'Dune': Why Timothée Chalamet Calls It 'One of the Most Inspiring and Changing Experiences of My Life'
9th September 2020

Warner Bros. released the trailer to Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Dune on Sept. 9. Fans of Frank Herbert’s book can recognize several iconic scenes, and there are sure to be many more in the film, which is only part one. You definitely get a good look at Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides. 

The cast of Dune spoke about making the film at a press conference on Aug. 3. Chalamet said making Dune “was one of the most inspiring and changing experiences of my life really.” He went on to describe some of the experiences that made it so. Dune is in theaters Dec. 18.

Timothée Chalamet relates to ‘Dune’ on many levels

Paul Atreides is the son of Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac) and Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson). He plays a key role in the battle against House Harkonnen, with the Fremen on planet Arrakis in the middle. Chani (Zendaya) is a Fremen whom Paul meets on Arrakis. 

“I do think there’s the possibility of somebody seeing this movie with the ecological metaphors, with the clash of worlds, with the coming of age that Chani and Paul are stepping into,” Chalamet said. “Both in a huge obligation of birthright but also that all 15, 16, 17, 18-year-olds go through, which is just that growing up is hard. There is a metaphor and I think a lesson in this movie for everyone.”

Timothée Chalamet felt inspired by the location of ‘Dune’

Dune filmed in the deserts of Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. Planet Arrakis, which means Dune, is a big desert. Both in recreating Arrakis, and in being in the real location, Chalamet said he felt inspired.

“When you’re shooting in a desert in Jordan, the spirituality of the location, I’ll ruin it with my words so I won’t even try, but you’re really in it,” Chalamet said. “There’s a picture of Denis on set where I couldn’t get the blocking right. So there’s a picture of him showing me the blocking with this knees in the sand, and the monitor in his lap. He’s doing it more than I was in that moment.”

This movie gives you double the Timothée Chalamet

There’s a deep mythology to the world of Dune. You can look forward to the film unraveling it all. One of the powers that Frank Herbert writers about is the Kwisatz Haderach, the ability to be in two places simultaneously. You see some hints of Atreides using this power in the trailer. That was another one of many metaphors that inspired Chalamet.

“You feel the environment, specifically for the role of Paul, playing a teenager as a young man, myself being 23, 24 and to be in that state of, I don’t want to say confusion,” Chalamet said. “But, when you’re young, the world function as a mirror. You’re just confirming everything about yourself of what is provided to you or said about you. And when you’re the Kwisatz Haderach it’s maybe overwhelming.”

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