Austin Butler Says His Dune Character Is The Real Hero
Austin Butler joins the cast in Dune: Part Two as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, a character he explains is the real hero of the story and not Timothee Chalamet's Paul Atreides.
We’re getting closer to the release date of the highly anticipated Dune: Part Two, the end of the ambitious two-part project that director Denis Villeneuve took on to turn the science fiction epic by Frank Herbert into a film. In an interview to promote the sequel, Austin Butler, who plays the antagonist Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen in Dune against Timothee Chalamet’s Paul Atreides, said that he believes that his character is the real hero of the story, per ComicBook.com.
Fans of the classic literary masterpiece, Dune or the 2000 miniseries based on the book, will know that the sequel will cover roughly the second half of the novel, including some important conflicts that should be happening if the series stays faithful to the source material. One of these conflicts includes Timothee Chalamet and Austin Butler’s characters confronting one another in the Dune finale. As with most stories, the script will likely be written so that the audience supports the main character, Paul Atreides, however, Butler recently argued that he thinks his character is the one in the right.
While discussing the filming process, Austin Butler said that director Denis Villeneuve helped the Dune actors dive into the “humanity” of their characters. Butler explained that process as “He feels like he’s the hero of his own story. And that can be a hard thing with certain characters; with others, it’s easier, but you have to not judge the character, and you have to find a way to feel the motivation towards anyone of your actions.”
Austin Butler on his Dune character: “He feels like he’s the hero of his own story. And that can be a hard thing with certain characters; with others, it’s easier, but you have to not judge the character, and you have to find a way to feel the motivation towards anyone of your actions.”
Butler said he had to put aside any judgment he felt about the character or his actions, and instead, he explored the motivation behind the actions.In the interview, Austin Butler explained that Dune director, Villeneuve, helped him craft Harkonnen as a good guy, at least from a certain perspective.
Austin Butler was not in the first Dune film but will be joining a slew of new actors coming in to help finish off the epic. Along with Butler, Florence Pugh, Léa Seydoux, and Christopher Walken will be joining the cast. Dune: Part Two will also see the return of Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, Charlotte Rampling, and Javier Bardem, alongside Timothee Chalamet.
Like most of this star-studded cast, Austin Butler has already achieved worldwide recognition for his acting ability prior to Dune. Butler started his career as a child actor on Disney and Nickelodeon before moving on to teen dramas like the CW’s Life Unexpected. He’s starred on Broadway, in the 2018 revival of The Iceman Cometh, and was in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, in which he played Tex Watson. Butler starred as Elvis Presley in the 2022 biopic about The King of Rock and Roll, for which he won an AACTA Award for Best Actor and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award.
Austin Butler is exactly the type of actor who would be able to convince audiences that the bad guy in Dune is actually the good guy. Stories that have complicated characters that aren’t so obviously good or bad are the most captivating types of stories, and we’re excited to see how Butler pulls it off in Dune: Part Two.