Dune star Oscar Isaac is manifesting his dream role: starring in a Quentin Tarantino movie.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, there was an actor called Oscar Isaac. Drawing eyes with turns in Drive and Inside Llewyn Davis, he shot to critically-revered stardom in A Most Violent Year and Ex Machina. In the blink of an eye, he became a household name with Star Wars.
With Dune, he’s still in our galaxy, but in a far, far away future, accepting the stewardship of a dangerous desert world. Who knows what lies ahead for humanity; but for Isaac’s career, his sights are on Tarantino, one way or another.
Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal novel, ultimately at the heart of the sci-fi we’ve come to love today, is arguably the biggest blockbuster of the year, if only in terms of scale. This thing is absolutely enormous, marrying Lord of the Rings depth with epic spectacle.
Isaac stars as Duke Leto Atreides, the patriarch and leader of House Atreides, burdened with not-so-glorious purpose with the keys to governing Arrakis, a sandy planet with the galaxy’s most valuable substance: spice, a hallucinogenic drug with medical benefits, capable of improving mental abilities but also vital for interstellar travel.
Given the ensemble cast (Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Dave Bautista and more) and the cultural stakes, one would imagine there’s a fair degree of pressure. I sat down with Isaac ahead of Dune‘s release, and I asked whether he had any anxiety coming onto the project. ‘Now I do! F*cking hell,’ he joked.
‘No,’ he then answered. ‘Maybe that’s a blind spot of mine, and maybe it’s just because I know how sensitive and vulnerable I am, if I start thinking that way I’ll just freeze up and get paralysed… irreverence. I have to come at it with some sense of irreverence.’
Isaac isn’t a stranger to the weight of pop culture; Star Wars was obviously a massive boost for his career, but he’ll soon make his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in Moon Knight, not to mention the long-awaited Metal Gear Solid movie, with Isaac playing Solid Snake. Naturally, he’s been tight-lipped on both.
Before our time ran out, I put the ‘dream role’ question to him another way: if he had the power of the Bene Gesserit voice and could force a director or producer to give him a role, which would it be?
Without much hesitation, he answered, ‘I’d force Tarantino to put me in his movie, regardless of the role.’
The Duke has spoken – and get it straight Quentin, we’re not here to say please.
Dune hits UK cinemas on October 21.