In Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune,” Timothée Chalamet plays Paul Atreides, the hero of the Frank Herbert novel. But in doing so, he is the first Hollywood actor to do so since Jonathan Pryce played the part in 1984’s Frank Herbert’s “Dune,” directed by David Lynch.
With director Ridley Scott recently announcing that he, too, would like to star in a film based on “Dune,” which he wrote in 1984 and distributed the following year, we asked Villeneuve to explain why he decided to cast Chalamet as the youthful Atreides.
“I think it was because I was shocked that I hadn’t seen Tim in a movie that didn’t have a singing voice. To me, there was a reason why he hadn’t been doing many movies,” Villeneuve said. “But also, when I came to meet him, I found that for some reason he stood out. He looked like Paul Atreides in the book. I believe that that was the main thing that attracted me about him.”
Chalamet, 21, was not aware of “Dune” until Villeneuve approached him about the film, but the young actor admitted that his interest was piqued at the first meeting.
“You know how he’s the one that always wants to get better and is willing to work out more and more? He was definitely there to work out and learn as much as he could,” Chalamet said. “He’s like a character—the professor, kind of. He’s on his laptop. He’s studying the script. He has great intensity about what he wants.”
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