Actor Timothée Chalamet paid a surprise visit Thursday to aspiring actors at Hibbing High School, leaving the students “gobsmacked,” according to their drama coach.
“One of my students said, ‘I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone right now,'” Megan Reynolds said.
Chalamet, best known for starring roles in “Wonka” and “Dune,” stopped at Hibbing High to research his upcoming role as Duluth-born and Hibbing-bred legend Bob Dylan, in a film about the singer-songwriter’s early life.
After getting a guided tour, the actor visited the school’s drama department for shop talk, according to Reynolds. The students were practicing their parts for the school’s production Friday of “The Girl in the White Pinafore,” but had no idea Chalamet was in the seats watching.
After a big reveal, Chalamet “talked and geeked out about theater” for 45 minutes with the students, Reynolds said, in the same auditorium where Dylan performed as a high school student more than 60 years ago.
He fielded questions about working as an actor and asked the students questions as well. Some were clearly star-struck, she said.
“My students had a bit of a shell-shocked look for a second, and then some of them kind of shook their heads a moment, and then big smiles came over their faces,” Reynolds said. “It was a really lovely moment, it was very sweet.”
Many of the drama students “want to continue in theater after high school, so they had a lot of questions about being a professional actor and being a movie actor … and how you get from point A to point B,” said Reynolds’ husband, Jefferson Reynolds, who was there.
After the actor left, the student cast held one final dress rehearsal. It was, Megan Reynolds said, “the best my students had ever performed.”
Chalamet also was reported to have stopped in Duluth, where he had black drip coffee and a breakfast sandwich at Duluth Coffee Company, according to a tweet from a USA Today reporter.
The upcoming biopic, “A Complete Unknown,” follows Dylan in his early years as a musician and will be directed by James Mangold. It’s set to begin production in New York this year, according to Deadline.
Chalamet will not only play Dylan but voice the part as well, as he does in “Wonka,” released in December.
Staff writer Casey Darnell contributed to this story.