Dune Director Denis Villeneuve Reveals His Own Drug Experience Influenced Timothée Chalamet’s Visions


Dune may be a sci-fi adventure full of giant sandworms and spaceships, but there are aspects of the film that are based on real life. At least, according to director Denis Villeneuve, whose run-in with a spiked pastry contributed to his portrayal of Timothée Chalamet’s visions as Paul Atreides. It’s quite a story.

In an interview with the Directors Guild of America, Denis Villeneuve revealed the drug-fueled experience that influenced Paul Atreides’ frightening visions in Dune. He explained: 

The truth is that one thing that helped me tremendously to direct Timothée [Chalamet] is, my son had cooked a banana cake a few months before we shot the movie, and the banana cake was very ‘spicy’ and I had the worst bad trip of my life. But it tremendously helped me, it sounds stupid, but it’s good to experience things yourself sometimes. That bad trip, on marijuana, deeply helped me to direct Timothée in the visions, to explain to him the state I was looking for. And, strangely, when I mentioned the banana cake experience to Timothee, he got it. Here’s the truth. Don’t try this!

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