Stephen McKinley Henderson on Thufir Hawat and acting

Stephen McKinley Henderson as Thufir Hawat in Dina, with his eyes rolled back in the back of his head.

Picture: Warner Bros.

Dune has a stacked cast, both established and rising, from Timothée Chalamet as the alleged messiah of Paul Atreides, and Rebecca Ferguson as well as his mother Jessica Jason Momoa as the sympathetic warrior Duncan Idaho. But a few movie stars have “oh, that’s that guy!” the energy of character actor Stephen McKinley Henderson. Like Thufir Hawat, Henderson’s computer man for the house of Atreides isn’t the most memorable role in the film, but that hasn’t stopped people from paying attention to his character … as well as that cute umbrella he wears as he walks the desert planet Arrakis.

Henderson has been present as an actor for decades, but in an interview with Vulture, he admitted that he never thought he would be “in a film of this quality”. Only recently has he really started thinking about how his path as a film and TV actor has changed, which he attributed in part to Vulture who cited him as one of the great character actors I work today. Moreover, he did not read the original novel by Frank Herbert; a friend would occasionally quote excerpts from the book because of Henderson’s interest in theology and philosophy. It was only after director Denis Villeneuve asked him for just that role that he dived into the novel. “It has become one of my favorite books,” he said, understanding the pomp around it.

The whole interview is good, and Henderson seems like a cute guy, as seen when he called the writer after the interview was over to talk about his role in Halle Berry’s upcoming MMA film, In bruises. Coming primarily from theatrical work, Henderson offers an interesting view of the larger-than-life world Dune. Calling it “Shakespearean”, he pointed out that everything depends on Paul. “It’s not that they know what a messianic journey he is on – he is simply the heir to the throne of the House of Atreides who will one day be king … The backbone of this wonderful Denis film is that Paul’s future is important.”

When it comes to playing Thufir in the movie and the outbreak of a a lot In sci-fi jargon, Henderson focused on the empathy of the character, as seen when he offered his resignation after a failed assassination attempt on Paul. There came an umbrella: while filming in Budapest on a hot day, someone offered Henderson an umbrella to protect him as he sat. When Villeneuve noticed, they quickly agreed that Thufir would have an umbrella. “It was just one of those spontaneous things … it’s something that would attract someone who is not human. I just think it’s a desire to really be a part of these wonderful people as an alien as he is. “ Henderson said that the umbrella is quite “civilized” for his character. “It just says so much about where he is at the time and that he takes care of himself. He was a young man once. ”

Dune is now in theaters and on HBO Max.

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Naveen Kumar

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