Elio Perlman is a fictional character and the protagonist of the 2007 novel Call Me By Your Name and its 2019 follow-up novel Find Me, created by André Aciman.

Elio Perlman
First appearanceCall Me By Your Name
Last appearanceFind Me
Created byAndré Aciman
Adapted byLuca Guadagnino (director)
James Ivory (writer)
Portrayed byTimothée Chalamet (film)
OccupationStudent (Call Me By Your Name)
Pianist (Find Me)
FamilySami Perlman (father)
Annella Perlman (mother)
Significant otherMarzia

Perlman is portrayed by Timothée Chalamet in the 2017 Academy Award-winning film adaptation of the same name. Directed by Luca Guadagnino and written by James Ivory, the film follows Elio Perlman, a precocious 17-year-old as he spends the summer of 1983 with his family in their 17th-century villa in Lombardy, Italy. He soon meets Oliver, a handsome doctoral student who's working as an intern for Elio's father. Amid the sun-drenched splendor of their surroundings, romance blossoms between Elio and Oliver as they discover the heady beauty of awakening desire over the course of a summer that will alter their lives forever.

For his portrayal, Chalamet received nominations for an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a Critics' Choice Award, all for Best Actor. He also won numerous critics awards, namely New York Film Critics Circle Award, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award and London Film Critics' Circle Award.


Elio Perlman is a 17-year-old Jewish-American boy. He is intellectual and artistic, spending a great deal of time playing piano, perfecting classical pieces as well as composing his own. He is sensitive and charming, although at times, showing naivety and unable to articulate all that he feels. He is the protagonist of the coming-of-age story, a teenager on the brink of manhood, passionate and libidinous, experiencing love for the first time.

The son of Jewish-American intellectual scholars, Elio is an intelligent young man who is trilingual, well-read, and a talented musician. He spends his summers working on classical scores, playing the guitar and piano, reading, swimming with friends, and playing tennis. He is initially attracted to and in sexual relationship with Marzia. When he meets Oliver though, his attraction eclipses his other interests. During Oliver's stay in his family's house, Elio tries to spend as much time as possible in the presence of this alluring man. Although he understands he's attracted to Oliver, it takes time for Elio to decide if he wants anything to happen between them.



Marzia is Elio's Italian girlfriend. The two share a reciprocity love and mutual attraction towards one another. After meeting Oliver, Mariza is confused by his apparent ambivalence about her. While she never gets angry at him explicitly, she is clearly wounded by his indifference towards her. When Oliver later leaves, When Marzia realizes that Elio has been in love with Oliver all along, she tells him that she is not upset and offers him her friendship alongside their relationship. Fifteen years later, the pair are mentioned to have married, Marzia maintaining a tender and heartfelt relationship with Elio.


Oliver is a 24-year-old Jewish-American graduate student who is writing and researching with Elio's father in Italy. He is a cheerful, breezy person, although often unpredictable and impulsive, contrasting to Elio's personality. While he is intellectual and thoughtful, he is also more confident and sociable than Elio, often participating in social drinking, playing games, and seducing young women without care. Where Elio is more hesitant and introverted, Oliver chooses to cope with his confusion about his own emotions by throwing himself at things impulsively. Unlike Elio, he did not have an accepting upbringing and experiences more shame and ambivalence about his homosexual feelings.

Soon enough, Elio feels tortured by the idea that his attraction might slip by unnoticed, so he tells Oliver how he feels. In doing so, he shatters the indecision and relational calculations that have been tormenting him for weeks, though even when he and Oliver finally kiss, he isn't sure what to make of their connection. Similarly, he feels confused after they have sex, ultimately experiencing something like shame even though he's glad to have acted on his feelings.

In the beginning of their acquaintanceship, Oliver and Elio do not quite know what to think of one another, or how to deal with their mutual attraction. In the early days of their courtship, they find it easiest to talk about intellectual and artistic matters. Oliver asks Elio about the music he is playing, lightly challenging his claims about the compositions. He asks Elio what he thinks of a sentence from his academic work, and they engage in light banter about intellectual matters. Thus, before their connection becomes physical or romantic, it is based on matters of the mind and questions of aesthetics.

Sami PerlmanEdit

Sami Perlman is an archeology professor and Elio's father. He invites grad student Oliver to live with his family in Italy over the summer. He is passionate and warm-hearted, smiling genially at nearly every opportunity, and encouraging his son's friendship and eventual affair with Oliver. Towards the end of the film and novel, he expresses his approval for Elio and Oliver's relationship, suggesting that the love they share something very special, and urging Elio not to repress his feelings about their relationship.


In 2015, it was reported that Shia LaBeouf and Greta Scacchi were set to be cast in a film adaptation of the novel.[1] In September 2016, Ivory had confirmed that the duo were no longer involved in the project. Ivory said he got along with LaBeouf, who had read for the film in New York City, but the production company later felt the actor was unsuitable after the public and media attention regarding his "various troubles".[2] Ivory thought Scacchi and LeBeouf read well together and could have made it into the film, but the company disagreed.[2]

In 2013, Chalamet was introduced to Guadagnino by Brian Swardstrom - husband of producer Peter Spears[3] - who immediately felt the actor had "the ambition, the intelligence, the sensitivity, the naivety, and the artistry" that was required in order to play Elio.[4] Chalamet had already read Aciman's novel prior to being cast and described it as "a window into a young person".[5] His character, 17-year-old Elio, is fluent in three languages: English, French and Italian. Upon his arrival in Italy, Chalamet—who already spoke French fluently and had played piano and guitar for years[6][7]—prepared for his role with a schedule of daily lessons in Italian, gym workouts three times a week,[6] and by working with composer Roberto Solci.[6]


The Economist described the tension "between pain and pleasure" in the film and praised Chalamet portrayal of Elio, saying that he "evokes so many shades of humanity, portraying a path of youthful self-discovery that is more raw, unhinged, and ultimately honest than many actors could manage".[8]

For Vanity Fair, Richard Lawson wrote that "Chalamet has the bearing of a natural; he’s deeply committed to his character" and that he also manages to "infuse Elio with something of himself, too, as the best movie stars do". He also writes that "Chalamet seems to know that he’s got an innate charm, a boyish grace, and he uses that to striking effect. Elio, soulful and impetuous and a little bratty, is a kid you’ve known, a kid you wanted to be, a kid you care and root for", before calling his portrayal of Elio "a mature and thoughtful performance, and it augurs great things for Chalamet going forward".

Performance recognitionEdit

At the age of 23, Chalamet became the youngest Best Actor nominee since 1939,[9] in addition to nominations at BAFTA, the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild, and a Critics' Choice Awards for Best Actor.

At the 33rd Independent Spirit Awards, Chalamet won the Best Male Lead Award,[10][11] other accolades he won included; The National Board of Review, the Gotham Independent Film Awards and the Hollywood Film Awards for Breakout Actor, respectively.[12][13]

IndieWire, in a series of articles regarding the best of film in the 2010s, named Chalamet's portrayal of Elio as the 39th best film performance of the 2010s.[14]


  1. ^ Hass, Nancy (September 11, 2015). "James Ivory's Home Befits His Extraordinary Life". The New York Times Style Magazine (T) (published September 13, 2015). p. M2191. Archived from the original on April 7, 2017. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Teodorczuk, Tom (September 23, 2016). "James Ivory on 'Howards End', Not Being Able to Work with Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hiddleston". Heat Street. Archived from the original on July 4, 2017. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
  3. ^ Vivarelli, Nick (February 13, 2017). "Berlinale: Luca Guadagnino on Why 'Call Me by Your Name' Strikes Such Deep Chords". Variety. Archived from the original on August 18, 2017. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  4. ^ Gilligan, Meghan (October 11, 2017). "Luca Guadagnino Discusses 'Call Me By Your Name' at the 55th New York Film Festival". Screenprism. Archived from the original on February 3, 2018. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  5. ^ Setoodeh, Ramin (October 4, 2017). "Timothee Chalamet on His Racy Sex Scene in 'Call Me By Your Name'". Variety. Archived from the original on October 4, 2017. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c Smith, Bonne. "Mongrel Presents: Call Me by Your Name" (PDF) (Press release). Toronto, Ontario: Mongrel Media. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 28, 2017. Retrieved October 17, 2017.
  7. ^ McConaughey, Matthew (June 2, 2017). "Timothee Chalamet". Interview. Archived from the original on September 19, 2017. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  8. ^ N.E.G. (September 8, 2017). ""Call Me By Your Name" is a work of beauty". The Economist. Archived from the original on September 12, 2017. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  9. ^ Olsen, Mark (March 4, 2018). "James Ivory becomes Oscar's oldest winner with 'Call Me by Your Name'". The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 5, 2018. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  10. ^ "33rd Film Independent Spirits Nominations Announced" (PDF) (Press release). Los Angeles: Independent Spirit Awards. November 21, 2017. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 7, 2017. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  11. ^ "2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards Winners Announced" (Press release). Los Angeles: Independent Spirit Awards. March 3, 2018. Archived from the original on March 4, 2018. Retrieved March 3, 2018.
  12. ^ Gettell, Oliver (November 27, 2017). "Call Me By Your Name takes top prize at 2017 Gotham Awards". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on December 7, 2017. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  13. ^ "2017 Honorees". Hollywood Film Awards. Archived from the original on October 22, 2017. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  14. ^ Zilko, David Ehrlich,Kate Erbland,Eric Kohn,Anne Thompson,Chris O'Falt,Tambay Obenson,Christian Blauvelt,Christian; Ehrlich, David; Erbland, Kate; Kohn, Eric; Thompson, Anne; O'Falt, Chris; Obenson, Tambay; Blauvelt, Christian; Zilko, Christian (July 23, 2019). "The 50 Best Movie Performances of the Decade". IndieWire. Retrieved July 28, 2019.