Austin Butler is no stranger to transformations. In 2019, he portrayed the haunting Charles "Tex" Watson for Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood. Then, in 2022, he morphed into Elvis, starring as The King of Rock in Baz Luhrmann’s musical biopic. Soon, we’ll see his greatest mutation yet as Feyd-Rautha, Dune: Part Two's terrifying, knife-wielding villain.
Butler is practically unrecognizable in the role, which trades his leading-man looks for a shiny bald head, no eyebrows, and sullen eyes. In Esquire’s latest episode of "Explain This," Butler spoke about his time portraying Feyd-Rautha. “I found it very liberating to be able to look in the mirror and not see myself,” he said. “It was exciting to get to do something completely different than anything that I’ve done.”
Since Frank Hebert's Dune novels as a pretty damn menacing character, Butler worked with a trainer to bulk up before filming. “Very early on, Denis [the director] told me, he said, his vision for Feyd was to be physically imposing,” Butler explained. “Then he set me up with Duffy Gaver, who is this incredible physical trainer who had worked with Brad Pitt for Troy, and he helped me put on size. I just did whatever he said.”
The final step of his transformation was learning the art of combat. “There was also a lot of knife training,” he continued. “I was doing Kali, which is Filipino stick fighting and learning how to fight with knives, so I did that for many months before we started filming.”
If you want to see Butler go full Feyd, mark your calendars: Dune: Part Two debuts in theaters on March 1, 2024.
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