Kirsten Dunst Interview
Mary Jane - Spiderman 3Read "Tobey Maguire Interview"
Kirsten Caroline Dunst (born April 30, 1982) is a Golden Globe nominated American actress, best known for her child roles in Interview with the Vampire, and The Virgin Suicides leading up to playing Marie Antoinette in Sophis Coppola's rendition, and Bring It On, as well as, of course, Mary Jane Watson in the Spiderman film series.
Kirsten Dunst was born in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, to Inez and Klaus Dunst, who are separated. Her father, a German medical services executive from Hamburg, remained in New Jersey. Her mother, a Swedish former art gallery owner, moved to California. Dunst has a younger brother, Christian. Dunst attended the Ranney School in New Jersey, but graduated in 2000 from Notre Dame High School in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.
After briefly dating her longtime friend, and playwright, Jeff Smeenge, she started dating actor Jake Gyllenhaal in September 2002, after meeting him through his sister, Maggie Gyllenhaal (her Mona Lisa Smile co-star). They officially broke up in July 2004 but remained off and on until December 2005. They adopted a dog together, called "Atticus". She has recently been seen with Indie British rocker Johnny Borrell, at the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas. As of April 9, 2007, Dunst admitted that she smokes marijuana regularly and has tried other illegal drugs. Dunst claims that, "I've never been a major smoker, but I think America's view on weed is ridiculous. I mean, are you kidding me? If everyone smoked weed, the world would be a better place."
Wild About Movies caught up with Mary Jane, Kirsten Dunst, in Los Angeles recently, where she spilled the beans about the most recent Spiderman movie; "Spiderman 3."
Wild About Movies: Is this the end of your experience with Mary Jane, or do you see yourself doing Spiderman 4, 5 and 6?
"Kirsten Dunst": I think that this is definitely the end to this trilogy. I think that we've closed this chapter. But if Sam and Tobey and I were to come back together, we would definitely do another movie.
Wild About Movies: Were you playing the Mary Jane afterstory line, not thinking about the special effects?
"Kirsten Dunst": On this one, they're finally together and she is successful in what she's doing, and he's been embraced by the city of New York and getting all these accolades. It's blowing his head up a little bit. Slowly, we start to unravel Mary Jane, their relationship—they're already ignoring things within that—it doesn't help that he takes on this other darkness that envelopes his character, and brings out all the things that he's not dealing with in his life and all his anger really heightens that.
Wild About Movies: Did you enjoy singing?
"Kirsten Dunst": I was just happy that she finally got a gig. I've always sang so it wasn't a big deal to me. I could prerecord it and just lip-synch to it.
Wild About Movies: Have you heard about the Spiderman musical?
"Kirsten Dunst" Yeah, that's amazing. I heard about it today. U2? That's incredible. That's the coolest ever—I mean, Julie Taymor directing? I was shocked, because usually when they do that kind of reinvention thing, they get a little cheesy. But that's incredible. I was shocked.
Wild About Movies: Would you like to do Broadway?
"Kirsten Dunst": I could never sing live in front of a big audience. I'm not a Broadway actress. No, no, no.
Wild About Movies: Are you going to play Debbie Harry?
"Kirsten Dunst": Yeah, but it's too early to talk about it.
Wild About Movies: There's a reprise of the upside down kiss with Tobey. Did you kind of think, hey, that's my kiss?
"Kirsten Dunst": I don't want to give too much away, but yeah, can you imagine how hurt you would be if you had this intimate moment with the love of your life and that's kind of duplicated in some cavalier way? That's kind of heartbreaking.
Wild About Movies: What about Mary Jane's unraveling, she doesn't really tell him...
"Kirsten Dunst": There wasn't an opportunity. Also, there's a responsibility in a relationship when someone's doing something that they're really excited about, you don't want to put your problems on them that day. There's a time and a place. Then there was that other thing that happened at the keys to the city ceremony, so it just kind of builds and builds and builds.
Wild About Movies: Did you know how to do the twist?
"Kirsten Dunst": Yeah. I can do the twist. I dance. They brought me all the way down to Culver City and I was like, why are we here? Twist lessons. Are you kidding me? You brought me all the way down here to do the twist? It's not the hardest dance in the world. I did a twist lesson with James, helped him out a little bit.
Wild About Movies: Was it funny watching Tobey dance at the jazz club?
"Kirsten Dunst": It was so funny and I had to have a reaction of 'Peter, what's wrong with you?', but I couldn't even have Tobey do it, because I would just laugh when he was dancing. I just couldn't help myself. It's so ridiculous. I just couldn't deal with it. And I had to be in a shocked, what's-happened-to-Peter mode. Meanwhile, he's doing all these pelvic twists and thrusts. I couldn't watch Tobey do it anymore. I was just laughing way too much.
Wild About Movies: Having done three of these superhero films, is it disappointing that you don't get to do superhero stuff yourself? Would you like to see more female superheroes in film?
"Kirsten Dunst": Honestly, I have absolutely no interest in being a superhero. I got to throw a cinderblock in this one, which was fine. That's enough action for me. If I were to do any superhero-esque film, I'd do some werewolf, avant-garde in-the-streets-of Paris or something. Like something really cool. Remember that movie with the vampire. "The Lost Boys." Something that's cool like that.
Wild About Movies: What about the Barbarella remake?
"Kirsten Dunst": No, I don't want to wear that outfit. That's too revealing. I don't want to be worrying about wearing a bikini through an entire film.
Wild About Movies: Does your acting process evolve as you work on different movies, such as going from a drama like Marie Antoinette to a comic book movie like Spider-Man?
"Kirsten Dunst": After I did Marie Antoinette, we hardly talked in that movie, it was a very sensorial way of working. It's all about the way the fabrics felt, the way the food tasted and smelled, and how the air felt. I never concentrated so intently on just that. Afterwards, I realized all these things. While I was doing it, I was aware of it, but you can't be too aware of yourself. Then, when I started to work on Spider-Man, I realized all these tools I had that I didn't realize I had before. I learn new things on every movie and so it really helped me in this.
Wild About Movies: Do you ever go over the top because it's a comic book movie? Is it exactly the same kind of acting?
"Kirsten Dunst": For me, yes, except you're in fantastical situations, but I hope I didn't. Did I? It gets sticky when you get to the blue-screen stuff; I just forgive myself for bad acting when it comes to those things. If I'm good in that, it's just incredible, because those things are hard to do. I had no idea what was going to be in the film. And some of those lines are hard to pull off sometimes too.
Wild About Movies: Is there anything you wish Mary Jane could have done in these three films that she didn't. Did you have ideas that were shot down?
"Kirsten Dunst": Yeah, I suggested she shouldn't be in peril in the third one.
Wild About Movies: Do you think your Mary Jane should be with Tobey's "Spiderman?"
"Kirsten Dunst": Right. Hands down, yes.
Wild About Movies: How different has Mary Jane become through the three movies? How different is Kirsten after doing six years of Spiderman?
"Kirsten Dunst": Well, for me, I think on the first movie I was so much younger. I was so much more impressionable and insecure so I didn't have the confidence that I have as an actress today. I cared what people thought and I was performing more for other people instead of myself. We've grown up. With each film, we've become more and more collaborative, and this last one has been three individuals coming together as equal adults collaborating on a film. You're not that when you're a teenager; you've got to grow into that.
Wild About Movies: How controversial do you think the movie Sweet Relief, which you've been signed to, will be?
"Kirsten Dunst": It's about a woman. I don't think it's about Iraq. It's about a woman. What in this 24-year-old girl makes you want to go to Iraq on your own without security and just be there, count bodies, visit orphanages, manipulate soldiers into getting information, all on her own accord. That takes a very brave person and it's kind of a crazy thing to do. I would never put myself in that position. I couldn't imagine doing that. So I think it's more about this woman.
Wild About Movies: What is your next film?
"Kirsten Dunst": It's this movie called "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People." It's based on Toby Young's book. Simon Pegg is the lead.
Wild About Movies: Do you play the obnoxious Brit?
"Kirsten Dunst": Yes.
Wild About Movies: Are you a Vanity Fair writer?
"Kirsten Dunst": Yeah, I work there.
Wild About Movies: Do the two of you have some sort of romance?
"Kirsten Dunst": You'll just have to wait and see.
Wild About Movies: When are you doing it?
"Kirsten Dunst": May, June and July.
Wild About Movies: Have you ever had a similar kind of Mary Jane moment where you have this big opportunity and then it just falls to pieces and you lose it?
"Kirsten Dunst": Of course, I've been so bummed when I haven't gotten a role. That happened when I was younger. Now, I've learned it's probably for the best.
Wild About Movies: What about critics?
"Kirsten Dunst": I've definitely been disappointed. I usually read the New York Times and the LA Times and I've been disappointed before, but now I'm in a place in my life where I really don't care. That's a good feeling.
Wild About Movies: Since you just got back from the Japanese world premiere of Spiderman 3, how are Japanese fans different?
"Kirsten Dunst" The Japanese are very excited about us, but also they're more demure. I went to Universal Studios because we had to open some attraction there. We went on a Spiderman ride afterwards and they screamed at me like I was a rock star. I was like calm down, it's OK. At the premiere, they're very mellow. Even when you're in crowds, you feel like you have your in your own space. They're very respectful of people's space.
Wild About Movies: Who brings out that kind of fan in you?
"Kirsten Dunst": Joni Mitchell. But I wouldn't scream in her face. Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep. Barack Obama, I have a real crush on him. Jon Stewart. There's lots of people.
Wild About Movies: What do you like about Barack?
"Kirsten Dunst": He's such a dashing … I love that he lays it on the table. He already wrote a book, there you go. He's everything you want a president to be, I think.
Wild About Movies: Is there some role you want to do that you haven't had the opportunity to do yet?
"Kirsten Dunst": Yes. I really want to make a Roman Polanski-esque "Repulsion" or "Rosemary's Baby" type of film. But there's nobody making those movies. The Others was the closest you got to it. If I had one dream director, it would be Roman Polanski.
Wild About Movies: What was the hardest or most challenging scene you had to do in this film?
"Kirsten Dunst": Just walking down the stairs in high heels, trying not to fall. And lip-synch.
Wild About Movies: How did you like being a redhead?
"Kirsten Dunst": It was nice. I liked the color. I like the man who did my hair, Manny. He's a real connoisseur. I like that Mary Jane doesn't look perfect, and her hair looks a little too grown out. Manny is very aware of character development. He's very specific and it's nice to have people around you that will let you do your thing but are also very involved and very supportive.
Wild About Movies: Why does the public respond so much to this film?
"Kirsten Dunst": Spiderman is every man. If he can be a hero, you can be a hero. It's always had very relatable story lines in this fantastical world, yet somehow Sam manages to ground it with the people he's cast. That's always attracted really interesting actors to play our villains. It's an international story. Who can't relate to falling in love? Getting into fights with your best friend? Or feeling like your work is killing you? Who can't relate to all these things. So I think that's why.
Wild About Movies: After starting out as a child actor and then continuing to do this so well, was there ever a time when the acting became a different thing for you? As a kid, it might seem very easy or natural, but as you grow older, you realize it's a discipline and requires other kinds of skills.
"Kirsten Dunst": When I was younger I worked with an acting coach, but how else are you going to do "Interview with the Vampire?" You can't do that on instincts. He helped me make things seem different and seem OK when maybe they were scarier to do. I was up for it. I wanted to do it at that age. I enjoyed it; I had a great time on that film but then I definitely have had transitions in my life where not every child actress becomes an adult actor. I continued and enjoyed it. Virgin Suicides was big for me because it showed me in a light where I was a young girl having all these other emotions, not just being the cute kid. Sofia did that in such a poetic way that that opened many doors for me. Then Bring it On was helpful for me. It's kept changing and growing. Marie Antoinette was huge for me. Acting has changed for me. My barometer for what I want to do, for what I want to be a part of, and who I want to work with, has changed. You spend a lot of time working very closely with these people on films. I want to work with good people who I can learn from who are nice people. There are so many different personalities in this business. And it's just not worth it. You can have the best time with the nicest people.
Wild About Movies: Does your celebrity make it difficult for guys to ask you out on a date?
"Kirsten Dunst": Oh, completely. I'd stay away from somebody who's a celebrity. Who wants to be part of that whole thing with pictures being taken. I live a normal life but occasionally there's stuff that's not so fun to deal with. Then that person's not meant for me. I need somebody who can deal with all the aspects of who I am.