Dune Director Literally Brought Jason Momoa Off a Mountain to Play Duncan Idaho


If you were looking for an actor who could be described as “a ladies’ man with dark luxurious hair and a piercing gaze” then most people would instantly think of Jason Momoa, and that is just one of the reasons he is perfectly cast as Duncan Idaho in Denis Villeneuve’s new adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune, as this the author’s original description of the character. While the character of Duncan is seen as a mentor by Timothee Chalamet’s Paul Atreides in the movie, Momoa was just as much in awe of his fellow co-stars. In an interview with IndieWire, the Aquaman star talked about the camaraderie he felt during filming, and how the director literally made him come down from a mountain to take the role in the sci-fi epic.

“It was unlike any other set I’ve ever been on. We were all so close,” Jason Momoa said. “I didn’t expect Oscar Isaac to be that amazing. So funny, talented, and charming. Brolin, I knew would be a stud. Javier is like a god to me. Timothée is so intelligent. Rebecca is amazing, she held her own against all of us.”

RELATED: Dune Lands Number One Spot at Weekend Box Office with $40.1M

Momoa also believes that remembering his own role models played a huge part in getting him into the character of Duncan Idaho. He continued, “Those men that come in your life, and they go on these journeys, whether they’re mountaineers or skateboarders, they go on these adventures, and they come back and tell them, and you just idolize them. That’s what I really felt like Duncan was to Timothée’s character. That’s what I wanted to embody when playing this role.”

Unlike most roles in big budget movies, Denis Villeneuve did not even ask Momoa to audition to be in the movie. However, the Blade Runner 2049 director did happen to make contact while the actor was up a mountain.

“I got a call from my agent literally on top of a mountain, and I was shocked, and he was like, ‘Denis Villeneuve wants to talk to you right now,” Momoa said. “I thought it was a prank. He said, ‘He wants to talk to you right now. He wants you for a role. He won’t tell anyone what it is.’ Me and my best friend, who loves Denis, ran down the mountain, into the room, FaceTimed him, and he had everything laid out. He had this whole department there in costume. Everyone was staring at me, and he had a whole book. It was this manifest. Pictures, everything. It was almost like he was pitching it to me, and I was taken aback. He asked if I would play Duncan. That’s never happened before.”

Of course, Momoa has been used to flexing his muscles on screen, whether as Aquaman on the big screen or in his TV roles such as Apple TV+’s See, so when it came to Dune‘s action sequences, it turned out to be just another day at the office for the action hero, although some of the martial arts techniques in the movie were new to him.

“We had to fight numerous people, so a lot of training went into that last battle scene. We did a bunch of stuff like Kali. I never really learned that. My son does that. There’s definitely these intimate moments where I’m signaling to my son. That’s a Kali move, where you put your hand on your heart and put it on your head. That’s to Timothée in the movie, but that’s to my son in real life.”

Dune arrived in theaters this weekend, bringing the first half of the epic story to life again, but whether we will get the rest of the story is something Momoa just doesn’t know yet. “I don’t know, man. I’ll finally saw Denis at a cocktail party, and I was picking his brain going, like, ‘Hey, what’s up buddy? What are we doing? I’m ready,'” he said. “We’ll find out.”

With Dune opening to a domestic $40 million, taking it to a $220 million global box office after opening a week early in international markets, the question now is whether that will be enough to secure a second part based on its $165 million budget. This story comes courtesy of IndieWire.

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