It’s been two years since we’ve seen Kirsten Dunst on the big screen.
“I haven’t had a film come out in a while, but I feel like that’s a good thing,” says the actress who has been working since age 8 — and who, in 2008, spent about a month at Cirque Lodge treatment center for depression. “I needed to take a break. I moved to New York. I was living a normal life, and I think it’s important to keep that balance — otherwise, there’s no time for yourself and figuring things out in your 20s, like you do.”
Last week, she re-emerged in “All Good Things,” a haunting indie inspired by the bizarre true story of New York real estate heir Robert Durst, whose wife, Kathie, went missing in 1982 and was never found. Durst was the lead suspect in her murder.
For her raw performance as the sweet, lively Kathie — who goes from having a fairy-tale romance to realizing she is married to a monster — Dunst is receiving tons of buzz and praise.
“I’ve never been so vulnerable in a film before,” she says. “I feel like I showed myself the most.”
And that intimate experience seems to have reaffirmed her love for acting. She’s even back in the studio. Next up, she’ll star in Lars von Trier’s “Melancholia,” followed by Juan Diego Solanas’ “Upside Down” and Walter Salles’ “On the Road,” based on Jack Kerouac’s classic.
“I’m so stoked to have these great projects,” says Dunst. Only, this time around, the 28-year-old Hollywood veteran is doing it on her own terms. “I’m willing to wait until something I’m really gung-ho for. Hey, if it takes six months to find the next film, I’ll wait. I’m not just going to do a movie to do a movie.”
Why the break?
“I needed some perspective on [Hollywood], and I needed to move,” says Dunst. “It gets overwhelming. Everyday, paparazzi are parked outside my mom’s house. They follow us, and they don’t even use the pictures they’re so boring. But they still follow me. So I needed to just do my own thing.”
What kind of research did you do for the role?
“[Director] Andrew [Jarecki] put together a documentary of interviews with all the people that were willing to talk to him, neighbors, etc. so that really helped us get a feel for what it was like — but it was so haunting in the beginning, to hear about the songs she listened to when she was going through a hard time.”
Did you talk to her family?
“I talked to her brother and went to dinner at their house, and I talked to who would have been her niece as well. I didn’t want [to portray Kathie] as a victim, because she was a really smart woman. I wanted her choices to come out of a need for survival even though it was a difficult situation.”
What do you believe really happened?
“Well first of all, it’s a fact that [Robert Durst] chopped up a body and got off on self-defense, which I don’t know how anyone could get off on self-defense when you’ve chopped up a body and thrown it in [the] water. In terms of Kathie’s disappearance, why wouldn’t the family be looking for their daughter-in-law? Why would he tell his father, ‘now it’s time to get every cop in New York, let’s find her.’ They had all the money in the world, and that was his wife. Of course that’s what would have happened if he didn’t kill her.”
Kirsten Dunst has literally grown up in front of the camera; from her debut in Oedipus Wrecks directed by Woody Allen in 1989 to playing Claudia in Interview with the Vampire in 1994 with her appearance in Little Women, Kirsten finally marked her place in Hollywood with the Spider-Man movies.
The actor is now back at work in All Good Things opposite Ryan Gosling. The film opens in the United States on Friday and has been inspired by the notorious 1982 missing person’s case in New York city centering around the wealthy Durst family.
Dunst spoke to Reuters about the film, her co-star Gosling, and the new Spider-Man reboot.
Kathie Durst’s body was never found and no one was charged with a crime. Do you think Robert Durst murdered her?
I think he did because why would the Durst family not help find their daughter-in-law? With all the money and power they had, they could have had every cop searching for her and instead they did nothing.
Do you have any memorable days on the set?
I’d say the scene where Ryan takes me by the hair and pulls me out of the house. The next day Ryan sent me flowers because he felt bad for having to pull my hair.
It is the first movie you shot after being treated for depression in 2008. Was there a reason to choose this film?
I agreed to do this movie two or three years before we shot it. But whatever energy was moving through me at the time made this the perfect film to do. It felt liberating because of the people I met during the period, I changed the way I approach acting and films – the way I work personally before I even start filming. But in this film, I took a new interest in the process.
You started working professionally when you were three-years-old. You’re 28 now. How is acting different today as an adult?
When you’re younger, your reality is different. Everything is fun. You’re doing it more for other people. Now it’s for me, so that’s what has changed.
Is acting easier when you’re young because kids are generally considered to be more open and receptive?
Maybe it is easier. Your intuition is more vulnerable then. When you get older, people expect you to be vulnerable but also tough. That makes no sense – that as an actor you’re supposed to be emotional (on-screen) but then have a thick skin about things (off-screen). I think actors are more sensitive — you take in a lot more. So you have to balance out what you decide to take in and what you don’t.
How do you feel about the new reboot starring Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy?
I really like Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield a lot. I think they’ll be great. It’s just sad that there wasn’t a proper ending (for the trilogy). We didn’t know when we shot the third one that it would be the last. I wish we would have known. Maybe we would have cherished that time a bit more, knowing it would be the last one for all of us.
You directed two short films. Will you continue?
I will direct a film one day. I just need to find a project I really want to do. Right now the focus is on acting. I’ve worked for so long that I can afford to take breaks and wait for something special. Everything is at the perfect pace it should be at right now.
Kirsten is out promoting All Good Things which means interviews, talkshows and you name it!
Here’s a list of some upcoming talkshows with Kirsten:
- December 3rd: The View, ABC
- December 10th: Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, NBC
- December 14th: Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, CBS
Kirsten played the immortal Claudia in 1994’s ‘Interview with a Vampire,’ one of the movies that started the vampire craze!
Long before Twilight, The Vampire Diaries or True Blood, when she was just 12-years-old, Kristen Dunst starred alongside Brad Pitt in the film Interview With A Vampire and even shared an on screen kiss him! Take THAT, Bella! “We were the original vampires!” Kirsten, 28, proudly told HollywoodLife.com on Dec. 1 at the NYC premiere of her upcoming movie, All Good Things.
But Kirsten’s not exactly jealous of her fellow blood suckers‘ fame today. And sorry, Edward Cullen — there’s someone else Kirsten says she’d like to sink her fangs into!
“I love all the Twilight movies, but my favorite vampire is Alexander Skarsgard from True Blood,” she says. “He played my husband in a film I recently did and he is so funny, but you never expect ‘Eric’ to be that way!”
If there’s one word that’s probably never been used to describe a Kirsten Dunst movie, it’s “challenging.” Not that she hasn’t been in some entertaining films over the years. She was great as vampire jailbait in Interview With a Vampire, a cheerleader with strong opinions about racism in Bring It On, and an archduchess with a taste for 80s New Wave in Marie Antoinette. But even her finer cinematic moments have been less about Oscar buzz and more about Teen Choice Award buzz. Her most famous movie role, as Mary Jane Watson in Spider-Man and its two blockbuster sequels, nabbed her an MTV Movie Award for best kiss in 2002, and even the least snarky of critics had to concede that it might be the top of the accolades mountain for her.
But everything you thought you knew about Kirsten Dunst might be about to change. After a two-year hiatus, the now 28-year-old Dunst is staging a comeback, and not of the signing-on-to-the-inevitable-Spider-Man-sequel variety. It started earlier this year, when she appeared in a bizarre art video for an exhibit at London’s Tate Modern, in which Dunst wore a blue wig and Sailor Moon costume and danced through Tokyo’s Akihabara shopping district to the tune of “I’m Turning Japanese,” for some reason. Opening nationwide tomorrow, she co-stars (alongside Ryan Gosling) in All Good Things, a feel-not-good romance and docu-drama, loosely based on the true story of New York real estate millionaire/drag queen Robert Durst and his disappearing wife. It’s the perfect film for anyone who loved Elizabethtown but wished it had more emotional abuse and uxoricide. Dunst has also been working on two new film projects—On the Road, adapted from the Jack Kerouac novel that inspired thousands of useless poetry M.F.A.s, and Melancholia, from filmmaker Lars von Trier, whose last movie featured Willem Dafoe ejaculating blood. It’s possible that Dunst is maturing as an artist, finally taking on roles that ask more of her than flashing her dimples and being adored by her male co-stars. Or maybe she’s going through a stage, like all young adults do, forging an identity by pretending to be interested in beat poetry and art-house films. Regardless of whether she succeeds, it’s admirable that she’s wandered so far outside her comfort zone. Even if her fanbase accepts her new “adult” direction, there isn’t a Teen Choice Award for best dysphoric topless scene.
When I called Dunst to talk about All Good Things, it was like talking to any of her movie characters. The meter of her voice, the inflections—it was all intimately familiar. The only difference between Dunst the actress and her on-screen persona(s) was that when she laughed, she actually said the word “Ha,” like she was reading stage directions.
Kirsten Dunst took umbrage at the cast of “Jersey Shore” for not being actual residents of the Garden State.
“None of those people are from New Jersey!” Dunst said last night during the premiere of her latest film “All Good Things” co-starring Ryan Gosling at the SVA Theater in Chelsea.
“I’m from New Jersey – they’re not from New Jersey!”
The blonde starlet said she has seen the show once. Her TV show preference? “Mad Men.” But the award-winning actress said she hardly tunes into the tube – she watches most of favorite shows on the Web.
A luxe Sofia Coppola–designed Louis Vuitton satchel will benefit Art of Elysium, the charity that helps artists lead workshops for sick children in New York and Los Angeles hospitals. Kirsten Dunst became an Art of Elysium champion four years ago: She’s done onstage performances and led playwriting workshops for patients on both coasts.
Exclusively designed by Sofia Coppola, the SC bag is effortlessly glamorous. Specially treated, exquisitely supple calf leather exterior and interior give it a refined and luxurious appeal.
Size (LxHxD): 14.3″ x 9″ x 7.9″
- Calf leather trimmings
- Golden brass pieces
- Adjustable, removable shoulder strap
- Padlock and key bell
- Wide zipped closure
- Interior zipped and patch pockets
Bag Contains: Franny & Zooey by J.D. Salinger†, Kiehl’s Coriander Essence* (liquid hand soap, oil, deluxe hand & body lotion with aloe vera & oatmeal), Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Rouge Fatal [No. 487]†, Bulgari B.ZERO1 four-band ring*, Isabel Marant “Falt” wallet*, Liquiteria gift card*, By Terry rose balm*, Art Production Fund beach towels*.
* Donated directly by individual retailers.
† Purchased and vouched for by Page Six Magazine.
All proceeds will benefit Art of Elysium.
Kirsten looks amazing in a Valentino dress at the All Good Things premiere in New York last night.
Appearances from 2010 > “All Good Things” New York Premiere
Kirsten Dunst stars as the wife of the disturbed son of a New York real estate millionaire in All Good Things, the tragic tale of a marriage gone bad. Inspired by a famous missing person’s case from the 1980s, All Good Things explores what may have happened to the missing woman, putting forth a version of events which show that in all likelihood she was murdered.
At the LA press day for the Magnolia Pictures release, Dunst admitted she wasn’t aware of the real missing person’s case the film is based on, but she did get to know the ins and outs of the true story while preparing for the part. She also revealed what her working relationship was like with co-star Ryan Gosling (who plays her abusive husband) and how a particularly difficult scene affected the Oscar-nominated actor.
On true crime stories:
Kirsten Dunst: “I don’t think I watch enough TV to get into it. When I sit on the couch with my grandma, we definitely get into some Law and Order and CSI and stuff, but yeah, I’m not an aficionado of true crime.”
On her opinion as to who’s actually guilty:
Kirsten Dunst: “I don’t know what happened, but yes, I think he probably killed his wife, otherwise the family would have helped find her, you know? This big corporation with all this money helped her family none whatsoever? Their daughter-in-law? Why wouldn’t they help find her?”
On her knowledge of the real story and researching the role:
Kirsten Dunst: “I didn’t know it either. Part of the reason, I think, not a lot of people knew about it is because it kind of got shoved under the rug. And also, in terms of research, Andrew did a documentary about everything that happened before. I saw that a year before we even made the film. He had gone and researched and interviewed anyone who was willing to talk about what had happened, from neighbors to anyone who was around. I also met with her brother, who’s also portrayed in the film. I had dinner at the family’s house and everything.”