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The Schmooze

Timothée Chalamet to portray Bob Dylan in upcoming biopic

Academy Award nominee Timothée Chalamet Image by Getty Image

When Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016, he didn’t know that the greatest accolade of his life still lay ahead — the honor of being portrayed by an actor whose face is so precious people make money by superimposing it on Impressionist art.

In other words, Timothée Chalamet.

On January 6, Fox Searchlight announced to Entertainment Weekly that Chalamet is in talks to portray the folk rock hero in an upcoming biopic directed by ‘Ford v Ferrari’ alum James Mangold.

Titled ‘Going Electric,’ the film will focus on Dylan’s transition from folk to rock, embodied in his controversial decision to perform with an amp at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival (the audience roundly booed what they saw as a betrayal of traditional acoustics. Among the crowd, singer Pete Seeger declared, ““If I had an axe, I’d chop the microphone cable right now.”).

Chalamet, whose exceptionally expressive eyebrows and charming bone structure give him the aura of a brooding princeling on the cusp of adulthood, has had a busy year portraying brooding princelings on the cusp of adulthood: He’s conquered England as Henry V in Netflix’s ‘The King,’ and provided holiday feels as the charmingly dissipated (slash serious mansplainer, but that’s a story for another day) robber-baron Laurie in ‘Little Women.’ At promotional events for both projects — once at a photo shoot and another time during a red carpet premiere — he’s distributed treats from Tompkins Square Bagels, thus fulfilling the ancient Talmudic commandment that enjoins Jewish starlets to give back by aggressively promoting their preferred bagel purveyors.

Given that Chalamet and Dylan are two of the only people that most of the Twitterverse can agree to stan, as the youth say, the number of delighted memes and side-by-side pout comparisons that have emerged in the hours since the announcement shouldn’t be surprising.

But let’s not get too hopeful about the prospect of these two schmoozing on the red carpet — Dylan didn’t bother to schlep to Sweden to claim his literal Nobel Prize, so it doesn’t seem terribly likely he’ll show up for the, um, third biopic lavished upon him.

Irene Katz Connelly is an intern at the Forward. You can contact her at [email protected].


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