Timothée Chalamet claims to have heard hours of unreleased Bob Dylan music
(Credits: Far Out / Warner Bros.)
As he continues to prepare for his lead role in the Bob Dylan biopic, Complete Unknown, 27-year-old actor Timothée Hal Chalamet has revealed that he has heard around 12 hours worth of unreleased songs by the folk icon.
The project has spent years in development and during that time Chalamet has had unprecedented access to the musician’s work. The little Wonka star revealed that Dylan’s manager, Jeff Rosen, shared a 12 hour playlist with him containing unreleased tracks that Dylan recorded between 1959 and 1964.
During this period, it is said that Dylan was so prolific that his one-time partner, the folk musician Joan Baez, used to find songs he had written and lost down the back of her piano. Even Dylan himself has expressed that he doesn’t understand how he had quite such a dominion over songwriting at that stage.
Speaking with Josh Horowitz, Chalamet explained, “This might earn the ire and wrath of a lot of Bob fans, rightfully, but he sent me like a 12-hour playlist of unreleased Bob stuff from like 1959 to ’64. I feel like I’m holding onto gold or something.”
While he admits that some of it has already been shared with thew public thanks to bootlegs, much of the music he has been privy to in his preparations is unknown to the wider public. With Dylan only 17/18 in 1959, these early recordings showcase his development as a songwriter.
It has also recently been reported that the 82-year-old singer-songwriter has personally annotated the script for the forthcoming feature. The project is being helmed by director James Mangold, who looks to make the most concise Dylan biopic to date.
Filming is set to begin in August and Mangold has made it clear that the movie will not be a “typical biopic”, as it will cover “a very specific moment” in the 1960s instead of documenting Dylan’s entire life.
“It’s a kind of ensemble piece about this moment in time, the early ’60s in New York, and this 17-year-old kid with $16 in his pockets hitchhikes his way to New York to meet Woody Guthrie who is in the hospital and is dying of a nerve disease,” Mangold explained.
“And he sings Woody a song that he wrote for him and befriends Pete Seeger, who is like a son to Woody. And Pete sets him up with gigs at local clubs, and there you meet Joan Baez and all these other people who are part of this world,“ he says.
Concluding: “And this wanderer who comes in from Minnesota with a fresh name and a fresh outlook on life, becomes a star, signs to the biggest record company in the world within a year, and three years later, has record sales rivalling the Beatles.”