Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Enormity Of Dune Was Initially A Shock To Timothée Chalamet

Timothée Chalamet has emerged as one of the biggest acting stars of his generation over the past several years. After appearing in "Interstellar" while still a college freshman, the newfound fame forced him to transfer from Columbia University to New York University, where, as noted by the Los Angeles Times, he designed his own major. His next big break came with 2017's "Call Me by Your Name," a bildungsroman romance that went on to be nominated for best picture at the Academy Awards and went on to win for best adapted screenplay (via Los Angeles Times).

Chalamet went on to develop an impressive resume, working with the likes of Greta Gerwig ("Lady Bird" and "Little Women"), Wes Anderson ("The French Dispatch"), and Adam McKay ("Don't Look Up"), lending himself well to roles that call for his unique blend of charming naivete. But nothing could have prepared the burgeoning star for his role in Denis Villeneuve's "Dune" adaptation.

Released in early autumn, 2021, "Dune" was among the first films to usher theatergoers back to the cinema in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Chalamet's Paul Atreides is the young scion of his family, sent to the planet Arrakis where he is destined to become the leader of the planet's native population. Villeneuve had grand ambitions for the adaptation of Frank Herbert's science-fiction epic, planning it out as a trilogy of films before he'd even received a green light on the sequel. Despite being streamed on HBO Max alongside theaters upon initial release, the film still went on to gross over $400 million globally. Villeneuve is now at work on the second installment.

Whether by the massive success of "Dune" or the scale of its production, Chalamet was blindsided, as he explained in a recent interview.

Timothée Chalamet was 'blindsided' by Dune's scale

While interviewing actress Taylor Russell for Homme Girls, "Dune" star Timothée Chalamet reflected on the enormity of the Denis Villeneuve project and how he's adjusted since then. Reflecting on the way it felt to work on the first "Dune" compared to the sequel now in production, Chalamet said that he and the character of Paul Atreides have grown more self-assured, but that he was initially overwhelmed by the scope of the production. "It's actually something you don't get to do with movies," Chalamet said. "Revisit. Actually though, I'm feeling that with 'Dune.' Speaking about how cycles match life. I was younger when I did it the first time and was kind of blindsided by how big that movie was. And now, as Paul Atreides becomes more sure on his heels, I feel more sure on my heels, too."

Certainly, "big" is a word commonly associated with Villeneuve's "Dune." Nearly every shot throughout the film seems engineered for grandiosity, with massive ships dwarfed by impossibly huge sand worms, themselves made minuscule by the sweeping desert landscapes they inhabit. The success of the sci-fi epic may also be a part of the shock Chalamet refers to. While Chalamet was already a well-known figure in Hollywood, "Dune" brought him into the world of franchise filmmaking, further elevating his public profile. Whether he has grown into the character of Paul remains to be seen with the release of "Dune: Part Two," which is currently eyeing a November 3, 2023 release.