Stellan Skarsgård, one of the stars of Denis Villeneuve’s highly-anticipated adaptation of Dune, spoke to Daily Beast about his time on set of the Warner Bros. production. The father to fellow actors Alexander and Bill Skarsgård plays the role of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, a character which author Frank Herbert wrote to be “grossly and immensely fat” in the 1965 sci-fi novel.
While giving praise to filmmaker Villeneuve and his ability to create “…an atmosphere that is dance, that you can touch, and you’re just sucked into,” Skarsgård mentioned the grueling makeup process he endured for his role. He said “ I had eight hours in the makeup chair every day.”
Skarsgård, who is also set to feature in Disney+’s new Star Wars series Andor, said that he was only on set for eight to ten days, so his character will have a smaller amount of screen time than say Timothee Chalamet’s starring role as a intergalactic nobleman’s son.
Still, Skarsgård shared his excitement to see his character’s domineering essence enshroud the story, as he said “…his presence will be felt. He’s such a frightening presence where even if he doesn’t say anything, I think you’ll be afraid of him.”
Villeneuve’s Dune was adapted for the screen by the filmmaker himself, along with Jon Spaihts (Passengers) and Eric Roth (Killers of the Flower Moon, Forrest Gump). It has been said that the Arrival director has full control over the project and it should differ greatly from David Lynch’s 1984 rendition of Dune, which did not go over well with critics.
It follows the original Frank Herbert story centering around Paul Atreidas (Chalamet), a young noble who is entrusted with protecting the seemingly desolate planet of Arrakis. The planet is home to the most precious element in the galaxy that can enhance the human body in ways far beyond one’s imagination.
The Warner Bros. production features a stellar cast that includes Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Josh Brolin, Oscar Isaac, Dave Bautista, Javier Bardem, Charlotte Rampling, and Rebecca Ferguson. The film is expected to be a fall tentpole and premiere in theaters in October 2021.