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Watch: Stephen Colbert loves Dune so much he went all the way to Arrakis to interview the film's stars

Dune stars Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya have an, ahem, out of this world 'Late Show' interview.

By Matthew Jackson
Zendaya and Timothee Chalamet Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert is, famously, a superfan of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings — but that doesn't mean there's no room in his heart for other books. Colbert is also a lifelong devotee of Frank Herbert's Dune, so when the chance came to interview the stars of the much-anticipated new film adaptation, he was all-in. So all-in, in fact, he journeyed all the way to the desert planet of Arrakis to talk to them.

Yes, thanks to the magic of green screens and the willingness of the young actors to play along, Colbert sat down on The Late Show Thursday night to talk with Dune's Timothee Chalamet (who plays Paul Atreides) and Zendaya (who plays the Fremen girl Chani) about filming the sci-fi epic, living up to expectations, and much more. With desert winds swirling around them as they sat atop a rock, the trio talked for not one, not two, but three segments of The Late Show, and everyone came away learning a thing or two. 

When discussing how they got cast, Colbert learned that Chalamet was so interested in pursuing the project that he had a Google Alert set up for Dune well before he was cast, so he could try to gauge the right time to present himself as a candidate to director Denis Villeneuve. For Zendaya's part, she wanted to join the film because of the director, but also because the book was one of her grandfather's favorites. When it came time to actually do a chemistry read test with Chalamet, though, she had another reason to be nervous: Recovering from wisdom tooth surgery, and hoping it didn't show. 

Eventually, talk turned to what it was like to actually shoot the movie, including dealing with the harsh desert climate. Chalamet explained that, because of the heat, many of the desert sequences could only be filmed either very early in the morning or in the last couple of hours of sunlight each day, which was made more challenges because the Fremen "still suits" in the film don't actually function the way they would in the world of Dune.

"Ironically, [they] cool the characters in the movie, but in real life are the heaviest, sweatiest things," Chalamet said.

So, how did they overcome both the environment and the nerves at work when it came time to finally start shooting the film?

"Lotta fart jokes," Chalamet said.

In two more clips, which you can find over at The Late Show's YouTube page, Chalamet and Zendaya did everything from discuss working with Villeneuve to a trivia game Colbert dubbed "Duner or Later," in which they had to guess which cultural icons came before and after Herbert's original novel. Then, of course, there was the sequel question. Colbert, obviously a fan, asked both Chalamet and Zendaya point blank if they're making Dune: Part Two

"We're asking the same question," Zendaya said. 

"Sort of," Chalamet said. "Ish."

When Colbert asked them to clarify, Chalamet said what he and his co-stars have essentially heard is "Keep these dates open...maybe." Maybe by the end of the weekend and we see how the film performs, we'll know if their calendars will fill up. 

Dune is now in theaters and streaming on HBO Max.