Chang Chen, who rose to fame in Ang Lee’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” is praising one of his co-stars for their Mandarin skills in the upcoming science-fiction epic, “Dune.”
Speaking Mandarin: Chen told CNA Lifestyle in an interview that accepting the role of Dr. Wellington Yueh, the personal physician for the Atreides family, in the latest live-action adaptation of Frank Herbert’s novel was an “easy decision.”
- On the idea of having Dr. Yueh speak Mandarin, the Taiwanese actor said, “Part of it came from director Denis since he made it such that Paul (Timothée Chalamet), the main character, can speak many languages.”
- “It then followed that Dr. Yueh might be able to speak Mandarin, since he represented someone from Asia. Therefore, the two characters might be able to converse in simple Mandarin, and this also acted as the foundation on which Paul and Dr Yueh built their relationship.”
- Chang, who is also known for director Wong Kar-wai’s “The Grandmaster” and “Happy Together,” applauded 25-year-old Chalamet for perfectly pronouncing his Mandarin lines in the Denis Villeneuve-directed film.
- The 44-year-old actor did not want to take credit for Chalamet mastering his lines, however. “He is very talented in languages, and he pronounced Mandarin perfectly.”
The tea: This is not the first time Chalamet has impressed people from Asia, where he is known as “Tian Cha” or “Sweet Tea” in China, according to the Jakarta Post.
- In one popular video, he is seen trying to get the pronunciation of his nickname just right for his Chinese fans.
- During a virtual Chinese press conference for “Dune,” which featured Chen and Villeneuve, Chalamet brought out a tea cup with him as a nod to his nickname.