Kirsten Dunst dot Org » Blog Archive » Kirsten Dunst Is In Control

John / January 16th, 2022

When Kirsten Dunst was in her early 20s, the director Jane Campion sent her a letter proposing that they collaborate. It took roughly two decades, but the pair linked up—and in a turn of events they’d never have foreseen back then, they did so with Dunst’s fiancé, fellow actor Jesse Plemons. The end result is The Power of the Dog, and Dunst’s performance in it just might lead to what would somehow be a first for the 39-year-old actor: an Oscar. For W’s Best Performances issue, she reveals the secret to acting drunk and revisits that legendary Spider-Man kiss.

Had you met Jane Campion before The Power of the Dog?
She wrote me a letter when I was in my early 20s about working with each other on [an adaptation of] this Alice Munro short story called “Runaway.” It never came to fruition, but I kept the letter in my phone. Jane and I actually have the same birthday, so it was destiny, I guess. She’s always been one of my favorite filmmakers. When the script came in, it came to Jesse [Plemons], my partner, first. Before he read it, I was like, “You need to do this movie. You need to be in a Jane Campion movie.” So, that’s how it came about. First, Jesse got the role.

Did you have to audition?
No, I didn’t audition. [Campion] really loved [the 2011 Lars von Trier film] Melancholia a lot. She’d joke, like, “Just be as good as you were in Melancholia.” And I was like, “Okay, Jane. It’s a totally different character, but I’ll just try my best.”

Your character, Rose, quickly unravels. She begins to drink to cope with an increasingly difficult situation. Was it hard to pretend to be drunk?
There are a lot of different phases in her drinking. At first, it’s courage, and then it gets very bad. It takes her to this place of being this little girl who just wants to be loved. People who are drunk try not to talk drunk. It’s a little mix of music, a little mix of my own personal experiences with drunk people and how they are. For scenes where I had to be really stumbly, I’d spin a bunch in circles before action and close my eyes so I would feel off-balance. That’s a trick that Allison Janney taught me [on the set of] Drop Dead Gorgeous. It makes you feel out of control in your body, which is perfect for playing drunk.

It’s such an interesting transition, because Rose goes from being so capable to losing her bearings. To me, it felt like such a statement about how people can do you in.
Yeah. I totally understand that feeling. It’s a place where you’re feeling vulnerable, where people can influence you and infiltrate your brain in such a way that is so dangerous for your psyche. And that’s what happens to Rose. But, yes, in the beginning she runs her own inn. She’s a widow, and she runs it with her son. So, all those things of cooking and cleaning and making a beautiful table and keeping an inn running, that’s her pride and what gives her purpose in life. And when she goes to the ranch, she doesn’t have to do any of that stuff—those creature comforts that give you purpose are stripped away from her. She’s not doing the things she’s most comfortable doing, and then she’s slowly being gaslit by my partner’s brother [played by Benedict Cumberbatch].

Yes, that evil Mr. Burbank who calls your partner “fatso.” It’s so mean.
I know. He calls me “fat face,” too, which was not nice. [Laughs] That was an improvised line, though.

Were you always committed to acting? You started when you were so young.
I was committed, but there was a point where I was like, the way I’m doing this isn’t exciting to me anymore. My process [stopped being] fulfilling. And then I switched it up. I took a script to a bunch of different acting teachers, and I found one who I really love working with—who changed acting to something I do for myself rather than for anyone else. It made it personal, and it made it exciting. It was all about looking inward and satisfying yourself in your [own] creativity.

You were the first person I knew to join the Marvel universe, which I’ve always admired—I think it was brave at the time. Now it’s almost like doing Hamlet or something.
That’s really funny.

Was it a big decision for you to do Spider-Man?
Not at all. I auditioned, and then Tobey [Maguire] and Sam [Raimi] and all the producers came to Berlin to screen-test me at this hotel. And I just knew that Sam [the director] was going to do something special. It felt like an indie. Just these choices Sam was making, like casting Tobey—he had only been in Wonder Boys and The Cider House Rules at the time—and Willem Dafoe. He set the tone for hiring really interesting actors for these Marvel movies.

And of course, there was the famous kiss. Did you feel like it was going to be a famous kiss at the time?
I did not feel like it was a famous kiss because Tobey was… Water was getting up his nose because of the rain, and then he couldn’t breathe in the Spider-Man suit, and then… And it just felt very late at night. I didn’t think about it that way. But the way it was presented to me, Sam gave me this book of famous kisses, so that made me realize how romantic and special Sam wanted this to be. Even though it wasn’t necessarily feeling that way with Tobey hanging upside down.

And now it’s in every montage of famous kisses.
Well, I’m proud to be a part of that.

It’s a good kiss.
Yeah. It looked like a great kiss.

Lynn Hirschberg, W Magazine

Welcome, Fans

Welcome to Kirsten-Dunst.Org, the original and largest Kirsten Dunst fansite. In a career on film and television that spans the last four decades, Kirsten has made a name for herself with memorable performances in Interview with the Vampire, Fargo, The Virgin Suicides, the Spider-Man franchise, Wimbledon, Melancholia and many many more.

Proud to be the flagship Fansite for The Fan Carpet, Kirsten-Dunst[dot]Org and our gallery site have been online for over 20 years, we have been lucky enough to meet Kirsten in person and she is as warm, kind and beautiful as you see on screen.

The site is home to over 75,000 photos. John, Jess & Marc will continue to update you with all things Kirsten Dunst. Enjoy your visit and check back with us soon!

Next Up for Kirsten
Release Date: 2025
Also Starring: Haley Ramm, Charlie McDermott
Directed by Charlie McDermott, Sara Rejaie.
Plot under wraps. IMDB Photos Trailer COMING SOON

Civil War
Release Date: April 12 2024
Also Starring: Wagner Moura, Cailee Spaeny
Directed by Alex Garland.
Plot under wraps. IMDB Photos Trailer

Hank the Cowdog
Podcast series
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jesse Plemons
Hank the Cowdog, the self-declared "Head of Ranch Security," finds himself smack dab in the middle of a host of tangled mysteries and capers that span the universe of the Texas Panhandle cattle ranch Hank calls home. Hank is joined on these tail-wagging, tongue-slobbering adventures by a motley assemblage of characters, not least of which is his less-than trusty sidekick, Drover, a small but uncourageous mutt. Listen in as Hank the Cowdog always claims to know the answer, is the last to realize he doesn't, but is the first to run headlong into tales of courage, loyalty, and friendship.
IMDb Updates Photos Trailer
Latest Photos

Find these photos and 75,000+ more,
over in the Image Gallery

Let’s Chat About It
Spotlight Video
The Fan Carpet: Fansites Network
Site Information
  • Newsletter : Latest
  • Support : Donate
  • Founder: Jess [ email ]
  • Webmasters -: John, Marc & Jess
  • Special Thanks : To The Fans
  • Since : February 1998
  • Currently :  Fans Online
  • Hosted by: The Fan Carpet