Kirsten Dunst at the screening of ‘The Power Of The Dog’ during 2021 AFI Fest at TCL Chinese Theatre in California. Tribune News Service.
Kirsten Dunst has done something more than just grow up on screen. In her choice of roles, she has let viewers in on each phase of her life, from child actor to teenager to young adult and now a fully-grown woman, exploring the internal lives of her characters with a subtle emotional acuity and offhanded charm.
Having first gained acclaim for her role as a child vampire in 1994’s “Interview With the Vampire,” Dunst went on to act in more than 80 films, including “Little Women,” “Bring It On,” “Drop Dead Gorgeous,” “Dick,” “Crazy/Beautiful,” “Spider-Man,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “Melancholia,” “Woodshock” and the TV series “Fargo” and “On Becoming a God in Central Florida.
” Her ongoing collaboration with filmmaker Sofia Coppola in “The Virgin Suicides,” “Marie Antoinette” and “The Beguiled” has resulted in some of the most notable performances of her career. Working on “Fargo,” she met actor Jesse Plemons; the two became a couple sometime after and now have two children together.
Dunst’s latest collaboration is with director Jane Campion (“The Piano,” “Bright Star”) in “The Power of the Dog” (in theatres now and streaming on Netflix beginning Dec.1). Set in 1920s Montana, it’s an adaptation of the 1967 novel by Thomas Savage and Campion’s first feature film in 12 years. Dunst plays Rose Gordon, a lonely widow who impulsively marries George Burbank (played by Plemons) and goes to live with him on his family’s ranch.
There she immediately runs afoul of George’s brother, Phil (Benedict Cumberbatch), whose roughneck exterior hides a more complicated identity. Phil begins to psychologically torture Rose, driving her to drink to excess. When her son, Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee), comes to stay for a summer, the tension only builds. The role has brought strong reviews and growing awards momentum for Dunst, who has never been nominated for an Oscar. Recently, she sat down for an interview that will launch the L.A. Times’ second season of The Envelope podcast began from Nov.30.
On what it would mean to her if she were recognized by the Motion Picture Academy, Dunst says, “I don’t really think about it too much because I just can’t. So it feels like, if I get nominated or something like that, incredible. But if not, I got to work with Jane Campion. That trumps any other thing to me.” Talking about her character, she said: “I think Rose is a very old part of myself that I had to rehash of just feeling really bad about myself, or allowing myself to feel bad about myself because of other people’s comments or control. In your early 20s, it’s very easy to get swayed into different things or thinking about yourself in a certain way, especially when you’re putting yourself out there as an actress and you’re in a public light. So there are definitely things I can relate to in terms of feeling really badly about yourself.”
Tribune News Service
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