Bones and All star Timothée Chalamet has opened up on what drew him to the role of cannibalistic lover Lee in his latest movie. The film has roused interest for its horror-romance fusion which chronicles the story of Lee and Maren (Taylor Russell), two teenagers on the fringes of society that are forced to navigate identity, self-acceptance and a mutual addiction of consuming the flesh of humans. Whilst the movie has primarily garnered attention for its gory concept, its deeper themes are something the cast has consistently drawn attention to.
Speaking about his character in a featurette, Academy Award-nominee Chalamet said: “I was moved by Lee and Maren’s story, carrying something that you carry shame with or can’t quite make sense of. I was attracted to this character Lee because I felt he had figured out how to game the system to survive with this condition.” The actor went on to explain how Lee was the first opportunity he’s had to take his own experiences and develop that as part of his character. Throughout the behind-the-scenes video, audiences are given an insight into Chalamet‘s autonomy in the process as he works through scenes with director Luca Guadagnino.
Another noteworthy snippet in the video shows Chalamet‘s character looking lifeless behind the eyes as he sits alone in an amusement park. This is a total contradiction to the clip of Lee appearing notably more relaxed as he strolls past the rides with Maren by his side, implying he feels a sense of calm with her. Explaining the dynamic between the teenagers, Chalamet said: “His biggest vulnerability is true love, is kindness so when he finds that with Maren in those moments where you’re able to fall for someone else, look more closely in the mirror and I think what he sees is terrifying.”
As well as a string of behind-the-scenes shots showcasing Chalamet and Russell‘s co-star chemistry, the featurette also unveils a significant exchange between Lee and Maren. In the scene, Maren quizzes Lee on his first time killing and feasting on a human. Sitting on the back of his truck, he reveals his first kill was a babysitter and as it so happens, Maren’s was too. The moment depicts an undeniably instant ‘we-belong-together’ spark between the pair. In a paradox that is a perfect representation of the film’s concept, their romantic connection is overlapped with a scene of Lee murdering someone in the woods – presumably the babysitter from his story.
The stark juxtaposition between Lee and Maren’s romance and their dangerous cannibalistic indulgences is something that is expected to carry throughout the film. Director Guadagnino has also touched on this previously opting to describe the story as one of morality rather than a cannibal romance. His explanation aligns with the novel by Camille DeAngelis, which the film is based on, as the book places significant emphasis on the idea of confronting the darkest parts of yourself. How well this balance is translated across to the silver screen will be up to audiences to decide.
Bones and All lands is in theaters now. You can the behind-the-scenes clip below.