Part Two Lured Christopher Walken Out of His 4-Year Acting Break

Part Two Lured Christopher Walken Out of His 4-Year Acting Break

As was foretold in Fatboy Slim’s “Weapon of Choice” music video, in which Christopher Walken danced to a line from Dune (“Walk without rhythm, It won’t attract the worm”), the actor would be destined to join Frank Herbert’s sci-fi universe in Denis Villeneuve’s acclaimed adaptation. In fact, Dune: Part Two brought Walken out of a four-year acting break.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Walken discussed why he took on the role of the formidable Emperor who sets in motion the fall and rise of House Atreides in Dune. “I had, of course, seen the first Dune a number of times. I loved it, and I admired [Villeneuve’s] movies. Arrival, I thought, was wonderful. And to be with all those terrific actors—Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin, Timothée Chalamet, Florence Pugh, and Stellan Skarsgård—and to go to Budapest, which is a beautiful city. And of course, that’s what I do for a living. It was only, I think, three weeks. So, everything about it was attractive,” he said to the magazine.

Walken, who had somehow not yet been scooped up by a sci-fi epic, also revealed that he was almost in Star Wars but the timing wasn’t right. “I think it was for Han Solo,” Walken shared. “Yes, I auditioned for it. And if I’m not mistaken, my partner in the audition was—I think this is true—it was Jodie Foster. I think we did a screen test. I’m not sure we did a scene. Maybe we just sat in front of, in those days, those old videotape cameras… I did audition for Star Wars, but so did about 500 other actors. It was lots of people doing that.” But as was fated by “Weapon of Choice,” Walken was all along meant to be the Emperor in Dune.

Dune: Part Two is now out in theaters.


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