Skip To Content
  • Dune Swoon badge

14 "Dune" Cast Members In Their Very First Role Vs. In The Movie

Bet you didn't know that Timothée Chalamet's first role was a horror short film when he was just 13!

Denis Villeneuve's Dune is officially coming to our screens in both theaters and on HBO Max Oct. 22 — and thank heavens, because it's been delayed for about a year.


The remake of the 1984 film, based on Frank Herbert's 1965 sci-fi novel, has a cast chock-full of award-winning actors. Scroll below to see them in their very first roles vs. in Dune!

1. Timothée Chalamet then.

A young Timothée hides behind a tree, while his on-screen sister has her back toward the camera in the background
Appendix Productions

Timothée's first-ever role was in a 2008 horror short film called Sweet Tooth, also known as Butcher's Hill. According to IMDb, the film's logline is "Some children never grow up." The short follows a young Sam (a 13-year-old Timothée at the time) and his sister Edwina in the mid-17th century as they hide out in the garden of an isolated cottage. Entering the cottage, they find some tempting cakes in the kitchen that look too good to be true.

Timothée now, as Paul Atreides.

Timothée as Paul in "Dune," he holds a sword over his forehead perpendicular to his body
Warner Bros.

Timothée is — of course — the film's main character, and the son of Oscar Isaac's Leto Atreides I and Rebecca Ferguson's Lady Jessica. In the film, he must heed dream warnings from Zendaya's Chani and travel to the harsh desert planet Arrakis (aka Dune) to ensure the livelihood of his family and his people.

2. Zendaya then.

Still of the major cast members of "Shake It Up" on the dance floor set, L-R Kenton Duty, Roshon Fegan, Bella Thorne, Zendaya, Davis Cleveland, Adam Irigoyen
Randy Holmes / © Disney Channel / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Duh, Disney Channel OGs will remember Zendaya as Rocky Blue on Shake It Up! The dance competition series, which ran from 2010 to 2013, was Zendaya's first onscreen role at 14 years old.

Zendaya now, as Chani Kynes.

Still of Zendaya as Chani, she wears blue contacts and a black breathing apparatus called a stillsuit
Warner Bros.

Chani, the daughter of Sharon Duncan-Brewster's Liet Kynes, is a Fremen, the native people of Arrakis, and a warrior. She's also Paul's love interest, and it's due to her appearance in his visions that he encounters his destiny. 

3. Rebecca Ferguson then.

Still of Rebecca and actor Kim Sulocki on a motorcycle from "Nya Tider"
TT News Agency / Alamy Stock Photo

The Swedish actor first got her start on a soap opera called Nya Tider (New Times) based in her home country, where she played a character named Anna Gripenhielm. While the series ran for seven years, Rebecca appeared in 54 episodes from its inaugural year in 1999 to 2000.

Rebecca now, as Lady Jessica.

Still of Rebecca in "Dune," she wears a mesh blue headpiece and dress, cut off in the frame is Oscar Isaac to her left, who she is looking at, and Timothée
Warner Bros.

As mentioned previously, Rebecca's Lady Jessica is the mother to Timothée's Paul. She is Leto's (Oscar Isaac) concubine and is a follower of the Bene Gesserit, a powerful all-woman group that pursues mysterious political aims and seems to wield superhuman capabilities. While she was instructed by the Bene Gesserit, also colloquially known as "witches," to produce a female heir, she willingly bore a son out of love for Leto.

4. Oscar Isaac then.

Still from "Illtown" with Oscar in the background shirtless and in jorts, Michael and Tony are on the left and right of him in the foreground, respectively
Shooting Gallery

Oscar's first onscreen role was in a crime drama called Illtown starring Michael Rapaport and Lili Taylor. He appears as an unnamed background character credited as "Pool Boy," and later described the experience as "horrible" and "humiliating" in an IMDb interview. Sharing a screen with Michael and Tony Danza, he was shirtless and in "tiny short-shorts" the entire time and added that the filmmaking process itself was "not very nice."  

Oscar now, as Duke Leto.

Still of Oscar in "Dune," he wears a serious expression on his face and blurred in the background is Josh Brolin
Warner Bros.

An Oscar Isaac (hot) with a full beard (hotter) portrays Leto Atreides, the benevolent and courageous ruler of the ocean planet Caladan. In the novel, he's assigned to be a feudal ruler of the planet Arrakis. His aides include Jason Momoa's Duncan Idaho and Josh Brolin's Gurney Halleck.

5. Jason Momoa then.

NBC / Courtesy Everett Collection, ©Pearson All-American Television / Courtesy Everett Collection

The native Hawaiian first started heating up our screens with his role on the original Baywatch series in 1999, 10 years after its premiere. He played Jason Ioane in 44 episodes until the series' end in 2001.

Jason now, as Duncan Idaho.

A still of Jason in "Dune," he looks at Timothée whose back is facing the camera
Warner Bros.

Jason plays Duncan, a Swordmaster of House Atreides and right-hand man to Oscar's Leto, who charged him with training Paul in the art of war. According to the novel, he is said to be "very handsome" and has "black, curly hair, a dark complexion, and green or blue eyes." Congrats to Jina Jay and Francine Maisler — the casting directors on this film — for probably the most superb job I've ever seen.

6. Stellan Skarsgård then.

Photo of Stellan in "Bombi Bitt och jag," he wears a fedora-like cap, flannel button-down and multicolored vest
Sveriges Radio

Stellan is a veteran Swedish actor whose first role can be traced back to 1968. As a 17-year-old, he portrayed the lead in the TV miniseries Bombi Bitt och jag (Bombi Bitt and I) based on the 1932 novel of the same name, which has been likened to the Swedish version of Tom Sawyer. And, of course, you've probably heard of his actor sons: Alexander, Bill, and Gustaf Skarsgård.

Stellan now, as The Baron.

Promotional poster for "Dune" featuring the writing "Stellan Skarsgård is The Baron," "Dune," and "It begins" in all capital letters, the poster also includes the release date Oct. 22 with the words "in theaters" and "HBO Max" in all caps
© Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

Vladimir Harkonnen, also known as The Baron, is introduced as the power-hungry ruler of House Harkonnen and is quickly established as the primary antagonist to House Atreides.

7. Josh Brolin then.

Still from "The Goonies," L-R Ke Huy Quan, Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Corey Feldman, Jeff Cohen
©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

The son of award-winning actor James Brolin, Josh first appeared in the 1985 classic adventure comedy movie The Goonies, where he played Brand, the high school-aged older brother of Goonies leader Mikey (Sean Astin). He was 17 at the time.

Josh now, as Gurney Halleck.

Josh in a still from "Dune," he sports a full goatee and black general uniform
Warner Bros.

Gurney is a Warmaster, or reputable military general for House Atreides. Like Duncan, he was instrumental in teaching Paul the necessary skills of a leader. In the novel, he's regarded as an extremely loyal friend and noble traditionalist with the "soul of a poet." Gurney, who lost his family to the Harkonnens, will protect House Atreides as if they were his own.

8. Javier Bardem then.

Still of Javier in "Segunda Enseñanza," he has shoulder-length hair

Javier comes from a family of known actors in Spanish cinema, most notably his mother, Pilar Bardem. His first credited role came in 1986, 12 years after his part on comedy series El pícaro (The Rogue), which was uncredited. He appeared in nine episodes of Segunda enseñanza (Second Teaching), a drama about the lives of teachers and students of an Asturian high school in the mid-'80s.

Javier now, as Stilgar.

Javier in a still from "Dune," he wears a head-wrap, has blue contacts, and wears a rubber-like armor with a matching mask hanging below his neck
Warner Bros.

Stilgar is introduced as a leader of a Fremen tribe on Arrakis. Duncan — sent by Leto to survey the native Arrakis people ahead of his arrival — ends up befriending Stilgar and pronounces him to be of good character.

9. Sharon Duncan-Brewster then.

A still of Sharon in "2Point4 Children," she's next to a blonde actress and faces Belinda Porter, whose back is to the camera, they're in a bakery

The English actor first stepped onto the scene in a small part on the BBC sitcom 2Point4 Children, about the Porters family whose bad luck often finds them amid bizarre hijinks and situations. While the series spanned the majority of the '90s, Sharon appeared as a high school student with a brief speaking line in the fourth episode of Season 1 in 1991.

Sharon now, as Liet Kynes.

Sharon as Liet Kynes in "Dune," she wears blue contacts and several layered gold chokers and a black dress similar to a witch's attire
Warner Bros.

In the Dune universe, Dr. Liet Kynes is a key connecting figure between the Fremen and House Atreides, and serves as the official Imperial Planetologist of Arrakis. But longtime fans of the novel will recognize that Liet was originally written as a male character. For his version however, Denis Villeneuve opted to focus instead on Liet's personality and beliefs — rather than gender. "As far as Denis was concerned, it was all about concentrating on the essence of this person, not the fact that this person was a man, so that’s what we went with first," Sharon said in an interview with Den of Geek

10. Dave Bautista then.

Close-up shot of Dave in "Smallville," he wears orange contacts and a ripped canvas shirt, he stands in front of a construction zone that's blurred in the background
Michael Courtney / © The CW / Courtesy Everett Collection

Dave originally began his TV career in 2002 as a professional wrestler for the WWE, where he went by the name Batista. It wasn't until 2006, when he booked a role on the Clark Kent-focusing series Smallville, that he made his debut as an actor. He played a humanoid alien and villain to Superman in a Season 6 episode.

Dave now, as Beast Rabban.

Dave has a bald look and wears an armored outfit in a still from "Dune"
Warner Bros.

The Beast's full name is Glossu Rabban Harkonnen, a nephew of Baron Harkonnen. The novel describes him as a sadistic and cruel leader, who earned his nickname after killing his own father. He's tasked with securing the Harkonnen empire by any means necessary.

11. David Dastmalchian then.

David in a police uniform looks off-camera in "The Dark Knight"
Warner Bros. / Legendary Entertainment

The character actor's first role was in 2008's The Dark Knight starring Christian Bale and Heath Ledger — where he's credited as "Joker's Thug." You may also recognize him in his recent turn as Polka-Dot Man in The Suicide Squad.

David now, as Piter De Vries.

David sports a bald look and all-black leather ensemble in a "Dune" still
Warner Bros.

Piter De Vries is a Mentat — a human who is specially trained to possess the processing capabilities of a supercomputer — from the planet Tleilax, which is home to a race of genetically altered and incredibly xenophobic humans. He's pretty much evil personified, and his cruelty is only surpassed by his House leader, The Baron.

12. Stephen McKinley Henderson then.

Stephen stands next to his on-screen wife in "Marie: A True Story," in the background are two cops and seen slightly out-of-frame to the left is the back of Sissy's head

While Stephen's first-ever credit was as an unnamed "Bank Teller" in a relatively unknown 1979 movie called A Pleasure Doing Business, I literally couldn't find any pictures of its existence so don't yell at me. Pictured above is his role as "Cooper's Husband" in the 1985 biographical drama Marie: A True Story, where he shares the screen with Morgan Freeman and Sissy Spacek for a few moments.

Stephen now, as Thufir Hawat.

Stephen wears an olive-green military uniform and looks off-camera in a "Dune" still, in the background are hundreds of more soldiers
Warner Bros.

Thufir is the Mentat Master of Assassins for House Atreides and is essentially responsible for the security of the Atreides family members. Given his status as a highly trained specialist, his main adversary is fellow Mentat Piter. Along with Duncan and Gurney, he helps train Paul in military and political strategy.

13. Chang Chen then.

Chang stands next to Lisa Yang in a field in a still from "A Brighter Summer Day"
© Janus Films / courtesy Everett Collection

A renowned Taiwanese actor, Chang first garnered acclaim as the 14-year-old star of the 1991 film A Brighter Summer Day. Set in the early 1960s in Taiwan, the movie is based on the true story of a murder that gripped the nation at the time. The movie's been described as a must-watch and has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Chang now, as Dr. Yueh.

Chang sports a goatee and brown ensemble in this "Dune" still, he also has a black diamond tattoo on his forehead
Warner Bros.

Wellington Yueh is the trusted physician of House Atreides and is a member of its inner circle, often offering guidance to Paul. A graduate of the Suk Inner School — a superior medical field devoted to curing ailments that plague humankind — he has a deep, intuitive understanding of sickness and wellness.

14. Charlotte Rampling then.

A black-and-white photo of Charlotte in "Rotten to the Core," she looks off-camera and has shoulder-length hair
British Lion Film Corporation / Courtesy Everett Collection

Charlotte's first credited role was in the 1965 black-and-white British comedy-crime film Rotten to the Core. She plays the main female lead Sara Capell and helps a trio of petty thieves outwit a crime boss — also her boyfriend — in an organized heist.

Charlotte now, as Reverend Mother Mohiam.

Charlotte in "Dune," she wears a black beaded fishnet veil over her face
Warner Bros.

Gaius Helen Mohiam is the leader of the mysterious Bene Gesserit Sisterhood. She quickly directs her focus to Paul, using prophecy and superstition to manipulate and course-correct his destiny.

Are you excited for Dune? Whose throwback pics were you most surprised at? LMK in the comments!

BuzzFeed Daily

Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

Newsletter signup form