Photo: Ebay and Getty Images
A TimothÃ©e Chalamet ventriloquist dummy has been the subject of much contempt this week: This is called the stuff of nightmares, cursed enough to your therapist, and (worst of all?) a mistake for a miniature Jonathan Cheban. Because there is no beat more fun than the rhythm of Chalamet – hello, Derek! – The vulture called the doll maker behind the mannequin to get his side of the story. Meet Chris Alan, a regular at Chalamet with a normal day job, who built the model as a leaving gift for his neighbor. âI am not naive when it comes to the Internet. I know what trolls are and all that, âsays Alan, who had made six celebrity models before this one. (He estimates that he made 25 ventriloquist mannequins in total.) âBut I didn’t really expect to be trolled for a mannequin. It was a little weird. It’s gone crazy. He told Vulture how he made the mannequin, why he made the mannequin, and why it is worth exactly $ 122,795.
Why did you choose TimothÃ©e Chalamet as a model for your model?
First of all, he’s an incredible actor. The reason I did this was because I had a neighbor taking a new job in New Zealand, and she I love it TimothÃ©e Chalamet. We had this mutual thing for him; we both thought he was amazing, so talented. I had done other celebrities in the past, and I said I should do a little Timmy – we call him Timmy, like a lot of people do.
I also call him Timmy.
I was thinking, I should make a little ventriloquist Timmy dummy. My goal really was to get him one as a parting gift, but I didn’t do it in time. I work full time, it’s just a little hobby. I had worked on it and worked on it.
“You are bidding on a unique and handcrafted ventriloquist figurine of TimothÃ©e Chalamet, dressed in a recreation of the Louis Vuitton outfit worn at the 2019 Golden Globes, with a beaded and glittery harness,” states eBay’s description. “It’s a perfect gift for any occasion, from baby shower to bar mitzvah!” Sorry, due to the very low price of this one, the bracket is not included.
Tell me, in as much detail as possible, how you make a doll like this.
Well, you start by making a sculpture, just like you did a bust. I used something called Super Sculpey, which is polymer clay. I don’t know how familiar you are with clays or anything like that. Polymer clay – you bake it. You may have seen polymer clays in a small block craft store; they have different colors. I buy a big, huge block of the professional version. You sculpt the head and then cook it to harden it. Once I have the head the way I want it, I take a silicone brush, like a rubber, and I brush it all over my head. I make about seven layers of it. Then, on top of that, you make what is called a mother mold, which is a hard shell to support the silicone mold. Once that’s all done, you take off the shell, then you cut out the silicone mold and take the head off from the inside, and then you have a mold.
From there, what you do is put the mold back into the hard support shell – the mother mold – and seal it. I just use electrical tape to wrap it up and close it. At the bottom of [the head], like at the neck, there is a hole, and I pour this two-part liquid resin inside, which is like a hard plastic that sets in two and a half to five minutes. I pour this into the mold, then cap the mold, then by hand I rotate it for about 10 minutes to be on the safe side. It creates a hard head. Then you unmold it, removing the mold. Then I cut out the jaw, I build the inside, like the teeth and the tongue and the inside of the mouth. I install the mechanics inside the head. Then I paint it, build the body.
If I was working on a nonstop I could probably do it in a month. Because I do it very sporadically, I started this one maybe in September and just finished it.
What was the hardest part of Timmy to figure out?
The hair was hard because, of course, he has this crazy hair. Internet users don’t like hair at all, which is driving me crazy. My answer to them is: you are invited to do better. Dark! You think you can do better, don’t hesitate to give it a try. I intentionally made his hair longer than at the Golden Globes because his hair is generally a bit longer. I like it that way. I want someone to buckle it up and do the right things. I’m not that obsessed with hair; it was for fun.
The outfit was kind of a nightmare. I am by no means a seamstress. I think I figured out how to be a seamstress while making this outfit. i basically played Project track looping in the background while I was doing it, to move me forward and inspire me: You can do it! You can do this crazy outfit, you will be fine!
Very Tim Gunn saying, “Make this work!” ” I love it.
I have to ask you why you specifically chose the glitter harness look. Was that still the plan? It was definitely the sexiest carpet look he had had in a while.
I think because he got so much attention. It was so different. The harness, we had seen it on the podium, but on the mat we had not seen anything like it. I I love red carpets. I am a typical gay man; I’m all over the awards show.
So many people, like Cody Fern and Billy Porter, think outside the box. For me, it was so refreshing to see that. In my opinion – and I don’t know how long Billy Porter has been doing it – Timmy was the first to take such a crazy step. I think he called it a bib. I thought it was so cool. I’m all about anything with sequins or beads on it. Plus, it didn’t seem that hard to replicate, honestly. On a red carpet he wore this really amazing green velvet suit. It might have been the year before. I would have loved to reproduce that, but damn it if I can make a costume!
Even making a blazer is so much more difficult.
Ah, absolutely! Dealing with setbacks – no, thank you.
How do you feel some people call the creepy supermodel or say it’s not a perfect likeness?
I don’t think they understand, first of all, that it’s not necessarily meant to be a perfect likeness. It’s not a portrait in itself, it’s more of a caricature. It’s supposed to be fun. Things are exaggerated! His jaw is clearly not as pronounced as I did. You can’t really see his ears [in photos], but they stand out. You accentuate these things in a caricature. Yeah, I want it to be recognizable, but for people to be so mean, that’s what I wasn’t really expecting. I’m the quiet type, believe it or not, and I’m so used to my friends and acquaintances seeing this [dummies] and understand where I’m from.
I am not a ventriloquist. I don’t go out and play or whatever. I always thought the art form of the models themselves was really cool. Since I was little, I have loved ventriloquist models. I never wanted to play with just one; I just thought they were a really interesting art form. In places like Spain, for example, they take the art of puppetry very seriously. It’s fascinating to me. It’s a joke here in the United States.
As for the scary factor, I completely understand. I embrace that. I did a Anderson Cooper model, and, as a surprise for him to give to Kelly Ripa, I made one for her. This one was cool because I asked Diane von Furstenburg’s studio to make her a dress, and they did. It was crazy. Five years ago, literally today, June 11, Anderson gave the model to Kelly. It’s a bit ironic.
Can you explain how you determined the price by associating it with his birthday: December 27, 1995?
While eBay probably won’t appreciate this, the goal wasn’t actually to sell the model. The goal was to have fun with it, to have a little publicity. In the end, I wish I could give it to [Chalamet]. I would like my friend in New Zealand to come back to the US and whether it’s on TV or not give it to him. For this reason, I set the price so high that no one would actually buy it. Anderson’s show on CNN is called AC360, his was therefore priced at $ 360,000. With Timothy, I didn’t know what I was going to do. I looked at her birthday, and I thought, You know what, that’s what we’re gonna do. We’re just going to celebrate her birthday: $ 122,795.
How did you know Timothy? Was it Call me by your name?
No, I saw a movie he made maybe two years ago, Miss Stevens. I thought he was phenomenal in this movie when [his character] stopped his meds. This is where it really started. When he did Call me by your name, of course, it exploded. I’m dying to see Woody Allen’s movie, even though I’m not a huge fan of Woody Allen’s personal life. I can not wait to see it.
When my next door neighbor moved in she was no longer in him like all the other girls are in him [scoffs], Just for its looks! We have formed this bond on the whole. When it was nominated for an Oscar, we were super excited about it. When he was not nominated [for Beautiful Boy], we were super disappointed about it. I think I was more disappointed that we couldn’t have seen what he would wear on the red carpet to the Oscars. He keeps pushing the limits. I am very into fashion.