Dave Quinn
March 04, 2018 08:13 PM

Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey has nothing but nice things to say about Timothée Chalamet, even if he has no idea why he’s the Oscar nominee’s “spirit animal.”

On the red carpet for Sunday’s 90th annual Academy Awards, McConaughey, 48, gushed to ABC’s Red Carpet Special host Michael Strahan about the Call Me By Your Name Star, whom he worked with in 2014’s Interstellar.

“He’s a good young man,” McConaughey said. “I played his father in it [Interstellar]. I saw natural talent and I also saw a real confidence. And when you see his work in Call Me By Your Name, it is a fierce performance, man.”

“He’s dangerous in that performance and completely natural,” McConaughey added. “He didn’t have a false moment in it and he’s here to stay. It’s true, you see his work and it speaks for itself.”

Matthew McConaughey and Timothée Chalamet
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Be sure to check out PEOPLE’s full Academy Awards coverage to get the latest news on Hollywood’s big night.

There was one thing McConaughey didn’t understand about Chalamet: why he had shared a photo of him to Instagram on Friday, alongside the caption, “spirit animal next 3 days.”

“Someone sent that to me about 30 minutes before I got here,” McConaughey said. “I don’t quite know what it means, but he went over there and he was showing the picture like, ‘Look at this focus that you’ve got! I’m there for three days.’ And I’m like, ‘Good man, stay on it.’ ”

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Chalamet, 22, is nominated for Best Actor for his performance in Call Me By Your Name. McConaughey won the Oscar in that category in 2014 for Dallas Buyers Club. 

The 2018 Oscars ceremony will be held at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4 and will be televised live on ABC at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

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