Timothee Chalamet hails Zendaya for Dune performance

Timothee Chalamet hails Zendaya for Dune performance

Timothee Chalamet found Zendaya's performance in 'Dune' "incredible to witness".

The 25-year-old actor plays Paul Atreides in Denis Villeneuve's sci-fi epic and hailed the performance of his co-star as Chani, despite criticism at Zendaya's lack of involvement in the blockbuster.

Timothee told Deadline: "She is Chani, and it's incredible to witness. From the get-go, she was that character, and it was inspiring to see.

"I love the shot in the movie of Chani pulling the mask down for the first time; it feels properly momentous. But even on the day, it was like, holy s***, Chani has arrived."

Timothee admits that his close bond with Zendaya was present both on and off-screen.

He explained: "There's the book, and there have been other adaptations, but not only was the relationship between us alive in Jordan, and not only does it live on the screen now, it was there just at the first chemistry read. It felt obvious."

'Dune' is based on Frank Herbert's 1965 novel of the same name and Timothee admits that he was reliant on the source material to help his portrayal of Paul Atreides in the first part of Villeneuve's adaptation.

The 'French Dispatch' star said: "When you're lucky enough to work on something with a book as source material, it's the best cheat code. There's a blueprint right there in front of you."

Timothee added: "On the day, you just let go of all your prep work and trust in Denis. But it did feel like taking authorship of this character. I felt close to Paul Atreides and close to this story. I have excitement to do another one."