How to Get Cast on ‘Dune: Prophecy’

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Photo Source: Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures

Amid the excitement for “Dune: Part Two,” fans are already looking ahead to the premiere of Max’s “Dune: Prophecy,” a television prequel for the epic universe. With the sci-fi series’ premiere date in the distant future (it’s currently scheduled for late 2024), you might be wondering how you, too, can become part of the powerful Bene Gesserit order

In this guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about the casting process for “Dune: Prophecy,” including insight from one of the show’s casting directors and advice from its top talent.

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What is ‘Dune: Prophecy’ about?

“Dune: Prophecy” takes place 10,000 years before the story depicted in “Dune,” the 2021 film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel. Sisters Valya and Tula Harkonnen take center stage as Max’s show draws its story from “Sisterhood of Dune,” the first installment of Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson’s “Great Schools of Dune” prequel trilogy. Fans will witness the struggles the sisters endure when establishing the Bene Gesserit, the secret sisterhood of sorceresses who train their minds and bodies to hone superhuman powers through mental conditioning. With religious and political turmoil afoot amid ancient conflicts, the prequel will follow along as the matriarchal order comes to power, using its influence to guide the future of society.

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Who is in the cast of ‘Dune: Prophecy’?

“Dune: Prophecy” features some of the UK’s top talent, including:

  • Emily Watson as Valya Harkonnen
  • Olivia Williams as Tula Harkonnen 
  • Camilla Beeput as Reverend Mother Dorotea
  • Sarah Lam as Hagal Truthsayer
  • Travis Fimmel as Desmond Hart
  • Jodhi May as Natalya
  • Mark Strong as Emperor Javicco Corrino
  • Sarah-Sofie Boussnina as Princess Ynez
  • Josh Heuston as Constantine
  • Jade Anouka as Sister Theodosia
  • Faoileann Cunningham as Sister Jen
  • Aoife Hinds as Sister Emeline
  • Chris Mason as Keiran Atreides
  • Flora Montgomery as Truthsayer Vera
  • Tessa Bonham Jones as Lady Shannon
  • Laura Howard as Orla Richese

Dune The Prophecy castCredit: Featureflash Photo Agency/Kathy Hutchins

Who are the casting directors for ‘Dune: Prophecy’?

Julie Harkin and Nathan Toth of Harkin & Toth Casting are the primary CDs for “Dune: Prophecy.” 

What does Harkin love the most about being a casting director? “It’s the people,” she told GoldDerby. “It’s the actors. Chemistry, people, instinct. Human beings. Storytelling.” As an Irish woman, Harkin said her culture values storytelling, so she is motivated to help bring various stories to life onscreen.

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How does the casting process work for ‘Dune: Prophecy’?

While “Dune: Prophecy” features a number of industry vets, Harkin told GoldDerby she’s driven by the desire to cast unknowns in her projects. In opening up this pathway for new talent, she is able to “push boundaries” and offer actors opportunities they might have never been given otherwise. As a CD who’s cast other HBO hits, including “I May Destroy You” and “Industry,” Harkin notes that she often sweeps social media for newcomers to the industry. But it’s not always easy to find the right person for the given role.

She said, “Sometimes you’ll read a character in a script, and you’ll think, Oh my God, this is so difficult. I don’t know how we’re ever going to find this. And it’ll appear to you straight away. And then other times, something will take a long time.” But when those “golden moments” strike, Harkin just knows.

However, self-tapes remain increasingly popular when it comes to modern auditions. Her top tip? “Don’t get naked,” Harkin shared. “I’ve had some self-tapes recently with people with their tops off. Umm, don’t do that!” Instead, no matter the situation—whether in person or on tape—Harkin simply wants actors to relax. “Just be. Be natural… I’m a big champion of being yourself and being who you are and not trying to be anybody else,” she added.

Also, do not record yourself reading the other character’s lines. Find a scene partner, if possible, and ask them to read the lines off-camera. And as she told us, never fib about logistics. “Always tell the truth about that stuff: passports, visas, location. Don’t tell us a lie about it because you think you might not get the part,” Harkin explained. “Just be honest, because if we know in advance, we can fix it.”

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Where can you find ‘Dune: Prophecy’ casting calls and auditions?

“Dune: Prophecy” isn’t currently casting, however, if you’re looking for sci-fi opportunities that are filming now, check out this roundup of gigs inspired by the “Dune: Part Two” release. We recommend bookmarking our main casting page for updates on the latest calls and auditions, too.

In the meantime, you can peruse our guide on how to audition for Max. Or, if you’re interested in other fantasy franchises, check out these guides:

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What are the best audition tips for landing a role on ‘Dune: Prophecy’?

Focus on your journey: When it comes to acting, comparing your trajectory to those who have already found success can lead you in a downward spiral. As Strong explained, “As a younger actor, you’re never aware where the next job is coming from, and every job feels like your last.” That’s why, if he could go back in time, Strong would tell himself to “relax” and “enjoy the moment.” “The advice I’d have for other actors is not to despair and not to let anybody else’s success interfere with your own journey,” he continued.

“All you can really do is know that you love it, work as hard as you can, and keep your fingers crossed that you get a job that puts you in the right place at the right time. Or you get a job where you meet people who might like your work and then decide to give you work further down the line. Really, just stay as focused as you can, and try not to sweat too much.”

Don’t abandon your studies: While those who want to pursue acting may opt out of traditional learning, Fimmel swears by his in-class experiences, as they helped him develop a foundation for his craft.

“The best thing I ever did for my career was study a lot, go to acting class a lot,” he told Backstage. “A lot of ‘cool actors’ say that they never went to class and all that. Most of them are lying all the time; everybody goes to class. It’s like, imagine playing in the NFL and not having a coach. You’re just going to be a doctor? You’ll need to study if you want to be a good doctor. I don’t know why it’s a cool thing for people to say that they didn’t study. So many people say it. They don’t want to give credit to anybody else.”

Hold tight to what fuels your passion: As Watson notes, acting makes you feel alive in the given moment, but when you come crashing down from that high, life can feel bleak. “You can feel very alive with a project. But each one comes to an end, and you sort of sink back into not knowing who you are,” she told the New York Times, adding the feeling can be “confoundingly lonely.” “You can lose yourself in something, and then bang, it’s done, and everyone’s gone,” Watson said.

That’s also why Williams holds fast to the feeling that drove her to become an actor in the first place. “I went to see [‘The Comedy of Errors’], starring Judi Dench, at the RSC with my parents when I was 10,” she told Harper’s Bazaar. “It wasn’t just that I enjoyed watching it—because I loved it—but I actually wanted to climb over the seat and get on stage and be with those actors who were clearly having the best fun ever.

“Other people say they hate audience participation, whereas I’m always like, ‘Me! Me! Please, please pick me!’ There’s something really elemental about it. I just want to get up and join in. When I’m acting, it’s a sort of out-of-body experience. I completely give myself over to it and all the other stuff that clutters my brain goes. It’s my mindfulness,” Williams added. “I stop having to be me, and I can be someone else for a change. It’s such a lovely feeling.”

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