Dune: Part Two: Austin Butler only stayed 25-30% in character as a murderous sociopath when off-camera; Damn decent of him

Connie Queline

Dune: Part Two: Austin Butler only stayed 25-30% in character as a murderous sociopath when off-camera; Damn decent of him

Dune: Part Two: Austin Butler only stayed in character as a murderous sociopath 25-30% of the time off-camera. Damn decent of him.

Austin Butler completely embodied Elvis Presley for Baz Luhrmann’s extravagant biopic, spending three years researching the life and music of the iconic musician. He even adapted Presley’s southern drawl the entire time and needed a vocal coach to help him lose the accent. Thankfully, Austin Butler didn’t go quite that far when it came to playing the sadistic Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen in Dune: Part Two.

I’ve definitely in the past, with ‘Elvis,’ explored living within that world for three years and that being the only thing that I think about day and night,” Butler told the Los Angeles Times in a joint interview with director Denis Villeneuve. “With Feyd, I knew that that would be unhealthy for my family and friends.” Villeneuve was quick to chime in, “And for me!

Butler continued, “So I made a conscious decision to have a boundary. It allowed for more freedom between action and cut because I knew I was going to protect everybody else outside of the context of what we were doing. That’s not to say that it doesn’t bleed into your life. But I knew that I wasn’t going to do anything dangerous outside of that boundary, and in a way that allowed me to go deeper, I think.” Villeneuve added that “when the camera was on, it was like you were possessed,” but when the camera was off, “you were still maybe 25 or 30% Feyd. Just enough to still be present and focus but removed enough that you didn’t kill anybody on set.

The first reactions to Dune: Part Two have been extremely positive, with our own Chris Bumbray giving the film a rave review, including plenty of praise for Austin Butler. “Feyd-Rautha may be the role that finally gets people to stop looking at him as Elvis, with him playing a sadistic baddie who’s about as far removed from The King of rock n’ roll as you can get,” Bumbray wrote. “His intensity and sadism push the boundaries of the PG-13 rating, and the final confrontation with Paul will likely rank highly among the best action scenes of the year.” You can check out the rest of Bumbray’s review right here.

Dune: Part Two will “explore the mythic journey of Paul Atreides as he unites with Chani and the Fremen while on a path of revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family. Facing a choice between the love of his life and the fate of the known universe, he endeavors to prevent a terrible future only he can foresee.” The film will hit theaters on March 1st.


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