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That Time Timothee Chalamet Kneed Jason Momoa ‘In The Balls’ While Filming Dune

Timothee Chalamet and Jason Momoa in Dune

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Paul Atreides is lucky enough to have numerous people mentoring him over the course of Dune, including Duncan Idaho, the Swordsmaster for House Atreides. For Denis Villeneuve’s film adaptation of Frank Herbert classic sci-fi novel, Timothée Chalamet and Jason Momoa were cast to play Paul and Duncan, respectively. While the two got along splendidly during the filming of Dune, there also came an opportunity where Chalamet kneed Momoa in the balls, though it wasn’t entirely unprompted.

While speaking with Total Film about his time on Dune, Jason Momoa recalled how he and Timothée Chalamet had a similar dynamic in real life like their characters do, with the latter being like a “little brother” to the former. When asked if he teased Chalamet in the same way Duncan Idaho teased Paul Atreides, Momoa responded:

That joke [about muscles in the trailer] came from me. There are these outtakes where I went up to Timmy, and I go, ‘Look at you, dick and ribs.’ Denis comes up and says, ‘What is this talk about the ribs and his dick? I don’t understand.’ I’m like, ‘Well, it’s funny, because Timmy’s so skinny.’ He’s like, ‘OK. Maybe you can do it in another way?’ But Timothée [got me back]. When I hug him he kneed me in the balls so hard! You can see it if you watch in slo-mo.

I can understand why Denis Villeneuve opted to have Jason Momoa make a crack about Timothée Chalamet’s physicality in a different way, as “dick and ribs” arguably doesn’t jive well with the Dune setting. Unfortunately for Momoa, the damage was already done, as Chalamet promptly retaliated with a strike to his costar’s testicles. Yep, that’s along the lines of what you’d expect from a brotherly relationship.

Whether you’ll actually be able to see just a glimpse of this moment in the final version of Dune remains to be seen, but the joke Jason Momoa referenced at the beginning of the quote is Duncan Idaho quickly taking back a compliment about Paul Atreides having put on some muscle. You can watch if yourself in the trailer below:

Jason Momoa and Timothée Chalamet are just two members of Dune’s ensemble cast, with their costars including Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Stellan Skarsgård, Zendaya, Javier Bardem, Dave Bautista, Josh Brolin, David Dastmalchian and Sharon Duncan-Brewster, among others. Rather than adapt all of the original novel into one movie like David Lynch did in the ‘80s, Denis Villenueve’s take on the material is being split into two movies. So the first half of that tale will unfold this fall, and while Dune 2 hasn’t been officially greenlit yet, Villeneuve has said the sequel will see Zendaya’s Chani taking over as the lead protagonist.

Dune opens in theaters and on HBO Max October 22; if you want to take advantage of the latter viewing option, you can sign up for the streaming service using this link. Along with Dune’s impending arrival, Jason Momoa can be seen in Netflix’s Sweet Girl starting this Friday, August 20, and he’s also reprising Arthur Curry in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, which will arrive on December 16, 2022.

Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.