Al­ways the brides­maid

For once Kirsten Dunst was not cast as the happy, sweet, pretty girl, writes Neala John­son

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - MOVIES - BACH­E­LORETTE Now show­ing Vil­lage Cine­mas Re­view: Next page

KIRSTEN Dunst spent her sum­mer go­ing to wed­dings. ‘‘ I was a brides­maid, a maid of hon­our, went to an­other wed­ding . . . this was def­i­nitely a heavy wed­ding year for me.’’

As her school friends walked one- by- one down the aisle, the 30- year- old claims to have felt no pres­sure to get her own mar­i­tal act to­gether.

‘‘ Not at all, no. All in good time,’’ Dunst says. ‘‘ I’m not wor­ried. When you do worry, when you fix­ate on those things, that’s when it doesn’t hap­pen. Like when you hear about cou­ples who adopt a child and then they get preg­nant, you know? That kind of psy­chol­ogy.

‘‘ When you’re not think­ing about it, that’s when it comes your way.’’

So Dunst is happy to re­main al­ways a brides­maid for now, even in her new movie Bach­e­lorette.

Rid­ing a post- Brides­maids ap­petite for fe­male- led come­dies, Bach­e­lorette is an indie pro­duc­tion fo­cused on three emo­tion­ally stunted women – Dunst, Lizzy Ca­plan and Isla Fisher – who go off the deep end when the fourth wheel of their old high- school gang Becky, the one they called ‘‘ Pig Face’’ ( Rebel Wil­son) is the first to get mar­ried.

Dunst’s Black­Berry- grip­ping, wed­din­gor­gan­is­ing Re­gan is the most dis­tressed that she’s not the one walk­ing down the aisle.

‘‘ I’m not crazy like Re­gan is. Or Type A,’’ Dunst says with a laugh.

In the Bach­e­lorette the girls turn Becky’s sub­dued send- off into a wild night of strip­pers, drugs, sex and a ripped wed­ding dress. As they bat­tle un­til morn­ing to undo the dam­age, the laughs are laced with some heavy is­sues, from bu­limia to abor­tion.

‘‘ We got to talk about a lot of things that on a male set you don’t get to talk about,’’ says Dunst of the fe­male- dom­i­nated set, led by writer- di­rec­tor Leslye Head­land.

‘‘ Isla and Lizzy and Rebel, I re­spect them as ac­tresses and I love their per­son­al­i­ties. So for me it was very easy. It was a very sup­port­ive set but also re­ally fun, too.’’

Dunst says it was re­fresh­ing to not be play­ing the happy, sweet, pretty girl. ‘‘ Not that I only play those roles, I did Melan­cho­lia be­fore so it’s not like I was play­ing some nice . . . you know,’’ she laughs.

‘‘ But you don’t very of­ten get to play women who are like this. It usu­ally takes a fe­male writer to write this kind of ma­te­rial for a woman be­cause men don’t want to see women in this light, or they don’t know how to write it.’’

Dunst has been given great roles by fe­males be­fore – Sofia Cop­pola’s The Vir­gin Sui­cides and Marie An­toinette are among her most loved ones – but says a ca­reer in films is dif­fi­cult no mat­ter what your gen­der.

‘‘ There are so many dif­fer­ent paths you choose as an ac­tress. You could have a ca­reer where it’s mostly fo­cused on your van­ity or a ca­reer where it’s mostly fo­cused on your com­edy skills or your dra­matic skills,’’ she says. So what path is Dunst on? ‘‘ Well, I started act­ing so young . . . I’m not af­fected, I don’t think, as much as some­one who is start­ing out now. I’m not a vain ac­tress,’’ she says.

Shouldn’t Dunst have gone off the rails by now? ‘‘ I have a good fam­ily,’’ she laughs.

‘‘ I def­i­nitely think this in­dus­try can make peo­ple weird, but it’s up to you to not let it.’’

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