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You share a lot of screen time with Timothée, particularly, in that your character Stilgar is a mentor for Paul.

I’m always saying that Timothée must have a very high IQ. He’s so smart. The way he behaves on set and with others, the way he carries his own weight, it’s very healthy. It’s very inspiring in the sense that I don’t see confusion, I don’t see manipulation. In Zendaya too, by the way. I don’t see any of the dark sides of the coin that success at that level brings. The opposite. I see clearness, I see honesty, I see transparency, I see commitment, and I see a lot of gratitude in both.

Talk more about Stilgar. He’s a devout man of faith. Almost a zealot.

He’s a fanatic. He really focuses on wanting to create this figure [of Paul], so his people, his tribe, his village, his group, can have something to hope for and fight for because they feel abandoned.

He’s almost fabricating it. He’s almost willing it into existence.

Yes. And I don’t agree with that. That’s the terms of fanaticism, and any fanaticism is bad. But it’s very appealing to play a character like that because there’s a moment where there’s no logic in it. There’s no common sense anymore.

I’m not sure we’re even rooting for Paul throughout the entire film.

I think the story goes to that place of, is the messiah real or is the messiah constructed, tailored to our needs? Is it because we have such a strong need that we create somebody to hold our hope with? That’s a good question about religion in itself.

Religion, faith—it’s such a through line in this movie. What about your faith?

For me, faith would be in each other. Faith would be, “I’m here for you, you’re there for me, and we better do this together because otherwise we’re not going to make it.” I’ve never been religious, but what I’ve seen very closely is my mom, who I was raised by. She was a divorced mother in the time where divorce was not allowed in Spain, an actress when being an actress was a little less than being a prostitute—with all the respect to the prostitutes. We had no money. I saw her working so hard and making sure that we have what we need. Not what we wanted, but what we need. There were hard times, but we survived because of her. That’s my faith. That’s what I believe in.

Your mother was a very famous Spanish actress.

I was very, very, very close to my mom. My mom passed away two years ago.

Oh, she did? I’m so sorry.

Yeah. It’s hard.

My mom passed away seven years ago.

Were you close to her?

We were very close.

Can you feel how close she is to you now?


Even closer, right?

Yeah, I do feel like she’s still very close.

My father died when I was 26. And my mother died in 2021. It’s going to be three years in July. And when both your parents die, especially when your mother dies, you do go to a different level of orphanage. Like, “OK, I’m on my own.”