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Zendaya and Timothee Chalamet don’t have too much screentime together in Dune. However, their chemistry still comes off strong for the brief time they share the screen. While they seem to be a great pair now, Zendaya shares that a particular dental operation was her biggest fear during auditions with Chalamet, especially in the more intimate moments. 

Zendaya and Timothee Chalamet play a romantic pair in Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Dune’

Zendaya and Timothee Chalamet appear at the premiere for Dune
Zendaya and Timothee Chalamet | Mike Marsland

The main focus of Dune is on Chalamet’s character, Paul Atreides, the heir to the house Atreides. Paul has an identity crisis trying to balance life as a public figure with his personal ambitions. He has visions of a girl named Chani (Zendaya) throughout the film, a Fremen who lives in the vast desert of Arrakis. 

It isn’t until the end of the film that the two meet, but Paul knows that their connection is powerful and meant for a greater purpose. Zendaya’s role is brief, but she did enjoy the time she had with this character. In an August 2021 interview with Empire, Zendaya says it was fun “figuring her out.”

“​​I only really had a few days with her, so I kind of scratched the surface, but it was so much fun figuring her out,” Zendaya added. “What does she walk like, what does she talk like? This is her planet, so how does she navigate this world? It was so fun.”

Zendaya shares her ‘biggest fear’ from her ‘Dune’ audition with Chalamet

Dune ended up being a big success, but Zendaya says she was nervous before auditioning with Chalamet. Speaking with W magazine, the Euphoria actor reveals she “had just gotten [her] wisdom teeth taken out” and was scared Chalamet would smell her “vile” breath. 

“My biggest fear was that my mouth would be vile, and then I would have to do a scene with Timothée where we have to be really close, and he would smell my dry socket breath,” Zendaya explains. 

However, her fears were unfounded, and she says that Chalamet and her became good friends through shooting Dune together. 

“I’m just so grateful that this experience has been with this guy because he’s massively talented but also such a good person,” Zendaya said in an interview with People. “We’ve been able to have fun and become great friends.”

Zendaya will have more screen time in the upcoming sequel 


Zendaya Says Actors Need to Do 2 Things ‘To Get Great’

Fans of Zendaya may have been frustrated by the briefness of her appearance, but we can expect to see more of her in the Dune sequel. Dune is a part one, and part two will feature more of Chani based on the story in the novel by Frank Herbert, which director Villeneuve is following faithfully, for the most part. 

Since Dune made over $400 million at the box office, Legendary and Warner Bros. have greenlit a sequel. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Villeneuve says that while he wanted to focus on Paul in the first film, he will have more time to “develop some characters” who are sidelined. 

“There are some characters that are less developed that I’m keeping for the second film — that’s the way I found the equilibrium,” Villeneuve states. “We tried in this movie to stay as close as possible to Paul’s experience. Then, in the second one, I will have time to develop some characters that were left aside a little bit. That’s the theory. I hope it will work.”

Dune is currently available to rent or buy on VOD.