Austin Butler Dialed Back His Method Acting 70% for Dune: Part Two, and More News

Michael Prieve 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
Austin Butler World Premiere Of Apple TV+s Masters Of The Air World Premiere Of Apple TV+s Masters Of The Air
Photo by Billy Bennight/AdMedia

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Fresh off his electrifying portrayal of Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann's spectacular 2022 silver screen hit Elvis, Austin Butler is set to dial back the intensity for his next cinematic adventure. The 32-year-old heartthrob is stepping into the shoes of the dreaded villain Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen in the eagerly anticipated Dune: Part Two, premiering March 1st.

Diving deep into the iconic role of The King, Butler lived and breathed Elvis, marinating in the legend’s world for a full three years. He confessed to the Los Angeles Times during a chat with the film's visionary director, Denis Villeneuve, “Elvis was all I could think about, day and night.”

Austin Butler World Premiere Of Apple TV+s Masters Of The Air
Austin Butler. World Premiere Of Apple TV+'s “Masters Of The Air” at Regency Village Theatre. (Photo Credit: Billy Bennight/AdMedia)

However, taking on Feyd meant reshaping his method-acting boundaries. “For the sake of my family and friends, I knew I couldn't immerse myself in Feyd's world in the same all-consuming way,” he revealed. After playing Elvis, Butler found it tough to shake the Southern drawl, a testament to his deep commitment to his roles. Villeneuve quipped that a similar deep dive into the dark psyche of Feyd-Rautha could be “unhealthy” for him too.

Butler's strategy? Establish limits. “Creating boundaries afforded me the freedom to plunge deeper into character between ‘action' and ‘cut,' ensuring I protected those around me off-set,” he explained.
In Dune: Part Two, Butler unveils a fresh face in the malicious Harkonnen lineage, mortal foes of Paul Atreides (played by Timothée Chalamet) and his clan. Butler's Feyd-Rautha emerges hairless, ghostly, a stark contrast to Sting's spiky-haired, winged-codpiece-wearing portrayal in the 1984 Dune.

Austin Butler World Premiere Of Apple TV+s Masters Of The Air
Austin Butler. World Premiere Of Apple TV+'s “Masters Of The Air” at Regency Village Theatre. (Photo Credit: Billy Bennight/AdMedia)

Feyd-Rautha's mandate in the sequel is harrowing — tasked with hunting down Paul, aiming to seize control of the desert planet Arrakis, aligning with Chani (Zendaya) and the Fremen.

Villeneuve couldn't help but praise Butler's dedication, noting the playful yet possessed nature of his performances. “While the cameras rolled, Austin was Feyd incarnate. Yet off-camera, he managed to dial it back to 25 or 30%—just enough to stay engaged without any on-set casualties,” he admired.


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