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Jason Momoa in Dune

No one’s going to accuse Jason Momoa of being soft. If you are an actor, and your resume includes noble Dothraki chieftain Khal Drogo as well as DC’s Atlantean king Arthur Curry, you are a badass, plain and simple. But that doesn’t mean Momoa’s incapable of shedding a tear on set, particularly in service of a director he has come to respect.

Jason Momoa is poised to play Duncan Idaho in Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming adaptation of the seminal sci-fi novel Dune. Ahead of the Dune trailer drop, the entire cast joined their director to reminisce about the shoot, where Momoa shared a story about the scene that brought him to tears. Not for the emotion of the moment, but for the physicality required to pull it off. Momoa explained:

There were moments where, you know, you don't want to bitch. And it was funny because Denis -- I've never run this much in my life, and Denis had me run across the desert, because the sun was setting and so we had to get the shot and I had to run through this windstorm. I had to run to Timothee [Chalamet]. I couldn't see where I was going. All I wanted to, I just didn't want to fall on my face and I didn't want to disappoint [Denis Villeneuve]. I'm not the best runner, but I was like, ‘I'm not giving up.’ The amount of chaffing, and the sweat that had built up. But I was like, ‘I'm not gonna give up. I'm not going to give up!’ But inside, I was crying like a little baby.

The story calls to light the fact that Dune avoided sets and soundstages for the environment that could only be provided by the deserts of the United Arab Emirates, and the African nation of Jordan. Shots from the recent trailer show off sweeping, arid landscapes that helped Villeneuve and his crew to replicate the alien planet of Arrakis. The territory is meant to be inhospitable. A word that Jason Momoa likely would approve after spending time sprinting through it for the benefit of a shot.

During the press conference, though, Jason Momoa and the rest of the Dune cast swore allegiance to Denis Villeneuve’s vision, enduring whatever was necessary to bring the director’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s book to the big screen. The Dune teaser has been playing ahead of screenings of Tenet in theaters, reminding audiences what it feels like to anticipate spectacle on an IMAX scale.

For now, Dune is still on track for a December release date, and the trailer has only made us more excited for the work that Denis Villeneuve and his cast have put into the movie. Dune co-stars Timothee Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Zendaya, Jason Momoa and Javier Bardem. The cast alone should get you in the door, out of curiosity.

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