Timothée Chalamet’s presence was one of the most expected in Venice: casual jacket, dark glasses, and a rebel curl, he landed on the Lido for the world premiere of Denis Villeneuve’s Dune.
He gave proof of his talent with prominent films such as Lady Bird, Beautiful Boy, Little Women, and The King, which gave rise to Chalamania. Son of a French journalist employed at the UN and an American former ballet dancer, he rose to fame with Call me by your name by Luca Guadagnino. This fruitful partnership is set to go on with Bones and All in Venice in 2022.
Paul Atreides is the scion of a great dynasty with great powers… How did you prepare for this role?
“I tried to get as close as possible to the original character. I wanted to know the story before I met with the director, so I read Dune before seeing him in Cannes. Then I let him guide me. I had the opportunity of collaborating with an exceptional staff: we supported each other very much. I admire all these people; they are my brothers and sisters”.
What about the physical preparation?
“Working with Roger Yunan was very helpful; he is a great stunt coordinator. I trained a lot on wrestling and then I went with other actors on the cliffs to feel the impact of that kind of ground”.
About the ground: much has been said of your sand walk…
One of the choreographers came up with this idea, after a video of a girl on a LA beach. We decided to follow it”.
What actors did you work the most with?
I tried to spend as much time as possible with Rebecca Ferguson and Oscar Isaac who play my parents in the film. We set up a great affinity, and this reassured me since the beginning.”
Is it more difficult to be believable in a sci-fi movie?
“We tried to avoid artificiality and give realism to characters and location.”
Was there a particularly hard scene?
“I was afraid of the scene with the great Charlotte Rampling, where Paul undergoes his first rite of passage, inserting his hand in a torture box while the Reverend Mother holds a poisoned needle onto his neck. Only by withstanding pain and carrying out a metamorphosis, Paul can prove to be a man and awake a force he didn’t know he had”,
Are you happy about the Dune sequel?
“It’s a dream come true! I’m extremely grateful to the director and production for letting me have such a thrilling experience. This is a movie to be read, shot, and seen”.
In your opinion, what’s the most valuable message of this production?
“The film is also about colonialism and its evils, the search for profits leading to moral degeneration and destruction of the planet. These themes are important for my generation, in the USA and everywhere”.