Stellan Skarsgård spent 8 hours a day transforming into his 'Dune' character

Libby Torres
·2 min read
stellan skarsgard 2020
Stellan Skarsgård in 2020. Christoph Soeder/Picture Alliance via Getty Images
  • Stellan Skarsgård said he spent eight hours a day transforming into his "Dune" character.

  • "He's such a frightening presence," the actor said of his character, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen.

  • Skarsgård also said his character was "extremely fat" and even levitates in some scenes.

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Stellan Skarsgård revealed in a recent interview that he spent eight hours a day in the makeup chair in order to transform into his "Dune" character, the sinister Baron Vladimir Harkonnen.

According to the actor, he only worked on the film for a few days, but it took hours to fully look the part of the Baron.

"I did eight or ten days on the movie, so my character doesn't show up for too much, but his presence will be felt," Skarsgård told the Daily Beast. "He's such a frightening presence where even if he doesn't say anything, I think you'll be afraid of him."

"And I'm extremely fat. I had eight hours in the makeup chair every day," Skarsgård continued. "And in some scenes, I look very tall because I levitate."

"You're going to have a lot of fun with it," he said.

"Dune," directed by Denis Villeneuve, is based on the 1965 novel by Frank Herbert. Like Herbert's novel (and David Lynch's critically-maligned 1984 adaptation), Villeneuve's "Dune" will follow young nobleman Paul Atreides as he defends his family against their rivals, the evil Harkonnens.

In his novel, Herbert described the Baron as "grossly and immensely fat," and Lynch's adaptation accordingly featured a fat, flying Baron, who was almost cartoonish at times.

But based on the trailer for Villeneuve's "Dune," Skarsgård's Baron Harkonnen appears to be a lot more frightening, while still retaining the Baron's signature physicality.

"Dune" is set to be released simultaneously on HBO Max and in theaters on October 1, and stars Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides. Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, and Skarsgård round out the cast.

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