Why Zendaya Was Afraid To Kiss Timothée Chalamet In Dune

Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya spiced things up in the sci-fi epic "Dune" by playing characters from two different worlds who have undeniable chemistry — even if they only share the screen for a few minutes.

It helped that the actors became fast friends while they were filming the movie. "It's not like I had to go there and be like, 'Let me pretend to be friends with this person,'" Zendaya told The State News. "It's just like 'No, this is somebody who I really appreciate.'" Chalamet told "Extra" that he was also a fan of Zendaya long before they became castmates, confessing that he used to watch the "K.C. Undercover" star on the Disney Channel. He became an even bigger admirer after working with her. "Zendaya is a friend for life," he said during a "Good Morning America" interview. "I'm counting my lucky stars that I've got a friend in this crazy industry that I can count on, and she's got the same here."

In an interview with E!, Zendaya admitted that she was anxious about working with Chalamet and the other members of the "Dune" cast because they were all so talented, so it was a great relief when her co-star helped make her feel right at home. But before she and Chalamet became besties, an ill-timed dental procedure had Zendaya worried that she would leave a terrible first impression on the actor if their audition included a kissing scene.

Zendaya thought her mouth was a mess

In "Dune," Zendaya plays a mysterious Freman warrior named Chani who is wise beyond her years, so you might be surprised to learn that she had her wisdom teeth removed before she auditioned for the role. Zendaya actually showed off the aftermath of the procedure in a January 2019 tweet, sharing a photo of her swollen face and the ice pack she had strapped around her head. "I look a hot a** mess," she wrote.

Timothée Chalamet's "Dune" character, Paul Atreides, dreams of almost kissing Chani in the movie. This is exactly the type of scene Zendaya did not want to do during her chemistry read with Chalamet. "My biggest fear was that my mouth would be vile, and then I would have to do a scene with Timothée where we have to be really close, and he would smell my possible dry socket breath," she confessed to W magazine. It was a legit concern — some celebs have no qualms about letting the world know about it when they have a horrible experience kissing a co-star.

But from the sounds of it, Zendaya lucked out. Speaking to AP about the first scene they practiced together, Chalamet said, "It was amazing. She basically threw me to the floor." So instead of the bewitching dream version of Chani, Zendaya was likely playing the real deal, who distrusts Paul and doesn't care if he meets an untimely demise when they first meet.

The co-stars were unhappy about their real-life liplocks being captured on camera

Zendaya told British Vogue that she refused to lock lips with a co-star during her Disney days because she didn't want her first kiss to be for a role. When sneaky photogs snapped pictures of Zendaya locking lips with her "Spider-Man: Homecoming" co-star Tom Holland without her knowledge, she was understandably upset, as Zendaya values her personal life. Page Six published the photos of the couple making out in a car in July 2021, well before they went public with their relationship. "It was quite strange and weird and confusing and invasive," Zendaya told GQ.

Timothée Chalamet similarly learned that the paparazzi can be sneakier than a sandworm. He and Lily-Rose Depp were also trying to keep their romance on the down low when they were photographed kissing in 2019, so Chalamet was mortified to later see photos of the two of them awkwardly trying to meld their mouths together on a boat. To make matters worse, the internet had a little too much fun at the couple's expense. "I was like, indisputably, 'That was great,'" Chalamet recalled to GQ how he felt about the kiss at the time. "And then waking up to all these pictures, and feeling embarrassed, and looking like a real nob? All pale?" He also expressed incredulity that some conspiracy theorists were suggesting that the photos were staged for publicity.

Timothee Chalamet teased Zendaya about Tom Holland

One sure sign of just how close of friends Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya have become is the playful way he ribbed her over her relationship with Tom Holland. Holland and Zendaya hadn't yet confirmed their relationship to GQ when Chalamet and his "Dune" costar took the BuzzFeed BFF test in October 2021. As soon as the "biggest celebrity crush" prompt popped up, Chalamet said, "Easy, Tom Holland," sending his co-star into a fit of giggles. Chalamet's amorous feelings for other famous folk were more of a mystery to Zendaya, who confessed that she had no clue who he was crushing on. She added pointedly, "Maybe that's a secret on purpose!"

If Zendaya was peeved at Chalamet for spilling her not-so-secret secret, she'd apparently put the act of impropriety behind her by the time she and Chalamet reunited to film the "Dune" sequel. In a November 2022 interview with Variety, Chalamet praised Zendaya's work on the movie and revealed that his bond with his bestie was stronger than ever. "She's bringing exactly what she brought to the first one — which was incredible — but in greater abundance," the actor raved. "And she's really become a sister. I'm so grateful to count her as a partner and a sister and a friend."