How a John Lennon Song Inspired a Timothée Chalamet Movie
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A John Lennon songs inspired a movie starring Timothée Chalamet and Steve Carell. A journalist who famously spoke with John discussed how this happened.

The Beatles‘ influence can be seen in the most unexpected places. A John Lennon songs inspired a movie starring Timothée Chalamet and Steve Carell. A journalist who famously spoke with John discussed how this happened. He also revealed the role John’s song played in his life.

A journalist saw John Lennon sing a song to his son, Sean Ono Lennon

David Sheff conducted the interview that forms the bulk of the book All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono. In 2020, he contributed an essay to a new version of the book discussing his experiences with John. In his essay, Sheff discussed his memories of watching John playing “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)” in the studio. As John played it, Sheff could see the singer’s eyes sparkle.

Sheff later saw John play “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)” to his son, Sean Ono Lennon. Sheff would later sing the song to his son, Nic, who was born in 1982, two years after John’s death. Nic went on to deal with substance abuse issues.

“In 2008, when Nic was first in recovery, I wrote about his addiction and its impact on our family for The New York Times Magazine,” Sheff wrote. “The article led to a book, which I named Beautiful Boy because Nic was my beautiful boy, and John’s song communicated everything it means to be a parent. A movie adaptation of the book, also named after John’s song, was released in 2018. In a scene that breaks my heart, the actor Steve Carell, who plays me, sings the song to his son — Nic, as portrayed by the actor Timothée Chalamet — as he goes to sleep.”

David Sheff said the song had a similar impact on other parents

Sheff said “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)” continued to impact people. “Since the book was published and then the movie was released, I’ve heard from countless parents who also struggled or are struggling with their children’s drug use and addiction,” he wrote. “A heartbreaking number have lost their kids. Many of these parents told me that John’s song had also become theirs: At night they sang it to their beautiful boys and beautiful girls.”

Sheff went on to sing “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)” for his two other children: Jasper and Daisy. He said that, if he ever had grandchildren, he would sing the tune for them as well.

John Lennon’s song leant its name to a foundation for addiction treatment research

Sheff founded the Beautiful Boy Foundation, which is dedicated to furthering addiction treatment research. The foundation also tries to reduce the stigma surrounding these issues. Considering Beautiful Boy was a mainstream film starring two of the most famous actors in the world, it probably did a lot to spread awareness of the foundation and its important work. The film also garnered acclaim for its masterful leading performances.

“Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)” impacted popular culture but, more than that, it helped many parents to express love for their children during difficult circumstances.

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