Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya recall first time seeing ‘terrifying creature’ Austin Butler on ‘Dune: Part Two’ set

For Denis Villeneuve’s epic sci-fi drama “Dune: Part Two,” Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya are joined by pivotal new characters played by Christopher Walken, Florence Pugh, Léa Seydoux, Anya Taylor-Joy and Austin Butler, who plays the villainous, “psychotic” (as Pugh’s character calls him in the film) Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen.

To get into character to play the menacing Feyd-Rautha, Butler – whom audiences know mostly from his Oscar-nominated role in “Elvis” – dons extremely pale makeup, black teeth and no hair or eyebrows.

Recalling her first day on set in Budapest, Zendaya told CNN in a recent interview that arriving to see an in-character Butler filming one of his scenes “was quite jarring.”

The “Euphoria” star added that it was her first time “properly meeting and getting to know” Butler.

“I was like, ‘Well this is one way to get to know someone!’” she said. “But it was also funny because once you get to know Austin, you see that he’s obviously very warm and very kind. From just five seconds ago, being this terrifying creature, and then being like, ‘Hey, how are you? Good to see you!’”

Chalamet had similar feelings, saying his reaction to seeing Butler’s look the first time was “crazy.”

The “Wonka” actor recalled meeting him in a stunt warehouse to rehearse their fight scenes, saying he was both nervous and excited to work with Butler, especially “having to do it in a pretty aggressive way right off the bat.”

Timothee Chalamet and Austin Butler in "Dune: Part Two." - Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros. Pictures
Timothee Chalamet and Austin Butler in "Dune: Part Two." - Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros. Pictures

In the end though, Chalamet said that while his fight sequences with Butler required a lot of work, it turned out well.

“(It was) a lot of rehearsal. A lot of practice in LA, before even getting over to Hungary,” he recalled. “But it was a dream.”

In “Dune: Part Two,” – which comes from Warner Bros. Pictures, owned by CNN’s parent company Warner Bros. Discovery – Chalamet’s Paul Atreides rises to lead the Fremen people of the planet Arrakis against the oppressive Harkonnens, led by the ruthless Baron (Stellan Skarsgård) and his nephews, Glossu Rabban (Dave Bautista) and Butler’s Feyd-Rautha.

“Dune: Part Two” comes to theaters on March 1.

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