curated: Oscar Isaac and Timothée Chalamet on playing father and son

I love this piece in The Hollywood Reporter about how Oscar Isaac and Timothée Chalamet — despite a scant 17 years between them, though the very youthful Chalamet is playing younger than his 25 years — created a palpable father-son dynamic in Dune.

(THR says there are minor spoilers for the movie in its piece, but there really aren’t. And nothing that I quote here is.)

This is the core of it:

Isaac also credits the emotional effectiveness of the scene — which can’t really be captured in text, of course — to Chalamet’s uncommon sensitivity. “He has an amazing awareness of everything that’s going on around him, of everything that the other actor across from him is doing,” Issac says. “I think that’s why he’s so compelling to watch because he’s taking it all in and he’s not just doing some idea in his head of what he’s supposed to be doing — he’s just really there; he’s so present.”

Breaking down the scene further, Isaac adds: “I’m only about 15 years older than him, and yet he really allowed himself to go to that place to have that dynamic of me being his father figure — and that’s something that needs to come from him. I can try to give off dad vibes as much as I want, but it’s that old acting adage that it’s the court that tells everybody who the king is, not the king. How the court treats the person of higher status tells you everything you need to know about them.”

I don’t often discuss, in my reviews, actors’ performances, because I’m often aiming to get at the larger cultural impact of movies, but I am fascinated by actors’ craft, and it’s certainly something I could focus on more, if I had more time.

(My review of Dune is here.)

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