Call Me By Your Name’s waterfall scene was actually pretty hellish in real life
Armie Hammer has revealed that one of the most romantic moments in Call Me By Your Name was actually far from blissful behind the scenes.
The actor spoke to GQ about the Call Me By Your Name waterfall sequence in the 2017 gay romance movie, which saw Elio (Timothée Chalamet) and Oliver (Hammer) taking a bus and frolicking through idyllic Italian hillsides.
Armie Hammer on Call Me By Your Name shoot: ‘It was stifling hot’
Although it looked great on camera, the experience of filming on location was actually very different—with scorching temperatures, long hikes with equipment, and stinging nettles everywhere.
Recalling the opening part of the sequence, Hammer told GQ: “This bus was old as hell and didn’t have air conditioning.
“This came towards the end of the [shoot], when it actually was hot… it was stifling on that bus.”
Things didn’t improve when it was time for the location shoots.
He said: “This scene, where we are running up the mountain… there were no actual hiking trails, or anything like that.
“We’re just running through wilderness, and it also happened to be wilderness full of stinging nettle. The screams of joy and exuberance were actually us being stung to death with nettle.
“It was also a lot steeper than it looks on film, so sprinting up and down was exhausting. You would just be panting by the end.”
Armie Hammer: Everyone was in a s****y mood behind the scenes
The sequence culminates as the pair reach a waterfall—or at least that’s what it looks like in the film.
Hammer added: “This waterfall is not actually a waterfall. It’s a hydroelectric dam, and they only open the floodgates once a year, or something, to let off pressure.”
He explained that as they could only open the dam once a year, it would only be possible to do one take.
The star added: “Everyone had been stung by nettle, everyone had carried up gear, everybody was really tired after a long day of hiking, and to be honest everyone was in a really s****y mood.”
He continued: “We only had one take to get it, and [director] Luca was very insistent on getting a very specific thing… he goes, ‘I want you to think about the possibilities of impossibilities.’
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“I’m like, ‘You’re the director, I want to give you what you want, but I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ And he’s like, ‘Just do it!’ And he hit me [in the chest] with both of his fists.
“We stood there for a second, looking at each other, and he realised he’d just hit me, and he turned around and walked away.”
However, all’s well that ends well.
Hammer added: “We did the take, the one time we could do it, and he said ‘you nailed it.’ I’m not sure if he actually thought that I nailed it, or if he just wanted me to not press charges.”
All of that drama hasn’t dissuaded Hammer, Chalamet or director Luca Guadagnino from coming back on board for a planned sequel.