the term/phrase “barely legal.” If this were a movie about a 24 year old man who looks considerably older than 24 who goes after a 17 year old girl the straight community who be branding this book/movie Lolita. The term “barely legal” is important with respect to young gay men, too. It’s only recently that young gay men have been able to have a normal puberty, and even then these young gay men are still the lucky ones. It’s only recently that young gay men can come out in their teens and date other young gay men in their teens with parents who support them. I have a 16 year old niece whom I love and support completely, and so does her parents, who recently came out and she’s dating an adorable 16 year old girl. They’re even going to the prom together. They have their whole lives to look forward to. It’s not some dark exaggerated Hollywood story about hiding in the closet. And I’m thrilled that my niece and her girlfriend are able to do this because I never had that opportunity and I’m in my 40s. I never had a puberty as a young gay man because I wasn’t allowed to have that. The only choice I would have had back then would have been with an older predator.

    And there is a considerable emotional difference between a 17 year old barely legal and a 24 year old man. At 17 you’re still in high school. At 24 you’re out of college and adulting for at least a couple of years. But I think what bothers me most about this movie and book is that the book was written by a straight man and it’s all coming from a heteronormative POV. There’s really nothing gay about it, even though it’s being promoted to the gay community as a gay movie. It’s a film with homosexual content, about a 24 year old and a barely legal 17 year old boy. And I just think it’s time we got a little better content and they stop pushing these old stereotypes down out throats because “they” find them entertaining.

    Urban Dictionary defines barely legal in several ways, but I think this one says it best…

    “1) The age at which a girl is just old enough to have sex without getting the older man in trouble with the law.”

  • zach_

    With the whole legal thing, in America, even being consensual, and the younger person is going after the older guy, there is a thing called responsibility. Although I don’t see anything wrong as the age difference isn’t crazy. ( I know a younger couple that are 9 years apart) Personally I feel that if there is really something there and a true connection I don’t think anyone has a right to stop two people in that situation though. But legally, assuming the age of consent was 18 in the movie, you have a responsibility as the older person, to follow the law.

  • surreal33

    The problematic aspect is trying to rationalize gay men have sexual relationships, with underage children. Regardless of how close to the age of consent the child happens to be. It reinforces negative stereotypes. Also, it gives credence to the narrative that gay men prey on children.

    • Paco

      Roy Moore must be proof that god fearing heterosexual men prey on children as well.

    • JoeyRamone

      Tired of people referring to someone 17 as a child. Legal age in NY, btw. From the comments on this site, plenty of seeming adults in this thread with the maturity of children. Age and maturity not directly correlated.

      I was no child at 17, or 16, or 15. I knew what i wanted and got it, with men of different ages.

      Stick to the issue of coercion or harassment, which is the problem.

  • nowliveit

    Why is anyone concerned about 17 and 24? 18 on up pursue older men all the time. I know as I ignore them on apps. This thing happens in the gay/straight/bi/(you name it) worlds.

    I don’t get the upset about this at all. Two consenting adults, of legal age, where the younger man pursues the older. Get over. it.

    Deal with why you need to pick apart a quality gay film, according to all reviews. And why you need to condemn others without knowing a single thing about them.

    And, Queerty, how many times have you run some angle on this same old topic about this film? Is there no other gay news?

  • Bopper1

    …if any of you are paying attention, CALL ME BY YOUR NAME is becoming one of the most highly reviewed motion pictures in this or any other year…it’s fascinating that while a stunning artistic achievement depicting gay romance is literally burning up the press and airwaves with exceptional and historic reception, the gay community represented in these comments is locked in a myopic and narcissistic argument about the respective ages of the fictional characters…so sad and so true…I hope straight people aren’t reading any of this…

  • Billy Budd

    For the ones who read the book or watched the preview: who is the top and who is the bottom? Or do they flip flop?

  • Mandrake

    I would have been just as pleased with this film if the older character had been 35 and the younger 17 if that age was legal. It would have been a romantic daddy/son relationship. Nothing wrong with that.

  • FEUXFOLLETS

    I was also lucky enough to see the film at the Berlin Film Festival with Luca Guadagnino present.
    It instantly became one of my favourite films of all time. I was so elated bc it showed the main characters as complex individuals and did not focus on (scandalous) sex, but on sensuality and love. So refreshing to see films (categorised as LGBT-films) not cater to society’s normative one-dimensional entertainment expectations of “gay life”, but to see gay men portrayed as humans. The monologue of the father at the end was absolutely stunning and heartbreaking as well. I’m also so glad to see as lot of straight people being excited about this film as well!

    Regarding the peach scene: the film is so incredibly well directed that every action of the main character feels so incredibly natural. The scene is therefore not shocking at all in my opinion.

    The film is definitely a must see for everyone! :D

    • Paco

      Sounds like gay cinema is growing up. I want to see this film.

    • FEUXFOLLETS

      @Paco you definitely should! And yeah, it feels like cinema is slowly embracing the fact that gay people are, you know, people with real emotions that are accessible and relatable to anyone really. The way we are portrayed in the media has such an impact on how we see ourselves and how we treat each other in the community and it seriously upsets me to see gay character’s as these sex-driven, trendy human-dolls with no heart. So it’s nice to see us put in a human light and I hope that films like these also have a change on our community :)

  • Billy Budd

    I read the reviews by top critics and there is no doubt in my mind that this movie is a gem and will become a classic. I am 43 and boyfriend is 24. I couldn’t care less about our age difference. He makes me feel younger and I make him feel more adult. Here in Brazil, just like in Italy and other DEVELOPED nations, the age of consent is 14. USA needs to fall into the civilized world and reduce its age of consent.

    • FEUXFOLLETS

      You’re so right. I mean, this scandal is really only a US media thing. It challenges US “values” – I mean, no one was really uncomfortable when “Young & Beautiful” by F. Ozon came out and the main character there was a 17 year old French girl who was secretly a prostitute and slept with really old married men for example.

  • crowebobby

    All these comments (or almost all) start from the point of view than sex can and almost certainly will destroy mind, body and soul if one isn’t a fully matured adult capable of making life-altering decisions. Rape can certainly fit that category, but sex out of curiosity, immature puppy love, precocious true and lasting love, or just for the fun of it, isn’t or shouldn’t be that big a deal. If it turns out to be part of the general regret and pain of an affair one wasn’t quite ready for, it’s part of growing up. No ones life should be destroyed by a misguided consensual f*ck . . . no matter what their age.

  • alfred

    As others have said, its more that Timothee looks very young (anywhere between 15-20 depending on your perception) and Armie Looks a hard-faced 30 y/o. The fictional ages arent the problem, its what the actors look like.

  • tennisteacher2

    Hammer’s response to Woods was right on the money, and a GREAT comeback… Woods is a SELF-RIGHTEOUS sleazeball that’s trying his best to stay RELEVANT.

  • Alan down in Florida

    My attitude is that there is no logical evolutionary reason for young men to reach puberty at as young as 9 nowadays if they do not use what evolution has enabled them to do. If they want to do it and can do I’m not gonna cry about any spilled spunk.

  • RedRanger111

    I sooo want to see this. Of course, it’s not being shown in any Dallas theaters.

  • Rex Huskey

    albeit it lovely and warm and oh so believable….it’s not a good time to flirt with pedophilia! Just saying…

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