Timothée Chalamet’s 8 Best Movie Roles

He's come a long way since his Lil' Timmy Tim days.

Timothée Chalamet
(Image credit: Alamy)

Timothée Chalamet made his film debut barely a decade ago, but in that relatively short span of time, he’s racked up plenty of high-profile roles, earning dozens of well-deserved award nominations—and several wins—along the way. The actor's not even 30 yet, and he’s already successfully embodied multiple beloved characters, from Little Women’s Laurie to Willy Wonka, chocolatier extraordinaire. Between that early mega-success and his upcoming slate of projects, it’s safe to assume the internet’s favorite “frail Victorian child” isn't going anywhere: A third Dune movie is ostensibly on the way, and Chalamet is also set to play a young Bob Dylan in the biopic A Complete Unknown.

With all of those highly lauded roles, it can be tough to know where to start when diving into Chalamet’s very varied filmography, so we’ve done the work for you and humbly offer this (highly subjective) list of his eight best onscreen appearances.

8. ‘Bones and All’

This one isn’t for the faint of heart—seriously, you’ve been warned. In it, Chalamet plays Lee, who forms a strong bond with Taylor Russell’s Maren after discovering their shared cannibalistic tendencies. Though very graphic and often disturbing, Bones and All is also a moving love story about two young people living on the fringes of society. Both Chalamet and Russell somehow perfectly capture that emotional weight while also, you know, feasting on human flesh. 


7. ‘The King’

Timmy tried his hand at historical drama in this Netflix original, which follows the rise of King Henry V. Based on several of Shakespeare’s plays, it features a stacked cast that includes Robert Pattinson, Joel Edgerton, and Lily-Rose Depp, to name a few. Chalamet won praise for his portrayal of the royal’s transformation from a layabout young prince to a savvy wartime king following the death of his father, Henry IV (played by Ben Mendelsohn)—all while sporting a bowl cut, the pinnacle of style in the Middle Ages.


6. ‘Lady Bird’

Lady Bird is a poignant coming-of-age story and a heartfelt ode to mothers and daughters, and while Chalamet’s character is merely one of many vehicles for the titular character’s journey of self-discovery, his absolute perfection in the role of her gaslight-y hipster boyfriend simply can’t be overstated. His character, Kyle, is in a band, sits outside coffee shops to read and smoke hand-rolled cigarettes, and speaks authoritatively about the dangers of owning a cell phone and participating in the economy (though he does both)—basically, a 17-year-old girl's dream boyfriend.


5. ‘Dune’

There comes a time in most fast-rising young actors’ careers when they’re tapped to join an adaptation of an acclaimed series of sci-fi novels, and for Chalamet, it’s Dune. In the latest iteration of Frank Herbert’s award-winning books, he leads a star-studded cast as Paul Atreides, heir to a noble house that’s at war over the ownership of a valuable planet. His performance in the first Dune film, released in 2021, was roundly applauded by critics, earning its 2024 follow-up a spot on many “most-anticipated” lists of this year’s releases.


4. ‘Wonka’

We already knew Lil’ Timmy Tim could spit bars, but Wonka showed the world that he can sing, too. In this delightfully whimsical musical, Chalamet plays a young Wonka as a budding confectioner. Its trailer may have inspired a plethora of (admittedly hilarious) memes, but don’t let that stop you: The movie itself is very sweet and fun, and Chalamet’s total commitment to his zany role deserves all the applause.


3. ‘Little Women’

Similar to his presence in Lady Bird—which was also directed by Greta Gerwig—Chalamet’s turn as Laurie in Gerwig’s 2019 adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved novel is largely there to help Jo (played by yet another Lady Bird alum, Saoirse Ronan) explore a world beyond that of her ultra-feminine sisters and, later, understand what it means to truly love someone. But even in this stepping-stone-like role, he still gives his all as the only boy ever allowed in the March sisters’ inner circle.


2. ‘Beautiful Boy’

Another tough but powerful watch—albeit in a different way than Bones and AllBeautiful Boy stars Steve Carell and Chalamet as real-life father and son duo David and Nic Sheff. The movie is based on both Sheffs’ memoirs of Nic’s addiction to drugs, exploring Nic’s struggles to stay sober and David’s feeling of helplessness while witnessing his son’s battle with addiction. The film was applauded for its realistic portrayal of the broader impacts of addiction, with praise for Chalamet’s performance in particular, earning him nominations at the Golden Globes, SAG Awards, BAFTAs, and more.


1. ‘Call Me By Your Name’

Surprise, surprise: The movie that first put Chalamet on the map in 2017 remains one of his absolute best roles. He plays 17-year-old Elio, who strikes up a secret, star-crossed romance with a graduate student staying with his family in Italy one summer. For his breakout role—including that rendezvous with a peach, plus his devastating closing scene set to Sufjan Stevens’ “Visions of Gideon”—Chalamet earned a well-deserved Academy Award nomination, making him the youngest Best Actor nominee since the 1930s.


Andrea Park

Andrea Park is a Chicago-based writer and reporter with a near-encyclopedic knowledge of the extended Kardashian-Jenner kingdom, early 2000s rom-coms and celebrity book club selections. She graduated from the Columbia School of Journalism in 2017 and has also written for W, Brides, Glamour, Women's Health, People and more.