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Oscar Isaac gave Denis Villeneuve his 'c--k sock' after Dune nude scene

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Oscar Isaac turned in two awards-worthy film performances this year: Paul Schrader's The Card Counter, in which he played a gambler scarred by time in military prison; and Denis Villeneuve's Dune, in which he played the regal Duke Leto Atreides. In a new interview with executive editor Clarissa Cruz on EW's The Awardist podcast, Isaac discussed both performances and his collaborations with the two famed directors.

Schrader, Isaac says, knows exactly what he wants from a film: "There's such a subversive, punk rock energy to him, and the way he shoots, and the way he knows what the story is... There was just so much confidence and assuredness. Where he would know the difference between like, 'Okay, that's not the movie… That's the movie.' Just the difference in that camera angle, and to know that right away. I just had so much trust."

But though The Card Counter is a much smaller and more focused film than Dune, Isaac says he felt that personal touch from Villeneuve as well: "Denis just found a way to distill it to its essence, and it's a really poetic film. And I think weirdly enough, for as wild as it is, it just feels like there's something really personal about it. It's hard to explain, but I think it's less about communicating an idea. It's his emotional expression of what you see on there that just feels like someone's vision. It really does."

Awardist
Awardist

Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures Oscar Isaac discusses 'Dune' with EW's The Awardist.

Isaac told EW about filming his final scene in Dune, when the defeated Duke Atreides is brought low before his gloating archenemy, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgard).

"Everything about it was just so scary," Isaac recalls. "He's been stripped of his clothing. There was some thought, I think originally, like, 'he doesn't have to be naked.' I was like, 'No, he should be naked, man.' It's like Christ on the cross kind of moment. So we came up with a few different ideas of what his posture would be. That's where we came up with that great idea of seeing the bull's head, this motif that's been never talked about really or explained. It's just been traveling along with him as this omen. And then just getting, finally, to have a chance to play with Stellan Skarsgård as the bear, and that was just incredible.

But even though Isaac describes Skarsgard's performance as "terrifying," he also notes "we laughed so much" while filming it. Perhaps the best example of this on-set levity was a little gift Isaac left for Villeneuve afterward.

"At one point, when Denis wasn't looking, I may have left my c--k sock in his pocket, just so he just had a little bit of me next to him when I left," Isaac jokes. "Just a little, musty handkerchief."

Watch the full interview above.

Listen to the full interview on EW's The Awardist podcast below or available wherever you listen to podcasts. Subscribe for new episodes every Monday. Our new season covers the road to the 2022 Oscars with in-depth analysis and interviews with Kenneth Branagh, Mike Mills, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Halle Berry, and more Oscar hopefuls.

Check out more from EW's The Awardist, featuring exclusive interviews, analysis, and our podcast diving into all the highlights from the year's best films.

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