Jason Momoa recalls being 'terrified' on 'Dune' set

Jason Momoa said he was nervous to play Duncan Idaho in Denis Villeneuve's adaptation of "Dune." File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Jason Momoa said he was nervous to play Duncan Idaho in Denis Villeneuve's adaptation of "Dune." File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Jason Momoa says he was nervous and intimidated on the set of Dune.

The 41-year-old actor recalled in the December issue of Men's Health how he was "terrified" when he first started filming the Denis Villeneuve movie.


Dune is based on the Frank Herbert sci-fi novel, which was previously adapted as a 1984 film directed by David Lynch. Villeneuve's version co-stars Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Zendaya and Javier Bardem.

In Villeneuve's Dune, Momoa plays Duncan Idaho, the swordmaster of House Atreides and a mentor to Paul Atreides (Chalamet).

"Knowing Denis picked me to play this role, I've never been this nervous," Momoa told Men's Health.

One of Momoa's first scenes required him to film with Bardem, whom Momoa referred to as the "god." In the scene, Momoa and other actors are sitting at a table when Bardem makes an entrance.

"I've never seen someone strut into a room like such a boss. He just comes right up to this table and stares everybody down," Momoa said of Bardem. "He's glaring at everyone else but giving me a little bit of a twinkle, and I'm just giggling inside because I can't believe I'm at this table right now."


"So then he delivers his lines and just kills it. And right after that, Denis goes up to him and starts giving him notes. I'm shocked, like, What the hell could you possibly be giving him notes on?" he recalled.

Momoa said the experience left him "terrified" to deliver his own lines.

"So I'm standing there absolutely terrified because I had to deliver all this sci-fi exposition, which is not my bag at all. And then I did it and I did not get any notes at all. I was so unbelievably happy I could have cried," he said.

Dune follows the Atreides, a noble family tasked with protecting the dangerous but valuable planet Arrakis. In the December issue of InStyle, Momoa said Dune's story proves particularly relevant in today's world.

"It's not about alien versus alien -- it's about conflicts between human tribes," he said. "And greed. It really hits home right now."

Dune was to open in theaters in December but was delayed to October 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Momoa will also star in Aquaman 2, slated for release in 2022.

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