Timothée Chalamet and Austin Butler they were really looking forward to their fight.

The actors were training separately with a Kali instructor in Los Angeles to prepare for the climactic showdown between Paul Atreides and Feyd Rautha in “Dune: Part Two. ”When they finally met in Budapest, they weren't even technically supposed to do a review. But they couldn't hide their excitement.

“We reached out to him immediately,” Chalamet said.

Everyone in the ensemble gets wide-eyed when talking about that fight. It was a sight to see Butler and Chalamet do everything themselves, sometimes in almost continuous wide shots.

“It was like being backstage before going on stage or something, that incredible intensity you feel. And then 'Action!' is called. And we got to work,” Butler said. “That’s the moment of truth where you want to just leave it all on the field.”

But it was also the rare occasion that most of the cast, including Zendaya,Florence Pugh, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Christopher Walken, Charlotte Rampling, Rebecca Ferguson It is Javier Bardem, they were together in the same room.

Pugh, a newcomer to the world of “Dune” as the Emperor’s daughter, Princess Irulan, described the atmosphere in the room as an “effervescent energy that only at that point, you hope, can create greatness.”

Leaving him on the field wasn't just Butler's goal in the fight. It seemed to be the guiding principle for everyone who had the chance to return to Arrakis for “Part Two,” which premieres March 1. it hadn't been a given and depended on the success of “ Part One,” which had its own drawback of being released simultaneously on Max (formerly HBOMax) and in theaters.

Chalamet feared they would end in an incomplete arc. Other actors, like Zendaya as fighter Freman (and object of Paul's affection), Chani, and Bautista as Harkonnen bandit Beast Rabban, had barely scratched the surface of their characters in “Part One.”

“That uncertainty was uncomfortable,” Bautista said. “My payoff for the character was in the second film.”

The time in between gave Zendaya and Chalamet space to establish a true friendship with each other, before their characters fell in love in “Part Two” — amid all the heightened stakes.

“What I appreciate about the love story is that it’s earned,” Zendaya said. “A real wall has to be torn down.”

But it was a relief to start the official one, even though we knew that a lot of sweat and discomfort would be expected to bring this ambitious and visionary world of science fiction to life, with the action tripled.

“It's tiring, but it's tiring that I personally enjoy,” said Brolin, returning as Gurney Halleck. “I like to challenge my idea of ​​comfort often.”

Some were more frightened by the return, like Skarsgård, knowing that he would once again have to endure eight hours of sitting completely still to become Baron Harkonnen. The look would include a cooling vest and more than 36 kilos of rubber clothing that made movement difficult and trips to the bathroom impossible.

“I wasn't too excited about it because I thought about those hours of makeup,” Skarsgård said. “But on the other hand, I really love the character, not because he is psychologically portrayed very elegantly, but because we managed to create a presence… He is used in very few scenes, but he still looms over the entire film like a dangerous, dangerous thing. .

One thing he wasn't prepared for was Butler as his character's “psychotic” nephew, Feyd Rautha. Butler had the idea of ​​modeling his voice after Skarsgård's.

“That’s a fun detail,” Skarsgård said. “But then, God, he was sharp as a razor. It's like a snake. It was fantastic to see.”

Butler also transformed himself to play a character Villeneuve described as “a cross between a sword master and Mick Jagger.” It took about three hours of hair and makeup, and one at the end of the day to get him out of the hat.

“It’s a real gift as an actor when you look in the mirror and don’t see yourself,” Butler said. “I knew I had a lot of freedom to play.”

For Pugh, it was a “dream” to witness the scale of the scenes and be part of not only a transformative experience, but also “to be surrounded by so much dedication, so much love, passion and so much talent”.

Like most of her colleagues, she said being in that room during fight week was a highlight of her career.

“It was impressive,” Brolin said. “(These were guys who) were actually rehearsing, who were actually doing it, who were getting hurt, who were falling… You're like 'yeah, that's old school'.”

Brolin was particularly impressed by the young cast, none of whom were based on celebrity, he said.

Of course, at the heart of “Dune” is Chalamet, an actor who was just 23 when he made the first one. He had been nominated for an Oscar and was quickly establishing himself as the next capital-M movie star. But it was the first time he had led a production of this scale.

When he returned to begin production on “Dune: Part Two” a few years later, the difference was striking: like his character Paul Atreides, he too had grown up.

“He was like a child and he didn’t hide it. He's like, 'What is this? What we do? Oh my God. So big. So many cameras,'” Brolin laughed. “And now he’s exactly where he’s supposed to be.”

Chalamet is self-deprecating about this, laughing that at first he was “just a boy” and in the meantime got some furniture. But everyone around him noticed the change.

Bautista was particularly impressed with his dedication to a training and eating schedule to transform himself into an incredibly powerful fighter (and sandworm rider).

“I know he trained a lot because he wanted to look good,” Bautista said. “He literally goes from boy to man, as he is commanding in the second film.”

Villeneuve was sure he would get there too, but still a little relieved that everything had worked out as he had imagined.

“Timothée learned a lot about cinema between the two films,” said Villeneuve. “'Part One' was the first time he was in a film of this scale, surrounded by many firsts. But in 'Part Two' he was the leader. And he did a great job of bringing Paul’s tragedy to life.”

“Dune: Part Two” is the kind of “event cinema” that the cast seems genuinely (and not just contractually) excited to be a part of and see on the big screen — a propulsive, action-packed spectacle that’s sure to satisfy anyone. whoever claimed the first was very meditative.

“It’s telling stories. It's heart. It's visually stunning. The soundtrack is incredible,” said Bautista. “It’s a special film and they just don’t come around very often.”

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