The dynamic duo of Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, who mesmerized audiences in the first installment of “Dune,” are gearing up for another cinematic journey in “Dune: Part Two.” In an exclusive interview with ET’s Nischelle Turner, the co-stars delved into the intricacies of portraying an on-screen romance between their characters, Paul Atreides and Chani, and the unique dynamics it brings.
While both Chalamet and Zendaya are seasoned professionals, they couldn’t help but acknowledge the peculiar nature of simulating a romantic connection with someone they’ve known as a close friend for nearly five years. The two actors share a platonic relationship off-screen, and their on-screen romance adds an extra layer of complexity to their collaboration.
Zendaya candidly admitted, “It’s definitely strange. I think both of us are just like, ‘All right. This is our job. OK, we’re going to do this.'” Chalamet echoed her sentiments, acknowledging the inherent weirdness but emphasizing their professionalism, stating, “It’s weird as hell, ’cause we’re so close, platonically. In the scope of the movie, it’s totally what is happening, but I also feel like we are so tight now that it really is just like another day at work.”
Chalamet humorously remarked on the nature of their profession, stating, “I don’t know what that says about the nature of our jobs, but it’s just another day of work.” Zendaya, on the other hand, focused on the craft and the storytelling aspect, emphasizing the guidance of director Denis Villeneuve in shaping a sentimental and beautiful love story within the epic Dune universe.
“In this specific love story, I think we’re so grateful to have Denis at the helm of this very special thing,” Zendaya reflected. “He always found a way to somehow — amongst all of the epicness that is the Dune universe — find a way to carve out a very sentimental, beautiful love story that is, I feel, in many respects, earned.”
Transitioning from her Emmy-winning role in “Euphoria,” Zendaya highlighted the challenge of crafting a love story within the unique language of the Dune universe, set thousands of years in the future. She jokingly remarked, “It was definitely something we were trying to understand because you can’t be like, ‘What’s up, shawty?'”
Zendaya emphasized the power of unspoken moments and glances in conveying the depth of the characters’ connection, stating, “You see, throughout the film, the moments between them. The things that are unsaid. The glances between characters — there’s so much said just with looks. I think it happens with all the characters, and specifically Paul and Chani.”
As fans eagerly anticipate the release of “Dune: Part Two,” the behind-the-scenes insights from Chalamet and Zendaya add an intriguing layer to the on-screen magic they create together.