Dune Star Teases His “Frightening and Disturbing” Character

Throughout his career, actor David Dastmalchian has taken on a number of eccentric and outlandish characters, but his upcoming involvement in Denis Villeneuve‘s Dune might be the most bizarre yet, with the performer recently detailing the absurd nature of his role in the experience. Luckily, his comments also imply that the new adaptation of the material is authentic to the source material, as he revealed that he was relieved by the approach Villeneuve was taking from the early stages of development. Piter de Vries was played by Brad Dourif in David Lynch’s adaptation of the novel. The new Dune is slated to hit theaters and HBO Max on October 22nd.

“With Piter, there’s that psychopathy that comes from being a twisted Mentat, that is frightening and disturbing,” Dastmalchian shared with /Film. “And to put myself in his mindset was hard. So to utter a language, because Piter’s brain operates at such a high level, he is for all intents and purposes, a human computer, speaking in the highly specific way in which the language would come out was actually … it made perfect sense. It seemed to really add a great deal to the character. It felt more like an assist than an obstacle, if that makes sense.”

With the actor himself describing Frank Herbert’s novel as “by far one of the greatest sci-fi novels ever written,” clearly he had high expectations with how it was brought to life, but the script itself seemingly honored the novel effectively, alleviating any apprehension he might have had about the character’s role in the adventure.

“So the character, Piter de Vries, was always utterly fascinating and disturbing and a dark place to go,” Dastmalchian pointed out. “I took a great deal of inspiration from the book. But then when I read the script, I was like, ‘Oh, he’s right there.’ And obviously being in the hands of someone like Denis, it was kind of a no-brainer, just what he wanted him to look and move and feel like. Denis is very good at communicating those things.”

A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence-a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential-only those who can conquer their fear will survive.

Dune is currently slated to hit theaters and HBO Max on October 22nd.

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