An Oscar nomination for Elvis, plaudits for a Broadway turn, and an eau de toilette ad campaign currently running. You would think that Austin Butler had got past the nerves stage of his career. However, in an article from Interview Magazine he talked about playing psychopath, favored nephew, and knife fighter Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two and admitted he was very nervous.
As a key character in the adaption of the second half of Frank Herbert’s celebrated novel, he will play a pivotal role in the plot. He is joined by Lea Seydoux as Margot Fenring, Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan, and Christopher Walker as Emperor Shaddam IV as the key new inclusions in the sequel.
He said the role in itself just generates sheer anxiety:
“I’m always nervous. I always feel an incredible pressure. With Dune it was interesting, because I met with Denis [Villeneuve], and we got along very well, and started talking about the character.
At that point, we didn’t even have a script, but as we started talking about Feyd, my imagination started running, and I started to feel the terror of the challenge. That’s what I’m guided by now: What really scares me?
Because Elvis was terrifying. There was so much pressure, and I was constantly asking myself, ‘Am I enough? Can I pull off this tightrope act?’ That makes you focus and work really hard.
The wonderful thing about the reception of that film was realizing that even though I had that terror and questioned my own ability, if I put in the hard work, I set myself up to hopefully affect some people.
It means I’m now able to see that terror as a separate thing, and not let it rule me, and instead look at it and go, ‘I see you. I hear you. I’m not going to let you cripple me.’ And then it becomes this jet fuel that makes you wake up at four in the morning with your heart pounding, and you go, ‘Okay, let’s get to work. Let’s start working on the voice. Let’s start working on the body. Let’s start working on the text.’”
Dune: Part Two was moved out of a November release into March 2024 due to the strikes. Survivior of the massacre of House Atriedes, Paul (Timothee Chalamet) joins with the Fremen to raise an army against those who destroyed his family, but finds himself forced to make a choice between the love of his life and the fate of the known universe, as he endeavors to prevent a terrible future only he can foresee.
Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, and Javier Bardem all return. I just want to see a Guild Navigator.
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