Josh Brolin Wrote the Song He Sings in ‘Dune Part Two’ About How Much Arrakis Sucks

The following conversation with Josh Brolin did not make it into this week’s Hype cover story on the Dune star, mainly because it’s the exact kind of digression that editors tend to cut. But because it’s not every day that an A-list movie star interview subject recites original lyrics he wrote about the sand in his character’s buttcrack, we’re presenting the relevant exchange here in its entirety. (For anyone not versed in Dune lore, a “stillsuit” is a full-body desert-survival garment which captures perspiration and, uh, other metabolic byproducts—yes, all of them—and converts them into drinkable water.)

GQ: We see Gurney singing and playing his baliset in Part Two, a character detail from the books that didn’t make it into the previous film.

JOSH BROLIN: Yeah, that was fun. Denis asked me to write the lyrics. He says, “I want you to work with Hans [Zimmer] on this, and I want you guys to just come up with something good.” And the way he said it, it sounded like, I want you to go down and get me three hot dogs because I’m super hungry, and maybe get a Coke too. And I was like, Wait a minute. You want me to work with Hans? Fuck…

So you and Hans Zimmer, the legendary film-score composer and two-time Oscar winner, sat down and wrote “My stillsuit’s full of piss…”

I wrote that. And he wrote the music. We went through a lot of different lyrics.

We only hear a little bit of it in the film…

Which is appropriate, given my voice. I think that was the way to go. But it was funny, because I started getting super frustrated. Hans was traveling at the time, so I would send him and Denis some lyrics, and Denis would be like, “I don’t like that line,” or “What about this?” or “I was thinking more like this,” or whatever. And then Hans would send a picture of an iceberg. And I’d be like, What the fuck? And he’s like, “So beautiful!” And I’m like, “Yeah, but the song, man!”

And then you see the final thing, and the music is amazing. I mean, it’s genius. I mean, there’s nobody better. And I’m scratching out a couple of Tom Waits-ian words and that’s it. Who cares? But the music is fucking amazing. [reciting] My stillsuit’s full of piss, ass is caked in sand. Lemme see if I can find the Gurney song. I mean, look, I have a shitload of lyrics.

[Brolin finds the lyrics and reads them.]

“My present keeps a company of shit

The mindless droning on of spit.

Give me words, come grass and grain

Do away with these idiots I blame

My stillsuit’s full of piss, my ass caked in sand

Save me from this devil’s heat, another world, another land.

Damn you fate that put me here, longing for what was once so dear

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