“They give me chills”: Denis Villeneuve Sings Praises of His Female Stars in ‘Dune: Part Two’ Despite Undermining Them in 1 Major Way

Anya Taylor-Joy and Florence Pugh delivered epic performances in Dune: Part Two.

“They give me chills”: Denis Villeneuve Sings Praises of His Female Stars in ‘Dune: Part Two’ Despite Undermining Them in 1 Major Way


  • Denis Villeneuve commended Anya Taylor-Joy and Florence Pugh for their works in Dune: Part Two.
  • He wants to work with both actresses again in Dune Messiah to give their characters more exposure.
  • Villeneuve made a controversial decision to change Alia Atreides' epic narrative in the sequel.
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Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two boasts several powerful female figures played by iconic actresses such as Anya Taylor-Joy and Florence Pugh. Despite being franchise newcomers, they already managed to impress the director and the avid fans.

dune production design denis villeneuve
Dune (2021)

With the sequel already out, viewers have seen how their characters, Alia Atreides and Princess Irulan, created such strong dynamics that pushed the narrative. In fact, Villeneuve looks forward to working with both of them again soon.

Dune Director Was Super Impressed With Anya Taylor-Joy And Florence Pugh

During his interview with Entertainment Weekly, Canadian director Denis Villeneuve expressed delight over working with Furiosa actress Anya Taylor-Joy and Little Women star Florence Pugh in Dune: Part Two.


I love her [Taylor-Joy]. I would love to make Dune Messiah just to work with her and Florence more. Those actresses are so inspiring. They give me chills and the will to do another one.”

When asked why he kept Taylor-Joy’s casting as Alia Atreides a secret, the filmmaker said via THR:

I think that Hollywood is the most gossipy town on earth, and I wanted, as an experiment, to see how long we could keep a secret. We did it.”

florence pugh dune: part two
Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan

Villeneuve was also blown away by Pugh’s performance. He told Radio Times that he planned to give her character the same treatment he did with Zendaya’s Chani. This way, fans will see more of her journey in the third film.

I approached her saying to her that Irulan will have the same journey from Part Two to the next movie as Chani [had] from Part One to Part Two.”

Furthermore, the director called Pugh “one of the best actresses of her generation.” He noted how it was crucial to find the perfect star who can seamlessly portray the character on the big screen just by the way she projects herself on camera.


One thing that was important for me is that the audience will never perceive Irulan as a victim, and I needed an actress that would be able to convey tremendous amounts of information with no lines and just her eyes.”

Both Taylor-Joy and Pugh delivered incredible performances in the Dune sequel, however, one controversial alteration from the source material has got fans feeling confused about Villeneuve’s motivation.

Denis Villeneuve Altered One Of Alia Atreides’ Grand Moments


anya taylor joy alia atreides dune part two
Anya Taylor-Joy as Alia Atreides

The death of a major character in Dune: Part Two became the highlight of the film as well as a topic of debate among fans. In Frank Herbert’s novel, Alia Atreides was the one who killed Stellan Skarsgård’s Baron Harkonnen. In the movie, it was Timothée Chalamet’s Paul Atreides.


Alia slaying her grandfather as a super-powered baby is one of the classic Dune moments in the book. The way Denis Villeneuve changed her narrative in the movie and gave the credit to Paul already steals one of the would-have-been best moments of Alia in the sequel.

Since the circumstances in the film did not permit Alia to accomplish this goal, fans can only hope Villeneuve will give her a well-deserved epic scene in Dune Messiah.

Dune: Part Two is now showing in theaters.


Written by Ariane Cruz

Articles Published: 2142

Ariane Cruz, Senior Content Writer. She has been contributing articles for FandomWire since 2021, mostly covering stories about geek pop culture. With a degree in Communication Arts, she has an in-depth knowledge of print and broadcast journalism. Her other works can also be seen on Screen Rant and CBR.