Austin Butler Reveals Why He Felt “Nervous” Taking Dune: Part Two Role

After an award-nominated turn as Elvis Presley in last year’s Elvis, Austin Butler is headed into a whole new domain. The actor is cast as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen in the highly-anticipated Dune: Part Two, and movie fans are eager to see how he embodies the iconic villain. In a recent chat with Interview Magazine, Butler said that he often feels anxious when signing on to a new role — and was particularly scared of the immense “challenge” of Feyd-Rautha.

“I’m always nervous. I always feel an incredible pressure. I felt that when I was 12 years old. Even if the material doesn’t really require it, I feel I need to do the best that I possibly can. That sets a bar, and then I’m always afraid that I’m going to miss something. With Dune it was interesting, because I met with Denis [Villeneuve], and we got along very well, and started talking about the character. At that point, we didn’t even have a script, but as we started talking about Feyd, my imagination started running, and I started to feel the terror of the challenge. That’s what I’m guided by now: What really scares me?”

“Because Elvis was terrifying,” Butler continued. “There was so much pressure, and I was constantly asking myself, ‘Am I enough? Can I pull off this tightrope act?’ That makes you focus and work really hard. The wonderful thing about the reception of that film was realizing that even though I had that terror and questioned my own ability, if I put in the hard work, I set myself up to hopefully affect some people. It means I’m now able to see that terror as a separate thing, and not let it rule me, and instead look at it and go, ‘I see you. I hear you. I’m not going to let you cripple me.’ And then it becomes this jet fuel that makes you wake up at four in the morning with your heart pounding, and you go, ‘Okay, let’s get to work. Let’s start working on the voice. Let’s start working on the body. Let’s start working on the text.'”

Will There Be a Dune 3?

As fans of Herbert’s books know, the grand narrative of Dune extends far beyond the events of the first book. This has led to the question of whether or not future films are in the works — and according to Villeneuve, it very well might be.

“If I succeed in making a trilogy, that would be the dream,” Villeneuve tells Empire. “Dune Messiah was written in reaction to the fact that people perceived Paul Atreides as a hero. Which is not what he wanted to do. My adaptation [of Dune] is closer to his idea that it’s actually a warning.”

What Is Dune: Part Two About?

Dune: Part Two will explore the mythic journey of Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet) as he unites with Chani and the Fremen while on a warpath of revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family. Facing a choice between the love of his life and the fate of the known universe, he endeavors to prevent a terrible future only he can foresee. Dune: Part Two is expected to also see the return of Zendaya as Chani, Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica, Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck, Javier Bardem as Stilgar.

New characters will include Lea Seydoux as Margot Fenring, Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan, and Christopher Walker playing Emperor Shaddam IV.

Are you excited for Dune: Part Two? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!