American actress and model
Kirsten Caroline Dunst (born April 30, 1982) is an American actress and model. She gained recognition for her role as child vampire Claudia in the horror film Interview with the Vampire (1994), which earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She also had roles in her youth in Little Women (1994) and the fantasy films Jumanji (1995) and Small Soldiers (1998).
In the late 1990s, Dunst transitioned to leading roles in a number of teen films, including the political satire Dick and the Sofia Coppola-directed drama The Virgin Suicides (both 1999). In 2000, she starred in the lead role in the cheerleading film Bring It On, which has become a cult classic. She gained further wide attention for her role as Mary Jane Watson in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man (2002) and its sequels Spider-Man 2 (2004) and Spider-Man 3 (2007). Her career progressed with a supporting role in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), followed by a lead role in Cameron Crowe's tragicomedy Elizabethtown (2005), and as the title character in Coppola's Marie Antoinette (2006).
In 2011, Dunst starred as a depressed newlywed in Lars von Trier's science fiction drama Melancholia, which earned her the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress. In 2015, she played Peggy Blumquist in the second season of the FX series Fargo, which earned Dunst a Primetime Emmy Award nomination. She then had a supporting role in the film Hidden Figures (2016) and leading ones in The Beguiled (2017), and the black comedy series On Becoming a God in Central Florida (2019), for which she received a third Golden Globe nomination.
In 2021, she earned her fourth Golden Globe nomination for her role as Rose Gordon in Western psychological drama film The Power of the Dog.
New YorkNew York vintage is too expensive!
Acting workActors about themselvesAs an actress, there's a lot of waiting. You wait for a script to come in that you want to do. You get to a point where you decide that if you want good things to be made, you're going to have to start making them yourself as an actress. You can't just wait around for it. But you can also just enjoy the breaks, and use them to kind of refuel. I've been working so long at this point that I don't mind the breaks. I think they make me better, actually.
DivorceActors about themselvesMarriageI can't imagine having a real personal thing, like divorce and marriage, all those things, being in the public eye. I try to not talk about anything personal, and then nobody has the fire to throw back at you, like 'You said this back then!'
Actors about themselvesWhen I go away to do a movie, I bring the blanket I've had since I was a little girl. It helps me sleep. I also always bring my laptop so I can E-mail friends. And I bring my dog, Beauty, wherever I can.
ConfidenceActors about their rolesActors about themselvesI've always had a process that I do before I even get to set or go to the location. I work privately, and it almost feels like therapy between me and who I'm playing. So I have this inner life that's there and it gives me a confidence, too, that when I'm playing the role I know every question.
ConfidenceConfidence is very sexy. You could be not cute at all and have such confidence.
The best scripts I read are usually pretty - they move really quickly, there's not a lot of exposition in between all of what's happening, so you can really just flow with the lines, and you're reading and it has a momentum and you understand it emotionally.
I get to do all these crazy things in the movies. I'm a pretty chilled out person, actually... a very mellow person.
I think everyone wants for their kids the good things that they had.
Like, a lot of people I know are wanting to get back to the Earth in some way and not raise their kids in this world of Apps and Internet all the time. I grew up on a river in New Jersey and I was in fantasy land. I could do anything.
I mean look at Antichrist. He's not making films to be liked by everyone, so why is this so surprising coming from Lars von Trier?
I'm not someone who plays a part for the press junket.
I don't think that this movie is the kind of movie that a magazine like In Touch even cares about, if you know what I mean. It's a Lars von Trier film. They care about Moneyball, not Melancholia. They care about what I wear to Melancholia premieres; they don't really care about a Lars von Trier film.
I live in New York now and most of magazines have turned more towards reality stars. So, really I think that's great because it's turned towards people who want it rather than... So, I think it's actually kind of imploding in on itself a little bit.
I don't really want to talk about my personal experience. It's something that I have talked about just because it came out in the press but I've tried to navigate the waters in my own comfort-ability.
It's interesting to watch people go through it in something like this. I mean, what other then Melancholia films do they portray depression in?
I like to think that death gives life meaning. I like that philosophy.
I'm not someone who is scared of doing things out of the box.
Lars von Trier is not not somebody who is known for conducting a normal press conference ever!
I can't watch my movies and get into them because as soon as I see myself I get taken out of the film.
I've learned to do a movie and then not be in that place for a long time.
To be in someone's favorite film is just - that's what you want. You want to be in great films that are memorable.
Charlotte Rampling is someone I've wanted to work with for a very long time. I've always looked up to her as an actress and it's a reason why I feel brave to do a film like Melancholia. So, to me she's the ultimate.
I think you either get along with Lars [von Trier] or you really don't and I really got along with him. I wasn't scared because I talked to Bryce Dallas Howard about Lars.
I was allowed to have an imagination rather than a need to be entertained all the time by television or computers or anything like that. So, I think it's helpful to try and give your kids.
A singer is someone who puts out an album. That's a very generous description.
I really just enjoy listening to talk [to John Hurt and Charlotte Rampling]... not even about acting or anything. It's interesting because I felt really connected to all these people very easily. They're all very open emotionally, like we're in the scene together, so you never feel like anyone's acting.
It's nice when the movie is not on your shoulders, too. It's fun to do a smaller part sometimes.
I would love to play Marlene Dietrich in a movie. My dad's from Germany and so I feel like that would be a really interesting person to play.
I was always in and out of school. What I learned in high school is that female friendships are so much more important than worrying about having a boyfriend or looking good or things like that. I had such a good girlfriend growing up that we didn't need anything. We had such a creative world of our own imagination together. For me, if I have a child, I would say, "I hope you find a best friend that makes it so you don't really need much but each other." Learning about that type of friendship and trust is one of the best things I ever got out of school.
I'm not a very 'this is planned out' person when I get to set. 'This is how I'm going to do it' - I'm never like that.
It's weird doing red carpets; it's uncomfortable. But you can have a sense of humor about it.
Most people ask me questions based on a previous interview. That's not an interview. It's like they're just saying my quotes back to me.
My grandmother lives with my mother in a gorgeous house in the San Fernando Valley. I am afforded these luxuries, and I'm very young.
My mother told me that when I was born a wave of feeling came over her. She just knew that I was destined to be an actress.
The filmmaker is really important to me: it could be their first film; it's not just about their reputation, but I have to really believe in them.
Doing 'All Good Things' really felt like I was acting for myself rather than anyone else. It gave me a freedom I'd never had before, or knew I had, to do whatever I want to, and to argue my opinions and not just feel like the cute girl on set or the girl in a boy's club. I figured out how I could be both. And it's been different ever since.
When I'm working, I always listen to music to zone everyone else out.
When I was younger, I always did movies that teenagers would watch, not adults. I did 'Crazy/Beautiful' or comedies like 'Bring It On.'
I don't really relate to myself as The Girl in the Magazine. Which is dangerous for me, too, sometimes, because I don't think all the time, 'Well, look to see if people are following me home.' Sometimes I'm a little bit more free than maybe I should be.
When you spend your entire life as a child actress, being told where to go and where to stand, you're performing constantly for people. It definitely breeds the kind of person who's dependent on other people's approval.
When you have a beanpole body, everything looks cute. Like Alexa Chung. I like her style, but she's really tall and skinny, so everything looks good on her.
When I was little, I put on plays for my family at Sunday dinner, and I would direct them and have all my cousins, my brother, and my best friends in it. I was a very imaginative and theatrical child and wasn't afraid of being in front of a camera. It was like make-believe to me.
On every film I do, whenever there are other girls my age, I think it's definitely up to me to set the pace. That's because I've had a lot of experience and I think there's always a certain amount of professionalism that should be maintained. If I was catty or whatever, it would just make the whole shoot unpleasant. And what's the point of that?
In high school I had a boyfriend who was super into rap, so I was into Too $hort and Wu-Tang for a little while. And my best friend's older brother would sometimes drive us home in this pimped-out truck, and he'd play all his dirty rap music. We thought we were really cool.
If I'd trusted myself and listened to myself all the times that I ignored myself, I would have been fine. But everyone has to learn their lesson, and now I've got it.
I've been lucky to find people who want to work with me, whom I respect and like, but the truth is there aren't that many good projects out there. And we make way, way too many movies. So it's not always going to happen with every project. But I try and wait it out.
I'm a person who likes to hang out. I would never go on a blind date. That sounds like the most uncomfortable thing on the planet earth. It's like, 'Hi. Nice to meet you. So, what kind of music do you like?' Date ended.
I would love to work with Quentin Tarantino - he's my number one. My ultimate. I would love to work with Paul Thomas Anderson, Alexander Payne - Pedro Almodovar wouldn't be too shabby. There are so many good directors, but those are some of my favorites.
I was a very extrovert kid. It felt normal to me to act. I always went to regular schools. I've never been catty or a prima donna, so I never had problems. I always had my seat at the cafeteria when I came back from acting.
I was a big Guns N' Roses fan when I was seven. My friend who lived across the street had long dark curly hair and I had long blonde hair, so I'd dress up as Axl and she'd be Slash, and we'd rock out in front of the mirror singing 'Patience.'
I think the best thing about my job is that I have my life documented, which not many people get to have. They have a photo here and there and maybe some video footage from a birthday. My kids will be able to see me growing up.
When I have time off, my friends and I will go to Universal Studios, the movies, out to eat, and shopping. I'm happiest when I'm just hanging out with my friends... it really doesn't matter what we do.
I really want to do a film in another language. My dad's from Germany, so it'd be really cool to do a film in German. I'm not quite fluent, but I can get there. And my accent's pretty good. I wouldn't feel too out of my element.
When you're little, you're open to things. It's not like you get into this rehearsed zone when you're a child. At first you play different sides of yourself. And I think it will be really exciting one day to have a character to go into that's not anything like me whatsoever.
I'm always looking for that movie that feels like it's hitting me where I need it.
I hate red carpet photographs!
I don't want to be 'box-office girl,' but I don't want to be 'that indie girl' either.
I don't think roles help you resolve your issues. I just think they're good markers.
I don't live in the spotlight, and I don't live my life in front of the paparazzi. I live very comfortably and quietly as possible.
I don't find I'm manic at all. I'm very chill.
I built my entire career off of teen comedies. I was in 'Bring It On'.
Everyone goes through a hard time in their life.
Everybody has a mean streak in them, don't they?
Being an actress doesn't make you popular in school.
I feel very lucky that I don't have to rely on a man to give me financial security. That's a big deal.
What are you going to do if it's the end of the world? You better go out having fun instead of stressing about it.
I have gotten so many tickets. I hope I don't get my license revoked.
I can't wait to have kids one day. I want to have kids and a farm with lots of animals on a lake.
I just don't want to be the damsel in distress. I'll scream on the balcony, but you've got to let me do a little action here.
I'd like to be taller. I'd like my baby fat to leave.
I would have loved to have been in a Hitchcock movie.
I would always rather do a mediocre script with a great filmmaker than a great script with a mediocre filmmaker.
I was a very imaginative and theatrical child and wasn't afraid of being in front of a camera.
I want to play an action hero. I'm ready for roles that totally aren't me.