Austin Butler Breaks Down His 'Frightening' Transformation for 'Dune: Part Two'

Austin Butler Breaks Down His 'Frightening' Transformation for 'Dune: Part Two'
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

AUSTIN BUTLER'S LEADING roles in Elvis, The Bikeriders and Masters of the Air have all helped to cement his status as one of the most exciting rising stars in Hollywood. And with those good looks and sculpted physique (not to mention that McConaughey-esque voice), he is not without his fair share of admirers. But for his most recent role, the Oscar-nominated performer underwent an extreme transformation.

Butler stars in Denis Villeneuve's sci-fi sequel Dune: Part Two as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, the brutal nephew and lieutenant of Stellan Starsgard's Vladimir Harkonnen. The villainous character is completely devoid of hair or skin pigmentation, and playing him required Butler to wear a bald cap which began at his eyebrows, and which took three hours to painstakingly apply. He also trained for four months ahead of filming in order to be able to embody a "physically imposing presence."

In a recent interview with Jimmy Fallon, Butler explained how he got to grips with the "frightening" and "demonic" character, who director Villeneuve first pitched to him as a "psychopath swordmaster mixed with Mick Jagger," and how he endeavored to make the role his own after Sting played Feyd-Rautha in David Lynch's 1985 adaptation of Frank Herbert's novel.

"I mean the thing with a villainous character, I never played a character quite like it, and I didn't want to judge him," he said. "So it was a lot of imagining what his childhood was like, and thankfully seeing the first film, Stellan Skarsgard's character, the Baron, he's amazing... I just imagined what it would be like growing up with him as my father."

At the film's premiere in New York City, Skarsgard told Variety what a pleasure it was to watch Butler play the villain, and how his interpretation of Feyd-Rautha was influenced by Skarsgard's performance in 2021's Dune. "I laughed so much because it was so obvious that he really enjoyed being evil," he said, adding that Butler's voice in Dune: Part Two "was like hearing an echo... it was very, very precise."

You Might Also Like