Call Me By Your Name screenwriter James Ivory hoped for full-frontal nudity

Published March 28, 2018

IMAGE COURTESY OF SONY PICTURES CLASSICS

After receiving the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay—and becoming the oldest Academy Award-winner in the process—89-year-old screenwriter James Ivory opened up about one detail still nagging him in his celebrated gay coming-of-age film Call Me By Your Name: there wasn’t enough nudity. In a new interview with The Guardian, Ivory decried the absence of full-frontal nudity from its two stars, Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer. “When people are wandering around before or after making love, and they’re decorously covered with sheets, it’s always seemed phoney to me,” he says. “I never liked doing that.”

According to Ivory, his script specified Elio (Chalamet) and Oliver (Hammer) be shown fully naked, but it was overruled in the actors’ contracts. “When Luca [Guadagnino, Call Me By Your Name‘s director] says he never thought of putting nudity in, that is totally untrue,” says Ivory. “He sat in this very room where I am sitting now, talking about how he would do it, so when he says that it was a conscious aesthetic decision not to—well, that’s just bullshit.”

Ivory has never been one to shy away from the human body. In his his 1987 film Maurice (also a gay love story), the two main actors were shown nude. With Guadagnino reportedly already at work on a series of Call Me By Your Name sequels, maybe all’s not lost…