Ansel Elgort & Timothee Chalamet's High School Drama Teacher Spills Some Insider Secrets

Ansel Elgort & Timothee Chalamet's High School Drama Teacher Spills Some Insider Secrets

Ansel Elgort and Timothee Chalamet‘s drama teacher is spilling on what they were like in high school!

The Baby Driver star and the Call Me by Your Name actor both recently earned Golden Globe nominations, but years ago, they were both students at LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts.

“[Ansel] was a freshman, but not in my class,” Mr. Harry Shifman told Vanity Fair. “I don’t typically teach the freshman acting class, [but] I was watching the scenes. He was doing a scene . . . I’m not positive, but I think it was from Spring Awakening – the play, not the musical. I was totally blown away by him.”

“His partner was brilliant as well, but what really struck me was that he had this great look already,” he added. “He was 14, but he looked like a man. He was startlingly authentic and believable. His work was very honest – no artifice. You didn’t see him acting, and I believed him. I was so taken with him that I grabbed him for my acting studio the next year.”

Click inside to hear what else he had to say…

Timmy,” Harry went on about Timothee. “He auditioned for Hairspray and Guys and Dolls, and I didn’t cast him, but I did cast him as one of the male leads in Sweet Charity. He played Oscar.”

“There’s a very famous scene where he’s trapped in an elevator [with Charity], and I guess he’s kind of claustrophobic,” he shared. “I have to tell you something: in my entire life, and I’m in my mid-sixties, I have never seen a more brilliant comic performance [than] Timmy gave in that scene. I think pretty much anybody who saw it would say so. People will eventually know he’s an extraordinarily gifted comic actor as well.”

“I think there are many sides of both of these fellows that you haven’t seen yet,” Harry continued. “For one thing, Ansel – he’s a triple threat musical-theater performer. He’s doing [music] videos, and he’s composing. He’s got a couple of great tunes out there already. He’s actually a musical-theater performer. As Hugh Jackman can do a variety of skills, Ansel can as well.”

Timmy, his range . . . I think Greta Gerwig, her description of Timmy I read, I think is really apt,” he finished. “It is something along the lines of – what did she say? ‘He’s a young Christian Bale crossed with a young Daniel Day-Lewis with a little bit of Leonardo [DiCaprio] thrown in and a Mensa I.Q.’ I couldn’t put it any better than she did. To be as compelling, connected, and dimensional in their early twenties – I mean, where will they be when they’re 40?”

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Credit: James Devaney; Photos: Getty
Posted to: Ansel Elgort, timothee chalamet