Q&A

ac­tor

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - In­ter­view by JAMES MOT­TRAM

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´´

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