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Kirsten Dunst, the guest on this episode of The Hollywood Reporter‘s Awards Chatter podcast, is an outstanding actress who is just 39, but has been doing great work for some 30 years already. She became a child star thanks to a remarkable performance opposite Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in Neil Jordan’s 1994 film Interview with the Vampire, garnering her first Golden Globe nomination at the age of 12.
Soon thereafter, she began leading a double-life, becoming a teen idol through films like 2000’s Bring It On and the original Spider-Man trilogy, which rolled out in 2002, 2004 and 2007, while also earning critical acclaim for the first two of her three collaborations with Sofia Coppola, 1999’s The Virgin Suicides and 2006’s Marie Antoinette. After a bit of a hiatus, she returned as a full-fledged adult on screens big and small, winning the Cannes Film Festival’s best actress prize for Lars von Trier’s Melancholia in 2011 and Golden Globe nominations for her work as the leads of two TV series, FX’s Fargo in 2015 and Showtime’s On Becoming a God in Central Florida in 2019. But never has her work been better received than it was in 2021, when she played Rose, a woman in the Old West who is tormented by her troubled brother-in-law, in Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog, for which she has garnered best supporting actress Golden Globe, SAG and Critics Choice award nominations, with an Oscar nomination likely to follow.
Over the course of our conversation, Dunst reflects on the pros and cons of child stardom, and why she credits Coppola with helping her to successfully transition into grown-up parts; why she has always resisted efforts to turn her into a more conventional movie star, from refusing to have her teeth fixed to shunning opportunities to play romantic leads outside of the Spider-Man franchise; why she is particularly proud to be associated with Campion and The Power of the Dog, in which her real-life husband, Jesse Plemons, plays her onscreen husband, as he did when they first met while shooting the second season of Fargo; and much more.
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