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Armie Hammer defends backlash

October 9, 2017 GMT

Armie Hammer has defended his controversial role in ‘Call Me by Your Name’.

The 31-year-old actor portrays Oliver, 24, in the movie, an adaptation of Andre Aciman’s 2007 novel, which sees his character develop a relationship with 17-year-old student Elio (Timothee Chalamet, 21), and has faced criticism over the age gap.

One Twitter user, a Vietnam war veteran, wrote: “Wow, did you act in a film about pedophilia? Are you a pedophile? Do you promote such depravity? I was once a fan. Blech!! (sic)”

In response, Armie hit back: “You do know that you live in a state where the age of consent is 16, right....? Ok. Now shut up.

“And thank you for your service to our country (sic)”.

Armie recently insisted he had never been warned off playing gay characters, having previously portrayed Clyde Tolson in ‘J Edgar’ and James Lord in ‘Final Portrait’ and no longer thinks there’s as much of a “stigma” about homosexual roles.

He said: “None of my team has ever said ‘I don’t know if it’s gonna be good for you to play a gay character’.

“So I can only assume we are working our way through that stigma.”

However, although he has starred as gay characters before, the role of Oliver was something the actor - who has daughter Harper, two, and son Ford, eight months, with wife Elizabeth Chambers - found difficult and had to reach a “certain level of understanding” with director Luca Guadagnino.

He said: “I’m not sure I could have done it unless I’d reached a certain level of understanding with Luca.

“It was really a matter of him beating it all into my thick skull. There were all these kinks and fetishes that I didn’t understand.

“Like, why does he want to eat the peach? Why does he say ‘call me by your name and I’ll call you by mine?’

“If I didn’t understand those things, I wouldn’t have the character.”