Home Entertainment Paul’s Big Speech Was A ‘Career Highlight’ For Timothee Chalamet

Paul’s Big Speech Was A ‘Career Highlight’ For Timothee Chalamet


Villeneuve told EW that he knew all about the importance Chalamet placed on that scene as an actor. “Of course it was one of Timothée’s favorite moments, because he was looking for that since ‘Part One!’ He was begging for that moment, dreaming about it, for weeks and months — the moment where Paul will finally become the Lisan al-Gaib.”

It’s easy to understand why Chalamet would be excited about filming that scene. Just before this speech, Paul realizes he’s secretly a part of the Harkonnen lineage, the rival family that has feuded against the Atreides for generations. It’s a significant turning point for his character; when he realizes the truth, he tells his mother, “We’re Harkonnens … so this is how we survive: by being Harkonnens.” That dark revelation helps fuel his decision to seize power on Arrakis, and as we see through the eyes of the characters around him, specifically Chani (Zendaya), the speech marks Paul’s turn toward a more ruthless mentality — he is now willing to sacrifice countless lives in order to achieve vengeance for the death of his father and stamp out his enemies. 

When I saw the film for the first time, I remember having trouble tracking exactly when Paul makes the transition to essentially becoming the villain of the movie. Upon rewatch, I had to look no further than Chani’s reaction to this speech: Everyone around her jumps to their feet and starts chanting “Lisan al-Gaib!”, but she’s the only one who remains crouched, looking downward and shaking her head as if she can’t believe Paul would actually take this course of action, ginning up support from fundamentalists by feeding into their beliefs. Paul main be the film’s main character, but Chani is the sequel’s moral center, the person with whom the audience is supposed to align. In many ways, this is the most important scene in the entire “Dune” saga thus far, and Chalamet certainly rose to the moment as a performer. EW says he considers it a “career highlight,” as well he should — he credibly transforms from a scrappy young adult to a leader of men right before our eyes.

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