EXCLUSIVE Kirsten Dunst/Crazy/Beautiful Interview by Paul Fischer in Los Angeles. At sweet 19, the beautiful Kirsten Dunst is ready to break out of those teen roles that made her a star. Her final teen role is the intense suicidal rich girl in the haunting Crazy/Beautiful. But, as Dunst confessed to Paul Fischer in Los Angeles, this is it. Dunst talks love scenes, Spider-Man and studio politics in this candid discussion.
Kirsten Dunst is all grown up, but there remains a cute girlishness about this most successful of young stars. Still radiant, even in the midst of doing press for her latest film, as Dunst begins to exit her adolescence, she insists that exit is on-screen as well. "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 affect people, but it's definitely my last teen job."
Dunst, who has often been cast as the gleefully optimistic teen in films as varied as "Bring it On" and the her darker, yet acclaimed, "Virgin Suicides", gives an effective performance in this starkly distinctive drama which charts the romance between a rich congressman's daughter, Nicole Oakley (Dunst), and a Latino student from East Los Angeles, Carlos Nunezi (played by newcomer Jay Hernandez). Her attraction to this project was clearly the chance to break out of the stereotypical teen roles with which we are familiar, she explains. "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."
Much has been written about the pressure to cut the film so it would remain palatable for a teen audience. "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."
Part of the changes, so rumour has it, was the toning down of the sex scenes Dunst did in the film. But boy fans expecting nudity from the actress, will forever remain disappointed. "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." She was to be naked in the original script, but is emphatic that a nude scene would not have added anything to the love scene. "Not much at all. It's just trying to make it risky. All that would have happened, was it would have been R-rated and they would have had to cut it out anyway."
Part of retaining what was important for Dunst on this movie, was part of the challenge of making it, she explains. "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."
What Dunst DID enjoy, on this particular film set, was being able to look like a mess. "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," she says laughingly. Ah yes, she prefers the untypical Hollywood look for sure. "I don't like getting all fancied for everyday."
Movie audiences may get to see her dishevelled and depressed in "Crazy/Beautiful", but she was able to escape the intensity of that film "by going off to Berlin, playing Marion Davies and getting all dolled up like the '20s," Dunst's first real adult role. "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 comedienne."
From Marion Davies in her biggest Hollywood film to date: Next year's long-awaited "Spider-Man", a stretch she embraced. "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 "Spider-Man" is going to come out and then I'll be the girl-next-door, Mary Jane, and I'll have to contradict that again."
Though Dunst has appeared in several special-effects films [Jumanji and Small Soldiers come to mind], she says that "Spider-Man was the hardest, though, because there was just so much blue screen and of me 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."
"Spider-Man" remains Dunst's biggest Hollywood film to date, but despite the pressures of making it, comments that "it's a good love story, but it's also his [Spider-Man's] journey. It's good because he's very humanistic. I think people will relate to him a lot. It's a loving character, whom you really feel for, while in a lot of superhero movies, you really don't care about the superhero. "Spider-Man" has so much more to him and so I think it will be good." One of next year's most anticipated films, Dunst happily says that she's not "feeling any pressure. After all, I'M not Spiderman."
It seems that Dunst, a veteran of over 30 films, is never out of work, and she wouldn't have it any other way. "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."
But the actress is finally ready to take a break.
"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."