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Warner Bros. Zendaya in Dune
While fans of Zendaya are looking forward to her appearance in the upcoming sci-fi film Dune, the actress revealed her role is much smaller than some people might anticipate.
In an interview with Empire published on Wednesday, the actress spoke about working with director Denis Villeneuve and portraying Chani in the recent movie adaptation of the popular Frank Herbert novel.
"He's so kind and attentive to all of his actors," Zendaya said of Villeneuve. "I was only there for four days and I did not want to leave!"
"Denis understands what he wants from us but he's also very collaborative, allowing me to have my take on the character as well. I don't want to jinx anything but I can't wait to explore her more," the actress said. "I hope I get to learn more from Denis. I love to learn from people who are great at their job."
Warner Bros. Zendaya and Timothée Chalamet in Dune
As for portraying Chani, the love interest of Timothée Chalamet's Paul Atreides, Zendaya said, "My part is very, very small in this movie."
"That's why I'm so excited to see it, to see what everyone's been up to," she continued. "[Denis and I] had a little discussion about who Chani is and the strength she possesses. She's a fighter, that's what her people are."
She added, "I only really had a few days with her, so I kind of scratched the surface but it was so much fun figuring her out. What does she walk like, what does she talk like? This is her planet, so how does she navigate this world? It was so fun."
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In April 2020, Villeneuve told Vanity Fair the movie would be broken up into two installments to cover the complexities of Herbert's story.
"I would not agree to make this adaptation of the book with one single movie," said Villeneuve. "The world is too complex. It's a world that takes its power in details."
"No matter what you believe, Earth is changing, and we will have to adapt," he added. "That's why I think that Dune, this book, was written in the 20th century. It was a distant portrait of the reality of the oil and the capitalism and the exploitation—the overexploitation—of Earth. Today, things are just worse. It's a coming-of-age story, but also a call for action for the youth."
Dune is expected to hit theaters on Oct. 22.