The privilege of wealth and the impact of his family’s oil money on his film career are subjects that Armie Hammer addresses head on (and with the help of a Martini or two) in GQ’s March cover interview, out this week.
On white privilege, Hammer admits that it would be wrong of him, and the industry as a whole, to sit back and pretend that the system hasn’t benefited some, while penalising others, simply because of differing backgrounds.
Armie on privilege
“There are white people who exercise their white privilege with or without knowing it and I would be foolish to sit here and say, ‘Well, that has nothing to do with my career.’ I can’t sit here and say that. But also, people must be aware of the work ethic it takes. I get it. Guys like me have got a lot from being guys like me. Even if white privilege does have anything to do with it, there is a lot of work I put into this.”
Hammer also goes into some depth for the first time about the choice he made not to rely on his family’s wealth. “It was a conversation I had with myself: you can be this person or you cannot. I would rather not. It wasn’t about cutting ties or bonds with my parents or anything like that. It was about strengthening myself.”
GQ Features Director Jonathan Heaf also raises questions about Hammer’s much talked about itchy Twitter-finger, an emotive impulse that has got the actor into hot water on social media on several occasions, not least concerning his criticism of celebrities posting images of late Marvel visionary Stan Lee shortly after his death.
Armie on Stan Lee
Although Hammer here apologises again for having a pop at those who genuinely had a long relationship with Lee, he also underlines the thing that truly bugs him about celebrity culture. “Let me be clear. I do not feel badly for the people that I offended who met Stan Lee once and were capitalising and masking self-promotion as false grief.”
Heaf put it to Hammer that, despite being in his early thirties, Hammer doesn’t seem to have a kinship with his fellow millennials. “I am a millennial. You’re right. I totally should. And I can’t say I am not a millennial, but I’m not a millennial. I don’t get it. It doesn’t resonate with me. I don’t know why millennials will go to a wedding and take a picture of themselves on the dance floor and then post it on social media and be like, ‘Congratulations to Sarah and Jeff, so happy for you guys!’ Just what the hell is that? That just doesn’t make any sense to me.”
Timothée Chalamet on Armie
In the cover story GQ also speaks exclusivity to Armie Hammer’s co-star and close friend Timothée Chalamet, the pair having stared alongside one another in Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name in 2017. Chalamet opens up about how Hammer has influenced both his personal and professional life, not least while shooting that now iconic movie set in Italy. “It’s a scary thing, as the last thing you want to do as an actor is throw your eyebrows all over an expression of love.
Yet Armie had this idea of shooting the scene on a single track and Luca agreed. And it worked. I could never have offered something like that up and it just goes to show what a feel Armie has for the medium. I mean, he’s an amazing guy. He checks all ‘-isms’ at the door, if you know what I mean.”