Dune’s Oscar Isaac Reveals How He Convinced Denis Villeneuve To Consider Him For A Role In The Film

Oscar Isaac in Dun
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Oscar Isaac’s Hollywood journey has been, to say the least, unique. One day he’s playing a down-on-his-luck musician in a Coen Brothers film, the next he’s suiting up to play a big blue villain in the X-Men franchise. But even though he’s built up an impressive resume, it turns out he’s still working hard to book the roles he wants. One of his most impressive performances so far – in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune - came about because he actively pursued it, and Isaac recently revealed how he convinced the director to consider him for a role in the film. 

In many ways, 2021 has been one of the biggest years of Oscar Isaac’s career and, given the fact that he's starred in Star Wars, that’s saying a lot. Between appearing in The Card Counter, going viral with Jessica Chastain, and getting a Golden Globe nomination for his performance in Scenes From a Marriage, the actor has been busier than ever. That’s not even counting his turn in the long-awaited adaptation of Dune

It turns out that particular role was years in the making. He told The Hollywood Reporter that he was quick to throw his name into the ring after he heard Denis Villeneuve’s film was in the works: 

I wrote to him when I heard he was doing it, and I said, “Hey, I’m a big fan of the book, just letting you know,” and he said, “Oh, interesting. Okay, good to know.” Then, years later, he sent me the script. I was familiar with it. I’d read the book. Obviously, I didn’t know what the script was going to be like. Funny enough, when he sent it to me, he wasn’t sure what part exactly. I think he had a sense, but then I looked at it and it just was clear that that was a role for me.

The role in question was Leto Atreides, father to Timothee Chalamet’s Paul. It’s not exactly clear how many years the Moon Knight actor had to wait before his part in the movie was official, but Villeneuve made the right call in casting him -- and it was more than worth the wait. 

After it was released, Oscar Isaac hailed it as a “masterpiece” (and we all know he doesn’t mince his words when it comes to his career). He himself earned high praise for his performance in Dune, with CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg calling him “phenomenal.” 

The bad news is we probably won’t see much of the star in the Dune sequel. The good news is, he’s still as persistent as ever when it comes to the roles he wants, and that means we’ll be seeing much more of him. After publicly throwing his hat into the ring for Solid Snake in Metal Gear Solid, he was cast in the film late last year. You really have to admire that kind of initiative.

Katherine Webb