‘Just Sci-Fi S**t': Zendaya Reveals How Denis Villeneuve Guided Her Through Dune Films With Two-Word Advice

Zendaya’s acting finesse was put to the test with Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic, Dune: Part Two. But it turns out, all the Euphoria actress needed was a little nudge.

Published on May 30, 2024  |  11:33 AM IST |  43.8K
Zendaya Reveals How Denis Villeneuve Guided Her Through Dune Films
Zendaya and Denis Villeneuve (PC: Getty Images)

Zendaya’s acting finesse was put to the test with Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic, Dune: Part Two. But it turns out, all the Euphoria actress needed was a little nudge. Ahead of the premiere, the actors sat down for a fun chat reflecting on their experiences filming Part Two in the dystopian deserts, set in Abu Dhabi and Jordan. 

Zendaya recalled a scene she was struggling to enact because of the sheer fantastical elements of the film. Amongst other things, Part Two introduced Ornithopters, and the actor was expected to land one. Let’s face it, how is one supposed to navigate an aircraft that doesn’t really exist? Well, ask director Villeneuve because he had just the right two-worded advice that helped Zendaya ace the part. 

Zendaya reveals her all-time favorite Denis advice

The 27-year-old actor, who plays Chani, sat down for an interview along with her star-studded cast of Florence Pugh, Timothée Chalamet, and Austin Butler, to discuss all things Dune, in February. Based on the universe in Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel of the same name, it is quite difficult even for the actors to be well-versed in the sci-fi dynamics of the Dune world. 

But filmmaker Villeneuve did not complicate things for his young and emerging actors. Zendayarecalled struggling with a scene with an ornithopter, where she is supposed to land the massive hypothetical aircraft but can’t figure out how to enact it. This moment brought a bit of memorable advice that seemed to stick with the star. 

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“There’s an ornithopter, and you know, it’s not — it doesn’t work. Hate to burst the bubble, but it’s not practical. But I have to land it and get out of it and there’s buttons, but they don’t do anything. So I’m like, ‘What do you want me to do?’ And he’s, ‘Just, sci-fi s—t’,” Zendaya told BBC Radio 1. 

Saving her some real sci-fi explanation, the director suggested Zendaya to “make it look cool, hit some buttons, pull the thing, and then get out.’ And I was like, ‘Sci-fi s—t.’” Florence Pugh chimed in with a joke, quoting futuristic sound effects, archetypical of sci-fi movies. “And you’re like, ‘Beep, boop, beep, boop, beep,’” the Princess Irulan actress said. 

Dune: Part Two has enjoyed a good run at the box office, becoming the highest-grossing film of 2024 yet. It has swiftly crossed the $500 million mark, grossing $665 million worldwide, per Variety. The sequel has also been subject to widespread critical acclaim. 

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Dune: Part Two hits streaming platform

Only months after the theatrical release, Dune: Part Two is now available to stream on Max. This follows the sci-fi sequel’s digital release on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, and DVD in early May. Besides the film, the digital version comes with four filmbooks about the creation of the Dune universe, and other intriguing aspects of the two-part franchise. 

Besides the returning cast of Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson Josh Brolin, and Stellan Skarsgard, Christopher Walken joined in the sequel alongside Pugh and Butler. 

Dune: Part Two is available to stream on Max. 

Disclaimer: Box office numbers mentioned in the article are obtained from our own sources and diverse public platforms. We take all efforts to share possible accurate numbers, however unless otherwise mentioned they are all approximates, but appropriately portrays the BO performance of the project. We are open to feedback and suggestions on editorial@pinkvilla.com

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ALSO READ: Dune Part 2 Review: Timothée Chalamet-Zendaya led sci-fi is a monumental genre-defining cinematic achievement

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Tiyasa is a Content Writer at Pinkvilla. With over two years of professional experience, she has crafted

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