How Timothée Chalamet narrowly escaped being canceled for his role in Woody Allen's ‘A Rainy Day in New York’
Woody Allen’s ‘A Rainy Day in New York’, a romantic comedy starring Timothee Chalamet, Elle Fanning, and Selena Gomez, that released last month in U.S. theaters, and starting Tuesday, November 10, is available on Blu-ray and streaming on Amazon, Fandango Now and DIRECTV, is a movie that has been controversial in many ways. For one, it has been finally seen by many as a kind of cancellation of Allen -- and the box office results substantiate that hypothesis. But that may also have something to do with the coronavirus pandemic. The jury is out on that.
In 2014, Allen's daughter Dylan Farrow detailed her decades of alleged sexual abuse. She also criticized Hollywood, where “all but a precious few (my heroes) turned a blind eye” and “most found it easier to accept the ambiguity, to say, ‘who can say what happened.’” In the aftermath of the #MeToo movement, Allen has faced public backlash, even though he's denied the allegations.
But it’s not just Allen who has had a controversial run with it. It’s also the film’s lead actor. Chalamet has had to go through quite a bit of controversy thanks to his participation in the film. For starters, there was a completely unsubstantiated rumor making the rounds earlier this year that Chalamet and Gomez were an item. And that was fuelled by the film.
At the end of April this year, after news broke of Chalamet and Lily-Rose Depp's splitting up, a clip of the actor kissing Selena Gomez went viral on TikTok, sparking rumors that the pair might be hooking up. In the clip, Chalamet and Gomez were locking lips. Unfortunately for fans who seemed to be rooting for this coupling to happen, the clip turned out to be from 'A Rainy Day in New York’.
But the celebrity coupling was not the most controversial bit. After Rebecca Hall, who also stars in the film, announced that she would be donating the money she received from her role in the film to Time’s Up in 2018, Chalamet said on Instagram, “I am learning that a good role isn’t the only criteria for accepting a job -- that has become much clearer to me in the past few months, having witnessed the birth of a powerful movement intent on ending injustice, inequality and above all, silence.”
He further said, “I have been asked in a few recent interviews about my decision to work on a film with Woody Allen last summer. I’m not able to answer the question directly because of contractual obligations. But what I can say is this: I don’t want to profit from my work on the film, and to that end, I am going to donate my entire salary to three charities: TIME’S UP, The LGBT Center in New York, and RAINN.”
After that, however, a Huffington Post report pointed out that Chalamet’s contract did not actually prevent him from discussing anything. As per Huffington Post, “a review of the document reveals that Chalamet is under no contractual obligation to remain silent about his thoughts with respect to Allen, nor does it prevent him from offering support to Dylan Farrow.”
The same report carried criticism for Chalamet as voiced by two “prominent” but unnamed actors “who have won SAG awards in the past but aren’t in contention for this year’s awards”. Both of whom “accused Chalamet of attempting to play both sides of the game.”
But the film only continued to haunt Chalamet. Earlier this year, in his memoir ‘Apropos of Nothing’, Allen too claimed that what Chalamet had said was only an attempt to improve his chances of success at the Oscars. “All three leads in Rainy Day were excellent and a pleasure to work with. Timothee afterward publicly stated he regretted working with me and was giving the money to charity, but he swore to my sister he needed to do that as he was up for an Oscar for ‘Call Me By Your Name’, and he and his agent felt he had a better chance of winning if he denounced me, so he did.”
Has Chalamet been affected by participation in the film, even if the film did not fare well (either in box office collections or in critical reviews)? Judging by the roles he has gotten in its aftermath, it’s easy to say that he hasn’t been. From ‘The King’, to ‘Little Women’, to the upcoming ‘Dune’, Chalamet is still a hot property in Hollywood.