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Film

Timothée Chalamet opens up about 'Dune' pressure

Timothée Chalamet has established himself as one of the most talented actors in the world, delivering stellar performances in films like Call Me by Your Name and Beautiful Boy which showcase a maturity beyond his years. After receiving critical acclaim for starring in the new Wes Anderson film The French Dispatch, Chalamet’s next project promises to be an even bigger leap for the rising star.

Chalamet will star in Denis Villeneuve’s film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s beloved sci-fi novel Dune. Set to premiere at the Venice Film Festival this week before a theatrical release in October, Dune has been attracting the attention of the press as well as fans who can’t wait to see how Villeneuve has improved the flawed adaptation undertaken by David Lynch in 1984.

In a recent interview, Chalamet revealed how much it meant for him to work with Villeneuve and learn from someone as intellectually versatile as the filmmaker: “To get to work with Denis on it, to get to work with someone of his calibre, let alone on a book that he considers the book of his youth and one of the things he has connected to the most.

“When he would have it in his hands on set,” Chalamet continued, “his body language would become that of a fan; of a kid who had fallen in love with the book at home in Montreal. And when all the kids around him were wearing hockey jerseys with their favourite players’ names on the back, this was a kid wearing a jersey that said ‘Spielberg’ on the back.”

Chalamet also opened up about the immense pressure of being attached to such a huge project. However, he channelled all the negative emotions back into the role: “I got attached [to the role in Dune] a couple of months after that, and it was nerve-wracking from the announcement, because like I said before, the fans of the book, and the fans of David Lynch version, the computer game, and everything, there’s so much love and strength of feeling.”

Adding, “And so much of our pop culture and films and books have been derived from Dune, and all the philosophy in the book. I’ve been shocked to learn how many people have a next-level connection to the book. I compare it to how our generation grew up with Harry Potter, and that one makes sense to me… just feeling the pressure of the hugeness of the project in all those different ways. Those things can absolutely inform each other.”

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