Timothee Chalamet on the pressures of being a young Hollywood star

The American actor walked the red carpet at a London screening of Dune.
Timothee Chalamet on the pressures of being a young Hollywood star

By Alex Green, PA Senior Entertainment Reporter

Timothee Chalamet has dismissed the intense pressures of being a young Hollywood star, saying: “I live in gratitude.”

The 25-year-old takes on the lead role of Paul Atreides in the new adaptation of Frank Herbert’s acclaimed science fiction novel Dune, after break-out parts in Call Me By Your Name and Little Women.

Speaking at a special screening in London’s Leicester Square, the American suggested he would take the pressures of fame over those of a struggling actor.

Dune screening – London
Timothee Chalamet and his co-star Zendaya. Photo: Ian West/PA

He said: “I live in gratitude. I will take this pressure over the pressures I had when I didn’t have a career and I was in college when I just wanted to be acting. People have worse problems than that. But for me that’s what it was. I will take this over that.”

He said of the pressures of taking on such an epic story: “Thankfully it is the kind of role that fear can bleed into it because the young man feels a lot of pressure on his shoulders. I feel like there is a pressure but a healthy amount of pressure. Nothing too crazy.”

In the film, Chalamet plays Atreides, the son of a noble family, who leaves the comfortable life he knows for a desolate, dangerous mining planet known as Arrakis, where he is entrusted with the protection of the most valuable asset and most vital element in the galaxy.

It was among the releases postponed by the pandemic.

Chalamet said the delay had been both good and bad for him.

Dune screening – London
Timothee Chalamet greets fans in London. Photo: Ian West/PA

He said: “It just made it longer. In some ways I am really grateful. I feel like it gave me more of a moment in my own life to get ready for the release of a huge movie like this.

“On the other hand, I am 25 and I started it when I was 22 and I am playing a 15-year-old – so that’s a bit of a mindf***. But besides that it is cool.”

Directed by Denis Villeneuve, it also stars Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin and Stellan Skarsgard.

Also featured are the saga’s famous sandworms, giant worm-like creatures that produce the sought-after material.

Dune screening – London
The cast at the special screening in London. Photo: Ian West/PA

Chalamet encouraged viewers to see the film in cinemas after it was announced it will also be available on streaming service HBO Max.

He said: “It feels a little presumptuous to tell people they must go and see it in cinemas. There is a pandemic. There are crazy things going on. There is not obligation to.

“But if you like movies and you like big movies and you like movies that are made where a director is given free licence to do it as he pleases and there aren’t multiple corporate multinational interests that are guiding product placement, who gets cast in it – all sorts of shit like that.

“If you like Christopher Nolan movies, if you like Denis Villeneuve movies, then going to see this in a movie theatre, it helps our ability to keep doing it.”

Dune is released in cinemas on October 21st

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