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Austin Butler Improvised That Creepy ‘Dune 2’ Kiss and Says Stellan Skarsgård ‘Is Down for Anything. He’s the Best’

Austin Butler confirmed in an interview with Access Hollywood that his kiss with co-star Stellan Skarsgård in “Dune: Part Two” was improvised on his behalf. The kiss between Butler’s Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen and Skarsgård’s Baron Vladimir Harkonnen is unexpected and creepy as the characters are nephew and uncle, but it reaffirms Feyd-Rautha’s devotion to his uncle and deep desire to be him. That’s also why Butler mimicked Skarsgård’s speaking voice while crafting his own accent for Feyd-Rautha.

“[The kiss] with Stellan Skarsgård? Oh yeah!” Butler said when asked about improvising the moment. “He’s game for anything. He’s the best…it’s always about how you’re trying to affect somebody else.”

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Skarsgård told Variety that acting opposite Butler in “Dune: Part Two” was rather hilarious. “I laughed so much because it was so obvious that he really enjoyed being evil,” the actor said.

While Butler became infamous for Method acting thanks to this three-year transformation into Elvis Presley for his Oscar-nominated performance in “Elvis,” he dialed things back considerably to bring the psychopath Feyd-Rautha to life.

“I’ve definitely in the past, with ‘Elvis,’ explored living within that world for three years and that being the only thing that I think about day and night,” Butler told the Los Angeles Times. “With Feyd, I knew that that would be unhealthy for my family and friends.”

“I made a conscious decision to have a boundary,” Butler continued. “It allowed for more freedom between action and cut because I knew I was going to protect everybody else outside of the context of what we were doing. That’s not to say that it doesn’t bleed into your life. But I knew that I wasn’t going to do anything dangerous outside of that boundary, and in a way that allowed me to go deeper.”

“Dune: Part Two” director Denis Villeneuve added: “When the camera was on, it was like you were possessed. When the camera was off, you were still maybe 25 or 30% Feyd. Just enough to still be present and focus but removed enough that you didn’t kill anybody on set.”

“Dune: Part Two” is now playing in theaters nationwide from Warner Bros.

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