More screen time together for Zendaya, Timothee Chalamet in 'Dune 2'

Kristofer Purnell - Philstar.com
More screen time together for Zendaya, Timothee Chalamet in 'Dune 2'
Zendaya as her 'Dune' character Chani of the Fremen
Warner Bros.

MANILA, Philippines — Like many fans around the world, award-winning actress Zendaya was excited to reprise her character of Chani for "Dune: Part Two," this time in a much larger capacity.

In a studio interview, Zendaya talked about getting to expand the role of her character and working with the film's star, Timothee Chalamet, who portrays Paul Atreides.

The actress only had a few days to shoot in the first film, hence her excitement to return for the sequel.

"Filming 'Dune: Part Two' absolutely surpassed any kind of dream I could've ever had," said Zendaya. "Being on those sets, with those incredibly talented people in every department… I was in awe."

The new film will pick up right where the 2021's "Dune" left off with Paul, his mother Jessica, played by Rebecca Ferguson, and Chani's people, the Fremen. 

Zendaya found it funny where the sequel begins because it "felt like we were shooting the same sequence over four years! I remember thinking, 'Wait a minute, I'm still in the same outfit, what's going on?'"

The actress shared being constantly in a battle with Chani, between her mind and heart at all times, even saying the character is a lot tougher than herself.

"She has such strength, which I admire, and such a passion for the betterment of her people, looking out for her people, taking care of her loved ones and her planet, which means more to her than anything," said the actress.

In terms of comparisons, Zendaya said she loves very hard as well and tries to do it "with the best sense of heart and integrity," and she wants "to lead with what I feel is right, not just for myself but for the people around me."

The actress discussed with director Denis Villeneuve about how she really wanted to do cool stuff with Chani, being involved in as much action as possible, reiterating how much of a badass the character is.

Related: 'Ethereal' Anya Taylor-Joy joins 'Dune 2'

"Dune: Part Two" will see Paul interact more with Chani, not just through dreams. Zendaya said as the film begins, her character will soften towards Paul because of the latter's sincerity.

"He does want to be there for no other reason than to learn their ways and to become Fremen. He wants to earn her respect and her trust," Zendaya. "And also, he rejects the idea of this life that his mother has kind of forced him into, this idea of him being the 'one.'"

She finds that aspect comforting for Chani as she rejects the idea too, though she thinks one cannot really decide who they love.

Interacting with Paul meant more scenes opposite Timothee, who Zendaya considers her brother or someone to be friends with for a very long time.

She even hopes her friendship with Timothee will become like that of their co-stars, Josh Brolin and Javier Bardem.

"It was sometimes hard, with long days in the desert, and I was grateful to have someone to laugh with and have a good time with," Zendaya recalled.

The actress added she did not have a lot of scenes with Christopher Walken and Florence Pugh, but still had lots of praise for the newcomers.

"His presence just walking in the room… he feels like an Emperor! And Florence was so lovely and kind and has such a regal way, she was meant to be Princess Irulan," she ended.

"Dune: Part Two" premieres in Philippine cinemas on February 28.

RELATED: Next Attraction: Movies, series showing in February 2024

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