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Christopher Walken Still Reigns: On Dune 2, Star Wars and True Power – Monomaxos

When Christopher Walken was poured in for the first time Dune: Part Two as His Imperial Majesty the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV, 81st of his line and supreme ruler of the known universe, admirer of Denis VilleneuveThe first film and author Frank Herbert's original science fiction novel naturally expected a pompous appearance to match the elaborate title. Instead, Villeneuve delivered a stripped-down portrayal of the interplanetary authoritarian, cloaked in relatively plain gray cloaks. The 80-year-old actor's facial features were characterized by rare textures and intricate weaves. The jewels were there in his icy gaze.

Truly intimidating power, Walken says, doesn't have to announce itself. That's his explanation for why the long-serving emperor doesn't feel the need to shine with his looks. “There's something about getting older that makes you a certain way not I tend to take off my pajamas,” he says Vanity Fair. “Maybe he doesn't shower as often as he should. At a certain point there’s a bit of ‘to hell with it’.”

Walken's list of credits is as impressive as all of Shaddam IV's royal epithets are among them The deer hunter (1978), which won him the Oscar for supporting actor; The death zone And brainstorming (both 1983), A chance of a kill (1985), King of New York (1990), True romance (1993), pulp Fiction (1994) and Catch Me If You Can (2002), which earned him another Oscar nomination. His filmography is significantly longer, but Walken no longer adds as many titles to the list. For decades he appeared in several films every year, taking on both large and small roles Dune: Part Two is his first film role in four years.

Why did he decide to make this film his comeback? “Of course I saw the first one dune several times. I loved and admired it [Villeneuve’s] Films. Arrival, I thought it was wonderful,” says Walken. “And being with all these great actors –Javier Bardem And Josh Brolin, Timothee Chalamet, Florence Pugh, And Stellan Skarsgard– and going to Budapest, which is a beautiful city. And of course that's how I earn my living. I think it was only three weeks. So everything about it was attractive.”

News of Walken's casting sent movie websites into a frenzy of speculation. Many paired his photo alongside concept images of ceremonial outfits and headpieces designed for the Chilean-French filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowskyis abandoned dune A 1970s adaptation that sought to cast surrealist artist Salvador Dalí as the emperor, imagining him as a kind of cosmic Christmas tree. Other film sites hinted at his later appearance in Dune: Part Two by posting pictures of walking wears a jeweled turban from the 1992s Batman returns, or dressed in silk robes his flamboyant villain from the 2007 Ping Pong comedy Balls of rage. Needless to say, Villeneuve had no intention of endowing Walken with such exaggerated splendor.

None of this will help a humble Earthling get into the mindset of a galactic overlord. “I can tell you it’s probably better not to think about it,” Walken says. “When I was young, I had to play a king in something. I was in a Shakespeare play. It was Henry II. And an older actor said to me, “Don't worry.” He said, “If the director sets it up so that people treat You like the king, you don't have to do much.' And I kind of trusted that that would happen.”

The display of power and wealth is all about Shaddam IV, so Villeneuve and Walken believed that this didn't need to be piled on him too. “The emperor has the trappings, he has the court, he has the costume, he has the bodyguards. And so I thought I’d just let them call me the emperor,” Walken says.

This low-key approach to the intimidating power broker is actually hinted at in another iconic Walken performance, in which he gave an intimidating speech about a lion who reigns as “king of the jungle” but tolerates the other animals nibbling on him and taking food away from him domain and invading his territory – “until once…this lion stands up and rips the shit out all.

“Oh, Pool hall junkies…” says Walken. “I think you're right. They call it 'poking the bear with a stick,' and yes, that's true. He's the lion in winter. [The emperor] can’t quite do what he used to do, but he’s still dangerous.”

The tragic events of the first dune Film in which Chalamet's father, Duke Leto Atreides (played by Oscar Isaac), is set around the destruction of a precious desert planet and was entirely orchestrated by the Emperor because he feared the Duke's growing popularity. In Dune: Part Two, This bloody decision comes back to him. Paul Atreides of Chalamet is now the Lion.

The other element that adds to Shaddam IV's ferocious presence is Walken's own terrifying on-screen story. Moviegoers have had such a long-standing relationship with him that memories of his litany of dark, ruthless and haunted characters serve as shorthand. “I don't think people mention enough that when an actor appears on screen, he's not just playing the role he's playing, but he's carrying all this stuff that you've seen before,” Walken says. “That's part of it. I think that always has to be taken into account.”

Part of this unspoken language in Dune: Part Two is a galactic role that Walken plays not getting started. The dune Novels were a clear inspiration for George Lucas'S war of stars Saga (desert worlds, messianic young heroes, human machines and evil emperors, as well as the ability to control people's minds with words). In 1975, the 32-year-old Walken was cast in one of the leading roles in this film.

“I think it was for Han Solo,” Walken says. “Yes, I auditioned for it. And if I'm not mistaken, my partner was at the audition – I think that's true – it was Jodie Foster.

His would-be Han Solo moment with Foster's Princess Leia was fleeting. “I think we did a screen test. I'm not sure we made a scene. Maybe we were just sitting in front of those old video cameras back then,” Walken remembers. “Maybe we would have just sat there and cared about the name, rank and serial number. This is what I would say: Yes, me did Audition for War of stars, but so did about 500 other actors. A lot of people did that.”

Walken has no regrets. At that time he got another role – in a film that would win the Oscar for Best Picture war of stars– play Diane Keatonis disturbingly self-destructive brother in Woody Allen'S Annie Hall. The very next year he won an Oscar himself for his harrowing portrayal of a shattered soldier The deer hunter.

“I mean, I auditioned love story, for War of stars. But it’s probably a good thing I didn’t get any of them,” says Walken. His own kingdom remains safe. No additional decoration necessary.



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Meet the author behind the lifestyle inspiration! Antonio brings a unique perspective to the world of lifestyle, weaving together words that captivate and ideas that resonate. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for embracing the richness of everyday life, Antonio invites you on a journey to explore the art of living well.

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