‘It’s self-torture’ Harry Styles and Timothee Chalamet get real about social media

Harry continued: ‘I am envious of a time when people really locked eyes and there wasn’t the escape of a screen...’

Harry Styles and Timothée Chalamet

by Sophie Wilkinson |

One heartthrob to another, Harry Styles interviewed Timothée Chalamet ahead of the latter’s starring role in new film Beautiful Boy.

In the wide-ranging phone interview (a shame, we would have loved to have seen a photoshoot featuring them both in sleeveless leather jackets), they both explained that being bad at their jobs - actor and actor-singer-songwriter, respectively, was part of their creative process.

Harry opened by saying that creativity, to him, is about being unsafe: ‘I think if you stay in that safe space all the time, it’s very easy to get bored. It’s important to rip it up and start again sometimes… ‘

Timothée responded, ‘And be bad and take risks. I know from working on a movie that if a scene goes wrong, and there’s laughter on set, it loosens you up for the next take, it’s better than protecting yourself and getting lost in your head. The greatest teacher for me has been experience.’

Harry later admitted in the i-D interview that, when writing his first solo material (he keeps a journal to help with this, keeping note of his greatest achievements in what will surely be the best memoir of 2043), ‘I guarantee I wrote a lot of really, really bad shit before I wrote anything good…’

What’s worse than bad songs and scenes, they agreed, is social media, or at least the negativity that emerges on it. Timothée explained ’In the last three or four years, there’s almost been a second wave of social media where people only hear what they want to hear and they only yell into their echo chamber.’

He added: ‘If you read the comments, then you’re opening yourself up to real self-damage. I am envious of a time when people really locked eyes and there wasn’t the escape of a screen. It’s the caricature of someone at a party scrolling through Tetris.’

Harry agreed, saying: ‘On a personal level, I feel a noticeable change in how happy I am when I’m not on social media.’

His solution is to treat social media like a nasty house party where only 3 out of the 26 attendees are nice: ’I dip in. I see the friends I want to see and I dip out.’

He added: ‘I’m very aware that if you go on social media, and look, you can find whatever you’re looking for. If you’re looking for bad comments, you’re going to find bad comments. But people still do it. It’s like this weird self-torture.’

To which Timothée lamented, ‘It’s masochistic.’

Which makes us wonder, if two of the prettiest, most adored young men in the world are slated online, where does that leave the rest of us schlubs?

The pair also discussed new ways of doing masculinity, that vulnerability is fine, and that, as Timothée put it, ‘you can be whatever you want to be.’ And, asked by Harry to weigh in on the Cardi B and Nicki Minaj beef, the Call Me By Your Name actor retreated, saying ‘Nicki went to my high school but… Cardi’s a legend so why can’t we all just love each other. I wish they’d never got into that fight.’

If that’s all a bit too sweet and ethereal and cute for you, Harry asked Timothée some quick-fire questions at the end, and this sweet, sensitive, graceful soul said that his favorite TV show, is, well, The Office. We’re presuming it’s the US version (its lead, Steve Carrell, plays Timothée's character's dad in Beautiful Boy), but still, there’s something very relatably grounding about the fact that even Timothée Chalamet, with his embrace of femininity and academic approach to stardom and auteurship and creativity, loves The Office. The same show any average Joe you can meet down the pub will enjoy.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us