Timothée Chalamet
All dreamboats made their start somewhere. Source: Angela Weiss/AFP

Timothée Chalamet is the dreamboat that has stolen our hearts in films such as “Call Me by Your Name”, “Beautiful Boy,” and most recently, “Dune” (a sci-fi adventure which also stars Zendaya). 

Talent, luck (we’re talking about those good looks) and growing up in an artistic family surely helped him become the youngest person in 80 years to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Actor — but going to the right schools matter too. 

The turning point came when he moved from Booker T. Washington Middle School — where he spent three miserable years — to LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. Notable graduates include Jennifer Aniston, Nicki Minaj, and Sarah Paulson.

Chalamet was rejected initially, but drama teacher Harry Shifman — who also taught Ansel Elgort — described his audition as “riveting” and persuaded the principal to let him in. “Thank goodness the principal was responsive to me, because I was very incensed that Timmy didn’t get in,” he tells Vanity Fair. “To her credit — this was the last principal before the current one — she admitted him. In fact, thank god she did, because, I don’t know, he’d probably be in medical school now.”

Timothée Chalamet

(Left to right) Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson, French-Canadian director Denis Villeneuve, US actor Timothée Chalamet and US actress Zendaya pose during a photocall session for the American epic science-fiction movie “Dune” in Paris. Source: Lucas Barioulet/AFP

Here, we take a look at where he went next before charming his way into our hearts:

Columbia University

Chalamet spent a year in this private Ivy League before dropping out and going on to star in the film “Interstellar” alongside Matthew McConaughey. Over 145 countries are represented in its 17,000-strong student body — close to five thousand graduates are engaged in Optional Practical Training (OPT) employment in their field of study. 

Timothée Chalamet

Timothée Chalamet (Left) and British actress Tilda Swinton pose during a photocall for the film “The French Dispatch” at the 74th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes. Source: Valery Hache/AFP

If you’re an international student planning to get into Columbia College, you can use the Coalition Application, the Common Application or the QuestBridge Application from QuestBridge Finalists. These should include your autobiographical information; lists and descriptions of a student’s achievements, activities, employment and summer activities; and a personal essay. 

The application fee is US$85 and it’s non-refundable under any circumstances. Check if you’re eligible for a fee waiver here. More on materials, documents, dates and deadlines here.

New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualised Study

Chalamet attended NYU for a semester or two. At Gallatin, students get to create their own “individualised concentrations,” combine core courses with other NYU schools, pursue global study opportunities, amongst others. Together with advisers, they curate a programme based on a theme, problem, activity, period of history, area of the world or some central idea. You can find more details here.

To apply, you’ll need to use the Common Application — this applies to all applying to any or all of NYU’s three degree-granting campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, or Shanghai. Here, you can choose which programme and campus you want. Note that there is a non-refundable US$80.00 application fee — if you cannot afford this, you can request a fee waiver.

Timothée Chalamet

Chalamet was rejected initially from LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts but drama teacher Harry Shifman — who also taught Ansel Elgort — described his audition as “riveting” and persuaded the principal to let him in. Source: Robyn Beck/AFP

The documents you will need as a first-year applicant include the following:

  • Official score reports
  • An audition or a portfolio for a specific programme
  • If you’re applying to the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and Tisch School of the Arts, your portfolio can replace standardised testing
  • English language testing if you haven’t completed a minimum of three years of your courses in English
  • Official records of all your college work worth academic credits
  • The Common Application Mid Year Report