Why does Oscar Isaac’s character in ‘Dune’ wear a beard?

Dune has exceeded $ 100 million abroad and will also be released in China, something that reassures both Warner Bros and fans of Frank Herbert’s novel, who will surely have the long-awaited continuation of the Paul Atreides story and his mother with the Fremen. Critics have been very divided regarding the film, some think it is boring and tedious, while others have classified it as a very promising start, with a fantastic setting. But what nobody has been able to attribute to Denis Villeneuve’s space opera is how successful it has been representing the planet of Arrakis and all its culture, thus creating a commendably immersive tale. That said, what caught the attention of those who had read the novel is Oscar Isaac’s bushy beard to play Duke Leto, described in Herbert’s material as a man with a close shave.

In an interview for GQ, Donald Mowat, head of the hair and makeup department at Dune, shared the relevance of the character’s changed appearance: “It’s an important beard so to speak”, Mowat pointed out. The characterization decisions on the big screen are not whimsical and they all have a reason. The book published in 1965, describes Leto as a “Tall man with olive skin. His thin face had hard features, warmed only by deep gray eyes “. In previous adaptations, in both the 1984 David Lynch-directed film and the 2000 miniseries, the character appeared shaved. Then Why does the Oscar Isaac version wear such a thick beard?

Oscar Isaac in ‘Dune’ (Warner Bros Pictures)

According to Mowat himself, the idea of ​​covering part of the face with a thick beard It was the idea of ​​the actor and Villeneuve. So this department head began investigating the beards of Greco-Roman nobles and Russian tsars like Nicholas II. In the final image we see on the screen, gray was added to Isaac’s beard along with fake crow’s feet. to accentuate the age gap between him and Chalamet, supporting the parent-child relationship. 14 weeks was the time it took for the actor’s beard to grow, including regular shampoo, conditioner, brushing, oil care and trimming. Before filming, Isaac fucked with the department 35 minutes each shooting day in order to leave the perfect beard.