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Zendaya and Timothée Chalamet talk about their new film 'Dune'

October 19, 2021
<p>Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures</p><p>(L-r) ZENDAYA as Chani and TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET as Paul Atreides in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ action-adventure “DUNE,” a Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary release.</p>

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures

(L-r) ZENDAYA as Chani and TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET as Paul Atreides in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ action-adventure “DUNE,” a Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary release.

There she was.

Standing at the top of a rock formation in Abu Dhabi, Zendaya was staring out into the mountains, taking it all in. The actress and singer was filming “Dune” with costar Timothée Chalamet when she realized how cool her job was.

“Dune” is set to be released on Friday, Oct. 22. The film was adapted from a science fiction novel published in 1965 and is directed by Denis Villeneuve. It was filmed mainly in countries like the United Arab Emirates, Norway and Jordan.

“I was in a constant state of being sort of awestruck by the rock formations and things of that nature,” Chalamet said. “It felt like a constant process of being inspired by everything that was happening around in addition to the design of the suits, ships — it just felt like sometimes I just have to pinch myself.”

“Dune” follows the journey of a young man, Paul Atreides, played by Chalamet, as he discovers who he is and who he shall become on the dangerous planet Arrakis.

“I think the character we meet at the beginning of the movie, a young man struggling with his identity, struggling with the way he is, how he is in the world, who he is not only to himself but to his loved ones," Chamalet said. "I think those are things that all of us struggle with at that age, when we don't know who we are, when we're trying to find ourselves, trying to find her voice, trying to find our identity.”

Zendaya plays Chani, whose role in this movie is mainly seen at the end and through Paul’s visions. She said that although Chani is a young woman, there is wisdom to the character, something she can relate to.

“I've always been called an old lady since I was born,” Zendaya said. “I've always been Grandma, and I think that (Chani) has that wise spirit. I think part of both of us having to grow up in a more adult space and always constantly working with people who work are so much older than us or having to be thrown into situations where you're the youngest one in the room, I think causes you to grow up a little bit faster.”

The story is set in a futuristic and fictional world where prophecy and power are major elements of life. Although what the characters endure is not in line with Earth as we know it, human emotion is still conveyed.

“I think what (Villeneuve is) great at doing is he's never losing the human part,” Zendaya said. “That's what I love about this film. There is so much going on. There is so much to talk about and just to look, to hear . There are so many things, like metaphors. We've talked about it a million times, but something as simple as a relationship between a mother and a son.”

Hans Zimmer scored the music for the film, and talent like Rebecca Furgeson, Jacob Momoa and Oscar Issac co-star in it.

“These are like the most talented and strongest actors working right now,” Chalamet said. “So total dream come true. Something I would do again in a heartbeat, and I hope we get another chance to do.”

Zendaya echoed these thoughts, saying that she pursued the film “aggressively” when she saw the cast list.

“I just was like ‘I just want to get in the room,'” she said. “I just want to get into the room and have a shot at it.”

Many fans have commented on Zendaya and Chamalet’s chemistry in joint interviews. They appear to be friends in real life, not just costars on set. Zendaya confirmed this, describing their friendship as “effortless” and cited it as one of the things that would help grow their characters together in the potential second part of the film.

“It's not like I had to go there and be like, 'Let me pretend to be friends with this person,'” Zendaya said. "It's just like 'No, this is somebody who I really appreciate.' I think that it's valuable in my life, so I think that outside of the work part is important to have.”

First a novel, this story has been adapted before. In 1984, an adaptation was released in theaters but did not see much box office success.

“I'm definitely not new to doing movies that have been done before, and I think that's what's so important as having that right director,” Zendaya said. “That person who connects with the material in a different way. I mean, the fact that (Villeneuve) read it as a young person and was able to grow with it and grow up with it, quite literally.”

The cast brings a younger audience to this story — a generation of people who were not alive when the novel was first published and likely did not grow up without it. However, that does not mean it does not still have a lesson to teach the audience.

“We're all the same generation,” Chalamet said. “This book didn't come out when we were growing up and yet its themes remain relevant about fighting for what's right socially, fighting for what's right environmentally, standing up for groups who are easily oppressed or that don't have the agency to fight back.”

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