Denis Villeneuve Anya Taylor-Joy Secret Casting Revealed
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Denis Villeneuve Chose To Keep Anya Taylor-Joy’s Role In ‘Dune: Part Two’ A Secret: “Hollywood Is The Most Gossipy Town On Earth”

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BY February 27, 2024

Anya Taylor-Joy attended the New York premiere on Sunday night; writer-director Denis Villeneuve disclosed why he kept her role a secret during the event. “I wanted, as an experiment, to see how long we could keep a secret,” the filmmaker said of the star’s surprise role in the sequel, which was “a gift I wanted to keep for the fans.”

At the London world premiere of Dune: Part Two earlier this month, Anya Taylor-Joy created a buzz as she graced the red carpet alongside the cast, confirming online speculations about her undisclosed role in the film. 

Denis Villeneuve Kept Anya Taylor-Joy’s ‘Dune: Part Two’ Casting a Secret

“I think that Hollywood is the most gossipy town on earth and I wanted, as an experiment, to see how long we could keep a secret,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “We did it. It was a special unit, we went to Africa to shoot with Anya under super-secrecy. I just loved the idea to keep something a surprise for the audience until the very end; it was like a gift I wanted to keep for the fans.”

Villeneuve resumes his role as the director for the sci-fi sequel, bringing back Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, the lead actors from the first film, and introducing new cast members Austin Butler and Florence Pugh. Butler takes on the role of the main antagonist, describing the experience as oddly joyful.

Villeneuve expressed amazement at witnessing Butler’s transformation, as the actor underwent a drastic change, becoming unrecognizable with the addition of a bald cap and black teeth.

“He was really frightening — when the camera was rolling it was like witnessing a total metamorphosis, like he was really becoming an evil, psychotic, sexy serial killer,” the filmmaker continued. “It was very mindblowing to see such a sweetheart becoming so ugly and evil in a split second like that.”

Butler shared reflections on the camaraderie developed with Chalamet off-camera during the film’s production, highlighting the moments when they weren’t in front of the cameras.

“Timmy’s a good friend now I love him. I’m really proud of him, he works really hard. Also, to see a young guy who is working really hard and cares a lot and is really down to earth, it’s really nice to be around him,” Butler told THR, while also hailing fellow actor Stellan Skarsgård as a “legend.”

Florence Pugh Is Another Vital Element On The Casting

Pugh plays Princess Irulan in the sequel. He also toasted Chalamet at the premiere, which was a reunion after their previous collaboration on Little Women.

“Going back to work with a friend is something you try to do throughout your career. You always want to go back and work with people you know you work really well with.” Commented the actress on working together again. “And being able to see my friend rise to the incredible occasion of being this brilliant lead. Also, not only dealing with the role of Paul , but also what it means to be the actor playing Paul. Also, to mean so much to so many people, it was a very, very nice experience.”

With the sequel about to reach audiences, Villeneuve has already begun work on a third Dune film. He shared that he’s presently in the writing process, emphasizing the need to digest the experience and return with a robust screenplay. “It’s almost done but it needs work, a bit, now,” he explained.

Featured Image Via Warner Bros. Pictures 




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