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Dune 2 Star Austin Butler Reflects on Wanting James Bond Role: ‘What Was I Thinking?’


Summary

  • Austin Butler once dreamed of being the first American James Bond.
  • Bond has been portrayed mostly by British actors, with exceptions like George Lazenby and Pierce Brosnan.
  • Butler’s has shown range as an actor and commitment to his roles, hiring a dialect coach for his
    Elvis
    accent.



Dune 2 star Austin Butler got his big break playing Elvis Presley but, as it turns out, he had even bigger dreams as a young actor to be the first American to play British superspy James Bond. During an interview on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the actor was putting in work promoting his role in Dune: Part Two when he was shown an old clip from his Teen Vogue cover shoot back in 2012. During the flashback footage, he declared he wanted to be “the first American James Bond.”

“I could be the first American James Bond. I would do it with a British accent.”

The actor got a good laugh looking back at the old clip before questioning his 007 dreams. After he explained that he grew up loving the character, Fallon said that he would make a great James Bond, but Butler kindly disagreed and said, “Nah, he’s gotta be British.”


“That’s crazy. What was I thinking? I grew up loving James Bond…No, he’s gotta be British.”

Related

Austin Butler Praises Dune: Part Two Director: ‘Denis Is One of the Greatest Filmmakers Alive’

Austin Butler, who joins the Dune saga as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, heaps praise on director Denis Villeneuve.


James Bond Hasn’t Always Been Portrayed by a British Actor

James Bond’s cinematic life spans 60 years of film history and the character has mostly been portrayed by British actors, with a couple of exceptions. In 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the Australian George Lazenby took on the role and from 1995’s GoldenEye to 2002’s Die Another Die, Pierce Brosnan, who was born in Ireland, also had his time with the character. Granted, neither of these actors are American, but it does show that being strictly British to play 007 isn’t a complete necessity.


Given Butler’s range as an actor, it would come as no surprise if he could pull off a convincing British accent to take on Bond. The actor was Oscar-nominated for his turn in Elvis, and while that accent wasn’t of the British variety, Butler showed he could be completely committed by taking on another form of speech. In fact, he admitted that he had to hire a dialect coach to rid himself of the Elvis Presley accent. That is what some might call, commitment.

Butler is currently earning rave reviews for his role as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen in Dune 2, even garnering comparisons to Heath Ledger’s Joker in some critics’ circles. The second film in Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of the 1965 Dune novel by Frank Herbert follows Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) as he unites the Fremen people of Arrakis to wage a mighty war against House Harkonnen. The film also stars Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Dave Bautista, Florence Pugh, Javier Bardem, and Christopher Walken, among others.


Dune: Part Two
hits screens nationwide this Friday



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