She’s sweet 19 now and all grown up as can be seen by her latest movie crazy/beautiful. Funny, sweet and honest, Dunst spoke to Paul Fischer in Los Angeles, about a range of subjects, including Spiderman, nudity and what she insists is her last teen movie.
Question: Was the attraction of crazy/beautiful that it gave you the chance to break out of the teen roles that audiences are used to seeing you in?
Answer: Well, I think that Bring It On was such a success that I wanted to contradict that. I had The Virgin Suicides before that, but I just wanted a younger person’s movie that wasn’t some cheesy romance and was more realistic, and was a role where I could just be a slob and a mess, which I’m surprised that the studio even let me do. They cut a lot of stuff out, but it’s funny what stuff they let us get away with.
Question: Was the pressure to get a PG-13 rating a surprise to you?
Answer: I don’t think the script was anything like the movie we made. The whole script was much more wholesome and sweet. I’m surprised that the studio even let us go where we did, but that s what I knew John Stockwell (the director) wanted to do and I was so ready to do something like that. People are afraid to make movies like that, especially for younger people.
Question: Is it more challenging to look like a mess or is it more work to get all made up?
Answer: Oh, believe me, it was the best thing. I’d go in and out of hair and make-up in 10 minutes in the morning. My call time was at 7 instead of 6, in comparison to Spiderman where I had a wig and all this make-up on, it was ridiculous. There was all this make-up and hair and looking like the Cute girl. I liked looking like a mess. (Laughs)
Question: Do you prefer that?
Answer: Not prefer that, but like casual, yeah, definitely. I don’t like getting all fancied for everyday.
Question: What was the toughest thing about making this movie? Was it the more intimate moments?
Answer: No, I think that the challenge was really just fighting for keeping stuff in the film that people wanted to take out or soften. We even had to do some re-shoots because they wanted my character to be more redeeming, but it was the role. You don’t like Nicole in the beginning and that s the whole point, that you don’t like her, but studios are so afraid sometimes. I’m happy they let us go where we went, but the most challenging for me was probably staying in that emotional depressed mode all the time. It was just so draining to go in and out every day. I’d take that home with me and I noticed myself even being different to my family. It’s just icky, but I wanted to do it.
Question: Did you stay up late because you looked really tired?
Answer: I get circles under my eyes because I’m really fair, but I always get tired when I’m working. It was good. It was better for me that I stayed up late.
Question: What did you do to get out of that funk at the end of the shoot?
Answer: I went off to Berlin and played Marion Davies [In The Cat’s Meow] and got all dolled up like the 20s.
Question: Can you talk a little bit about that?
Answer: That was an amazing experience. It was my first really adult role. I played 27 in the movie. It was so much fun researching Marion Davies. What a cool woman to portray? Nobody’s done her justice in the past, so I hope my portrayal will enlighten people’s perspective. She really was a great comedian.
Question: She wasn’t such a good singer, though.
Answer: Not a good singer, but we don’t concentrate on that, even though they made me sing a little song for the end credits. It’s cute. It was cool.
Question: Who’s in that?
Answer: Edward Hermann, who s such an amazing actor, and Eddie Izzard, and he’s awesome, and we had Joanna Lumley, who’s from Absolutely Fabulous.
Question: And then to go from that to Spiderman, it’s like one extreme to another.
Answer: Well, that’s what I want to do. I want to not be pigeonholed as anything and make sure that I stay diversified because then Spiderman is going to come out, then I’ll be the girl-next-door, Mary Jane, and I’ll have to contradict that.
Question: Was Spiderman your first movie with special effects?
Answer: No way; Jumanji, man, and Small Soldiers. To act when nothing’s there and be screaming at things that aren’t there… Spiderman was the hardest, though, because that was just so much blue screen and of screaming to myself. They put me through more torture than they put Tobey [Maguire] through. I was doing more stunts than he was because you see my face, so you can’t really hide me. You can hide behind a mask anyone who you want to Hide behind that mask, but me, I was out in the open and I had to do everything.
Question: That has to be one of your biggest films, right?
Answer: Yeah, since Vampire.
Question: How s Spiderman coming? Is it done yet?
Answer: It’s done, finally. I don’t bet on it, but…
Question: Is there a good relationship between your character and Tobey’s?
Answer: It’s a good love story, but it’s also his journey. It’s good because he s very humanistic. I think people will relate to him a lot. It ‘s a loving character and you really feel for him and in a lot of [other] superhero movies, you really don’t care about the superhero. Spiderman has so much more to him and so I think it will be good.
Question: Is there a lot of pressure on you because you’re a part of the film?
Answer: I don’t feel any pressure. I’m not Spiderman. (Laughs)
Question: Did you get injured at all during filming?
Answer: No. We had the best stunt guys. I was hanging from wires and being dropped and doing all that kind of stuff, and it was a lot of fun, but I never felt like I was in danger.
Question: Was there ever a time when you were hanging there that you thought: What the hell am I doing ?
Answer: Oh, my god, yeah. The best was when I had to sit in this chair, facing up with the camera about my head, and wiggle my arms and hands and just scream at the camera. It’s so ridiculous. You feel like such an idiot. The crew is all standing around you and everything is blue around you and here you are supposedly falling. You just feel like such an idiot sometimes.
Question: Are you through with playing a teenager now?
Answer: Definitely. I’m done. That s it. Hopefully, Crazy/Beautiful will be an intelligent film for teenagers because I think that so many of them have no substance. Hopefully, it will make people think and effect people, but it’s definitely my last teen job.
Question: Do you have a no nudity clause with the films you do?
Answer: Yeah, I’m always very careful about that, definitely.
Question: Wasn’t this film supposed to have your first nude scene?
Answer: No. It was in the script, but I would never do that and they knew that.
Question: And why wouldn’t you?
Answer: I don’t feel comfortable with that. I have younger people watching my films and I want to be a good role model and I don’t think it’s necessary, either, and it’s tasteless, for me, for a girl my age to be doing that in a film. I don’t think it’s right.
Question: What do you think that scene might have done to the overall dynamic of the movie if it had been left in?
Answer: Not much at all. It’s just trying to make it risky. It would have been R and they would have had to cut it out anyway.
Question: But there were more scenes of your character drinking?
Answer: There was a lot more of that.
Question: Do you think that would have made the film more effective or do you think it’s effective the way it is now?
Answer: I think it’s effective because you can clearly see that we’re wasted. To me, it’s so weird how [the rating s board] critics things. [In order to] get the rating,] they can look like they re drunk and they can hold a bottle of alcohol, but they can’t sip from it. It’s so ridiculous. They just cut around us taking every sip and we’re still wasted and we still have a bottle in our hands. I don’t understand their whole mentality, but whatever.
Question: Can you talk about working with Jay Hernandez?
Answer: Jay was also so professional and talented. It was his first film and I was so surprised because he really had his stuff together. I’made him feel at ease a little bit in the beginning because he was nervous.
Question: He said that he thought you might be a diva.
Answer: I know. I could tell. When I first met him, he was already stand-offish and I was like, Oh, god, I’m just a normal girl.
Question: He mentioned that he thought you might be jaded having been in the business for so long. How do you avoid being jaded?
Answer: I just have good friends.
Question: You re an ‘It’ Girl now, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Answer: I know, it’s so silly, huh? I’mean ‘It’ Girl one year and then the next year, I’m something else.
Question: And you were the Maxim girl too.
Answer: Oh, yeah.
Question: What did that do right after that cover came out?
Answer: It’s something that I thought was a smart career choice and it helped with Bring it On, but that s in my past now and I won’t be doing any more of those. I did that, I’m done with that. It helped show me as: Look, Kirsten’s grown up. I’m done.
Question: No Playboy in your future?
Answer: Oh, god, no.
Question: You did a great job with the MTV Movie Awards. How was that experience for you?
Answer: It was so much fun. Jimmy Fallon is such a cool guy. He’s so sweet. We just had so much fun. It was like two kids at play. It was such a laid-back, cool atmosphere. I was so nervous to do the show, at first, but then, when I started getting into it and the day of the show. Now, I’m not nervous at all to do live TV. I did Jay Leno like two days later and I was fine. I had never been so comfortable.
Question: Do you want to do more independent work, like with The Virgin Suicides ? Are you going to pursue that?
Answer: I want to do both. I want to do everything. I love doing independent films, but I like to do bigger films that are good too.
Question: What else is on your agenda?
Answer: Nothing right now.
Question: Are you taking a break?
Question: You have been working non-stop for a number of years now?
Answer: But that s how I like it. People always tell me, Don’t work so much, but I can’t help it. I feel like all the things I’ve done are important to get to this adult stage now and now I’m getting all these adult offers, so it’s working. Now, I’m going to be more careful and just take time off and be very selective now.
Question: What are you going to be doing during this down-time?
Answer: I want to take a lot of vacations. I went to Oregon and went river rafting. I’m going to Maui soon with my family soon and my friend. I don’t know what else I’ll do.