Austin Butler, who plays Feyd-Rautha in Dune: Part Two, teases a sophisticated antagonist in the follow-up. Butler is one of a select group of newcomers to the Dune: Part Two cast. He is best known for his roles as Tex Watson in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and as the King of Rock and Roll in Baz Luhrmann’s musical biopic Elvis. Butler plays Feyd-Rautha, the planned heir on Arrakis and the nephew of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, in the second act of Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel.
Butler teases the villain’s complexity in a recent conversation with Backstage, stating that he “feels like he’s the hero of his own story” as he discusses his preparation for playing the part of Feyd-Rautha. The Dune: Part Two star also talks about creating the character alongside Villeneuve. Check out Butler’s remarks below:
“It’s that thing of the bad guy in the world doesn’t feel like he’s the bad guy. He feels like he’s the hero of his own story. And that can be a hard thing with certain characters; with others, it’s easier, but you have to not judge the character, and you have to find a way to feel the motivation towards anyone of your actions. So, we had a lot of conversations and crafted that together.”
What Can We Anticipate From Austin Butler’s Feyd-Rautha
In the same interview, Butler also talks about how he trained for four months with Navy SEALs as part of his physical preparation for the part of Feyd-Rautha. Sting previously played Feyd-Rautha in David Lynch’s 1984 adaptation of Dune. Butler tries to differentiate himself with his performance in order to avoid being compared to The Police frontman given that Lynch’s version was a colossal critical and commercial failure and Villeneuve’s has received such positive reviews from audiences and critics.
Since the antagonist famously squares off against Paul Atreides during a climactic knife fight, Feyd-physicality Rautha’s will be crucial. Feyd-Rautha is portrayed in both Herbert’s book and Lynch’s movie as more of a despicable antagonist with scant redeeming qualities. Butler’s remarks suggest that Villeneuve and he tried to develop a more nuanced version of the Dune antagonist with more heroic motivations that viewers can relate to. Butler’s portrayal of Feyd-Rautha should receive similar praise to his role as Elvis, for which he was most recently nominated for a Golden Globe and is currently generating significant Oscar buzz.
Butler has joined the Dune: Part Two cast as Feyd-Rautha, along with a number of other well-known actors such as Christopher Walken as Emperor Shaddam IV, Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan, and Léa Seydoux as Lady Margot. Early in December, Villeneuve’s sequel’s filming came to an end. As a result, the first image of some of the new characters, including Butler’s Feyd-Rautha, may now be available. It’s already regarded as one of the most eagerly awaited films of the year when Dune: Part Two debuts in theaters in late 2023. Butler’s Feyd-Rautha will be well known to audiences thanks to Warner Bros.’s likely aggressive promotion of it throughout 2023.