Tom Cruise Inspired Timothée Chalamet During ‘Dune: Part Two’ Filming

After filming Dune, Timothée Chalamet received a message of encouragement from Tom Cruise. Chalamet reprises his role as Paul Atreides in the sci-fi epic Dune: Part Two directed by Denis Villeneuve and starring Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Dave Bautista, Christopher Walken, Javier Bardem, Stellan Skarsgård, and Charlotte Rampling.

As reported in GQ, Cruise emailed Chalamet a list of contacts for stunt training after the latter finished Dune. “After I met Tom Cruise, right after finishing the first Dune, he sent me the most wonderfully inspiring email,” says Chalamet. “He basically said, in Old Hollywood, you would be getting dance training and fight training, and nobody is going to hold you to that standard today. So it’s up to you. The email was really like a war cry.”

While filming Dune: Part Two in the summer and fall of 2022, Chalamet says he watched Top Gun: Maverick eight times. “Top Gun was just hugely inspiring to me last summer when we were making Dune,” says Chalamet. “Some of the crew were kind of scoffing at going, but I just thought it was one of the greatest films I’ve ever seen.”

Timothée Chalamet Trained for More Action and Became a True Leading Man in Dune: Part Two

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Image Credit: Warner Bros.

In the same GQ feature, director Villeneuve talks about Chalamet's preparation for the role. “Action-wise, I felt that he was much more trained than in Part One, and ready for the fighting sequences,” says Villeneuve. “I was impressed by his level of discipline for Part Two. You know, when you are the lead on a movie, there’s a presence, the way you approach your work and your discipline will necessarily have a ripple effect on the rest of the crew. He was the first one on set, always ready. And I was super pleased and impressed with how Timothée really embraced that discipline and became, for me, a real leading actor on this film.” Villeneuve continues:

“In Part One, the camera was capturing the performance of a teenager—I’m talking about the character, someone who was learning about the world and experiencing a new reality. But Part Two is really about someone who goes from the boy to the man, and becomes a leader, and even, I will say, a dark charismatic, messianic figure. It was the first time that I witnessed someone growing in front of my camera.”

Dune: Part Two opens in theaters nationwide on March 15, 2024.