A Minute With: the ‘Dune: Part Two’ cast on costumes, politics and veils

By Thomson Reuters Feb 29, 2024 | 12:02 PM

By Rollo Ross

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The sci-fi epic “Dune” saga, based on Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel and starring Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya, returns for its second installment this week in Denis Villeneuve’s critically acclaimed film adaption.

The Canadian director takes audiences back to the desert planet Arrakis for his follow-up to 2021’s “Dune,” with Chalamet’s Paul Atreides joining forces with Zendaya’s Chani and the Arrakis locals, known as the Fremen, to seek revenge against those who killed his father.

Reuters spoke to Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, who returns as Paul’s mother Jessica; Austin Butler, who plays villain Feyd-Rautha; and Florence Pugh, who portrays Princess Irulan, about the film.

Below are excerpts edited for clarity and length.

Q: Is the story reflective of society today?

Chalamet: “It’s sort of a warning against charismatic leaders. I think that was one of Frank Herbert’s thematic goals.”

Q: What was your reaction the first time you saw yourself in all the makeup?

Butler: “It’s such a gift when you look at yourself in the mirror and you’re not seeing you, and almost never more so have I felt that than on this … from those first makeup tests, it really started to shape the way that I felt as Feyd and it started to spark my imagination in different ways.”

Q: How did you feel about your extravagant costumes?

Pugh: “I knew that it was going to be something magical. I had no idea it was going to be any of the outfits that I wore and I was just so surprised. … They’re all very much inspired by Japanese kimonos and Japanese trousers and the shoes.”

Q: What was your daily routine like with your tattoos and costumes?

Ferguson (giving an anecdote): “I went to a costume fitting and (costume designer) Jacqueline (West) was like, ‘So Denis wants veils’… it (was) like veils upon veils, upon veils upon a chain mail and then veils. … So I had to call him and I was like ‘Dude, what is, what is this? And I was like, I’m taking it away. My ego is being crushed underneath this thing’.”

Q: Will there be another film?

Chalamet: “The dream is to do another one. Obviously, this film would have to have a certain … amount of success … to warrant a third one. But … everyone is super game. How could you not be?”

(Reporting by Rollo Ross; Writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)