Kirsten Dunst on being sensitive.
This is your third time round with Sofia Coppola. You worked on her first film, 1999’s The Virgin Suicides, and headlined Marie Antoinette in 2006. Away from the set, are you two close? We’ve grown up together; I would say like sisters. On The Virgin Suicides, she saw the lightest and the darkest side of me. She saw that I was sad, that I was a woman, that I was scared to be in that movie... she saw all of those things and just let me be my truest self. When she offered you The Beguiled, did you even bother reading the script? You know what? I would do anything for Sofia. So for me it wasn’t like, “I need to do this role.” Literally, [she] could be like, “Here’s the phone book. We’re going to make a movie about this phone book,” and I would do the movie. You’re co-starring with Nicole Kidman and Elle Fanning. And this is a remake of a 1971 film that starred Clint Eastwood. Does it feel like a feminist take on this story? Well for me, it’s just nice to see actresses working together. You don’t even get to see that very often, I don’t think. We’re an all-female cast, except for Colin [Farrell]. He was a good sport about it, but he’s very objectified in this movie! Do you find it hard to let go of the characters you play after shooting wraps? Some roles, it’s a little harder. But also, it’s hard in general. You make a movie and you’re with all these people for a period of time – for a month or two – and it can be intense. You see these people at six in the morning, you’re getting your make-up done, eating… you get very close very quickly. And then it’s just cut off. That’s hard. You never see some people again, despite having formed such intense relationships. You turned to TV for the second season of Fargo, which was clearly a smart decision – it drew you plenty of acclaim. What made you want to try the small screen in the first place? TV is so good now. People watch TV – that’s the way everything is going. Look at Netflix. And people make movies for streaming now… it’s so different. But I’ll admit the adjustment was hard for me. I was like, “Do I want to do TV?” Then I was like, “Of course. This is an incredible show, and the character is amazing.” You also meet your fiancé, actor Jesse Plemons, on the show. Do you have strong feelings on the institution, one way or another? I don’t think we need to get married. For me, it’s so up to the individual or the couple to make that choice. Is it true that before meeting Jesse, you were living with your mother and grandmother? I was. But I haven’t been there for about six years. I’m very family oriented. I still live quite near to my family. Very sadly, my grandmother has since passed away. But Mum’s still close to me. Your mother was an air hostess for Lufthansa. Before you turned to acting, did you ever think of joining her in the skies? No, I never wanted
“We’re an all-female cast, except for Colin Farrell… He’s very objectified in this movie!”
to become a stewardess when I was younger. But she had some great stories. Her and her girlfriends would eat the beluga caviar that was left behind on the plane and drink the champagne! She told me once that this man was really rude to her, so she just decided to send his bag to a different destination. In May, you took The Beguiled to Cannes – which is notoriously famous for its testy audiences. Do you prefer watching yourself onscreen alone, or with a huge crowd that may or may not like what they are seeing? I’ll watch a movie once – then I’m done. My fiancé was with me [in Cannes], so we had fun. I’m OK when I’m watching my movies if the people I love are around me and we can laugh about it. But really, watching my own work is like watching a personal documentary – I just end up sitting there and thinking about all the other stuff that happened on the set that day. Do film reviews matter to you, particularly the ones you receive from your loved ones? Oh yeah. You always have conversations with your guy. I care what [Jesse] thinks. My mum watched the movie, and my friends have, too. Of course I care. Of course. Are all your hobbies as refined as your career choices? Museums, opera, that kind of thing? No! I like bad television. I watch really bad things. I nurture myself with television and pasta. Food, friends, TV… I live very simply. I like staying in. I’m a homebody. Pasta is not part of the A-list diet. How do you keep in such good shape? That’s kind of you. I’m actually very bad. Even before Cannes, I was like, “I’m going to get good for Cannes!” I didn’t eat bread for a few days, and then it all went bad on the plane. I just cannot diet, so I don’t. You seem to wear your heart on your sleeve – you have been open about seeking treatment for depression and, when posing for photos with your The Beguiled co-stars on the red carpet at Cannes, you burst into tears. Do you consider yourself an optimist? Do you believe in people? Do I believe in people? That sounds so corny! Any time you talk about stuff like that, it never translates well. But… I do, it’s true. I’m spiritual, I’m sensitive. A conscious mind is very powerful. You think about somebody, then you get an email from them. In the end, we’re all so connected.
The Beguiled is in cinemas nationwide on July 13.
``I´m spiritual, I´m sensitive. a conscious mind is very powerful´´