I Want What They Have, Friendship Edition: Tilda Swinton and Timothée Chalamet


Love is a many-splendored thing, especially when you’re gawking at it from the outside. In this new column, we’ll be examining the celebrity couples—or, occasionally, friend pairs—who give us hope for our own romantic futures as we try to learn what we can from their well-documented bonds.

I’m proud to say that after a rocky adolescence spent entirely in the company of one friend (hi, Jazmine!), I’m finally in possession of a wide and varied social group. That said, when I see a particularly good friend pair out in the world, I’m still struck with envy. Why can’t I be their pal?, I ask myself, like the weirdo teen I once was. Never have I experienced that sensation more acutely than when I saw Tilda Swinton and Timothée Chalamet goofing around and generally having a ball before the Cannes premiere of The French Dispatch, the brand-new Wes Anderson movie that they co-star in.

I’m a huge fan of unlikely friendships, but said friendships are usually between, say, a turtle and a kitten, and mostly take place on YouTube. As it turns out, though, I’m also very struck by the bond that can flourish between a 25-year-old actor best-known for playing cool, disaffected teen roles and a 60-year-old actress adored for her playful, inherently artistic bizarreness. I can just picture them reading companionably in front of a roaring fire at Swinton’s home in Scotland, although to be honest, my true dream is to throw back drinks with them at a cool New York bar. (I have it on good authority that Chalamet used to frequent China Chalet. R.I.P. to that bar, as well as to my dreams of running into Chalamet and his cohort there.)


To be honest, Timmy and Tilda are giving me shades of Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann) and his mom (Annette Bening) in the 2016 film 20th Century Women. Yes, the former is a fully grown man and not a teenage boy, and no, the latter is not his eccentric mother, but I would still watch a buddy comedy about them road-tripping across the United States. Just look at this photo of Chalamet lovingly resting his head on Swinton’s shoulder on the red carpet. Doesn’t he look like a loyal son having a fun day out with his cool mom at Cannes? Not to be reductive about Chalamet and Swinton’s bond, of course—they could be clandestine lovers, or colleagues at the world’s hippest office—but I love the idea of Chalamet modeling his acting career after Swinton’s. Will he start showing up on the red carpet in Haider Ackermann? Or will the influence go the other way, and will Swinton start showing up to film premieres in outfits that make her look like a cool mechanic? Only time will tell.

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