Film star Armie Hammer recalls Cayman roots

Actor Armie Hammer, left, appears on the 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' show on Friday night, Jan. 5. - PHOTO: ABC

Actor Armie Hammer, who grew up on Grand Cayman, spent time talking about his childhood experiences and his recent return to the island when he was a guest on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Friday night.

Mr. Hammer has been in such films as “The Lone Ranger,” “The Social Network” and the recently released “Call Me by Your Name.” His family moved to Los Angeles when he was 13 and he came back to the island for the New Year’s Eve holiday in what he called his first real visit since leaving as a kid.

He told the talkshow host that he remembered Cayman as “this little tiny quaint island” where, because of hurricane danger, no buildings could be higher than three stories.

“It has changed so much,” Mr. Hammer said. “The entirety of Seven Mile Beach looks like [Miami’s] South Beach. There’s, like, massive hotels. It looks totally different.”

He also mentioned some infrastructure developments, including “tunnels that go nowhere,” that baffled him.

His parents, Michael Armand Hammer – son of oil tycoon Armand Hammer – and Dru Ann Mobley, founded Grace Christian Academy and Christian radio station Heaven 97.7. Mr. Hammer said he wanted to take his 3-year-old daughter by his old school but she was not interested.

“She said, ‘You go. I’ll go to the beach,’” he said.

He also mentioned the radio station.

“I did promos when I was 8 or 9, ‘You’re listening to … ’” Hammer said. “I’m sure we had 15 listeners.”

Hammer said he also remembered growing up with only a handful of television stations available on the island. All that contributed to problems he had when he moved to Los Angeles.

“I was socially inept,” he told Mr. Kimmel. “I didn’t know what the Lakers were. I didn’t know what Nirvana was. I had really long hair and a slight accent. It got beat out of me real quick.”

Mr. Hammer is nominated for a Golden Globe for best supporting actor for “Call Me by Your Name.” The awards were announced Sunday night.

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