Kirsten Dunst | Home
Kirsten Caroline Dunst was born
on April 30, 1982 in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, USA to Klaus Dunst, a German
medical-services exec. who's now stationed in New Jersey while the rest of his
family lives on the West Coast. Klaus separated from Kirsten's mother Inez Dunst,
a former art-gallery owner. She also has a brother named Christian, who was
born in 1986. Kirsten started out in showbiz at the age of three, where she
began filming television commercials (a grand total of more than 70). She made
her feature film debut in a segment of Woody Allen's 1989 film New York Stories
(1989). Shortly after in the same year her family moved to Los Angeles, where
her film career took off.
In 1994 she made her breakthrough performance in Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994) alongside such stars as Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise. Her performance earned her a Golden Globe nomination, the MTV Award for Best Breakthrough Performance and the Saturn award for Best Young Actress. In 1995, she was named one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People. Over the next few years she made a string of hit movies including Little Women (1994), Jumanji (1995) and Small Soldiers (1998).
2000 was Kirsten's biggest year yet - she received rave reviews for her role as Lux Lisbon in Sofia Coppola's Independent film Virgin Suicides, The (1999). She proved her status as a leading actress in the comedy hit Bring It On (2000), and she graduated from Notre Dame High School in Los Angeles in June of that year. She is now working on her own production company with her mother called "Wooden Spoon Productions."
Was a Ford model as a child.
Dated Jake Hoffmann (the son of Dustin Hoffman).
Her favorite movie is Schindler's List (1993).
Beat out Christina Ricci for roles in Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994) and Little Women (1994).
Attended the Anne Rice's Memnoch Ball in New Orleans in 1995.
One of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People of 1995.
Parents are separated. She lives with her mother Inez, and brother Christian in Southern California.
She is working on her own production company with her mother called "Wooden Spoon Productions". The name symbolizes women and creativity, and was inspired by her grandmother.
Graduated from Notre Dame High School, a private Catholic high school in Los Angeles, in May/June 2000.
Turned down the role of Angela in American Beauty (1999).
Went to the Ranney School in Tinton Falls, New Jersey up until the sixth grade, when she left to pursue her career in California.
Made her singing debut performing the song "Dream Of Me" from Get Over It (2001).
Nabbed the lead role of Peter Parker's girlfriend, Mary Jane Watson in Spider-Man (2002) after Kate Hudson and Alicia Witt turned it down.
She performed her first screen kiss, at the tender age of 11, with Brad Pitt in the movie Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994).
Name is pronounced "Keer-sten" (not "Kur-sten").
Kirsten made one of her earliest television appearences when she was 6 years old on an episode of "Saturday Night Live" (1975). In one of the sketches, she played a grandchild of President George Bush (as played by SNL cast member Dana Carvey).
One of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People of 2002.
(2002) One of Teen People Magazine's "25 Hottest Stars under 25"
brother Christian born in 1986
Amazing Spider-Man, The (2004) ....
Mary Jane Watson
Mona Lisa Smile (2003) .... Betty Warren
Kaena: The Prophecy (2002) .... Kaena
MTV Video Music Awards 2002 (2002) (TV) (Presenter) .... Herself
Spider-Man (2002) .... Mary Jane Watson
Spider-Mania (2002) (TV) .... Herself
74th Annual Academy Awards, The (2002) (TV) .... Herself
2001 MTV Movie Awards (2001) (TV) .... Host
Mummy Parody, The (2001) (TV) .... Herself
Cat's Meow, The (2001) .... Marion Davies
Crazy/Beautiful (2001) .... Nicole Oakley
Get Over It (2001) .... Kelly Woods/Helena
... aka Get Over It! (2001) (USA: promotional title)
All Forgotten (2000) .... Zinaida
... aka Lover's Prayer (2000) (USA)
Savage Garden: Superstars and Cannonballs: Live and on Tour in Australia (2000) (V) (uncredited) .... Girl on Subway (in 'I Knew I Loved You' video)
Deeply (2000) .... Silly
Bring It On (2000) .... Torrance Shipman
Luckytown Blues (2000) .... Lidda Doyles
... aka Luckytown (2000) (USA: video title)
Crow: Salvation, The (2000) .... Erin Randall
... aka The Crow 3 - Tödliche Erlösung (2002) (Germany: DVD title)
Dick (1999) .... Betsy Jobs
... aka Dick, les coulisses de la présidence (1999) (France)
Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999) .... Amber Atkins
... aka Gnadenlos schön (1999) (Germany)
Virgin Suicides, The (1999) .... Lux Lisbon
... aka Sophia Coppola's the Virgin Suicides (2000) (USA)
Devil's Arithmetic, The (1999) (TV) .... Hannah Stern
"Stories from My Childhood" (1998) TV Series (voice) .... Alice/Gerda
... aka "Mikhail Baryshnikov's Stories from My Childhood" (1998) (USA: complete title)
Strike! (1998) .... Verena von Stefan
... aka All I Wanna Do (2000) (USA: new title)
... aka College femminile (1998) (Italy)
... aka Filles font la loi, Les (1998) (Canada: French title)
Animated Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The (1998) (V) (voice) .... Becky Thatcher
Small Soldiers (1998) .... Christy Fimple
Fifteen and Pregnant (1998) (TV) .... Tina Spangler
True Heart (1997) .... Bonnie
Wag the Dog (1997) .... Tracy Lime
Anastasia (1997) (voice) .... Young Anastasia
Tower of Terror (1997) (TV) .... Anna
Mother Night (1996) .... Young Resi Noth
Ruby Ridge: An American Tragedy (1996) (TV) .... Sara Weaver
... aka Siege at Ruby Ridge, The (1996) (TV) (USA)
"ER" (1994) TV Series .... Charlene "Charlie" Chiemingo (1996-1997)
Children Remember the Holocaust (1995) (TV) (voice)
... aka Nothing But Sun (1995) (TV)
Jumanji (1995) .... Judy Shepherd
Little Women (1994) .... Younger Amy March
Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994) .... Claudia
... aka Interview with the Vampire (1994) (USA: short title)
Greedy (1994) .... Jolene
Darkness Before Dawn (1993) (TV) .... Sandra Guard (age 8)
High Strung (1991) .... Young Girl
Bonfire of the Vanities, The (1990) .... Campbell McCoy
"Loving" (1983) TV Series (uncredited) .... Young Child (1990-1991)
Majo no takkyubin (1989) (voice) .... Kiki O'Connell (US version)
... aka Kiki's Delivery Service (1998) (USA)
New York Stories (1989) (uncredited) .... Lisa's Daughter
Interview by Papermag
PAPER: Have you read the The Virgin Suicides?
Kirsten Dunst: After I got the film I read the book, so I know the references in the story. When you read the script, you don't know a lot about the neighbors and that kind of thing.
P: So it was helpful having the book as a reference?
KD: Yeah, I think so. It's hard to make a film from the book, it really is, and I think Sofia did a wonderful job. I think she got all the elements that were really important.
P: What was it like working with Sofia? She's so soft-spoken, she seems like the antithesis of a director.
KD: She had her heart so into this movie and so into this book, and she didn't want anyone else to do this movie -- she knew what she wanted to do with it and she didn't want anyone to mess it up, because she was so attached to the book. I think it comes through. She cast it perfectly, getting all the elements together. She was so careful. She did the photography. . . all those shots on the posters? Those were all done pretty much by Sofia. I think one other girl from London came over. All the people wanted to do this for Sofia and make a great film.
P: What appealed to you most about your character, Lux Lisbon?
KD: I read the script and there isn't a lot of dialogue in the movie, and I like that because whenever I watch a movie I always look at the things that are going on in between the lines. It was more about the behavior of these characters and rather than what they were saying. Also, meeting Sofia, we hit it off right away. She saw Lux in me, she said, because I had kind of a worldliness to me, a maturity, but also an innocence. So that was what one of her key things about Lux was.
P: Do you buy that description? Do you see yourself that way?
KD: Yeah, I think I do. I think I'm mature because I know what I want to do at such a young age and I've pursued it for so long. I think you have to be kind of older to manage school and be juggling all these things. But I also think I'm innocent. When I meet some people my age. . . some people are just pretty much dating 34-year olds or whatever. (laughs) They have this maturity, an air about them, like they've lost a lot of their youngness, when they're my age.
P: It seems like that's what the movie's all about -- a loss of innocence, of youth.
KD: Yeah, and a loss of beauty. The boys were so obsessed with these girls and they just loved these girls, they put them up on a pedestal. They saw them almost as these angels. It was almost like they might not even have been there, they were so ethereal.
P: Although the girls' are very ethereal, not quite real, are you concerned at all how people will respond to the teen suicides? By taking the story to the screen, their deaths become much more real than in the book.
KD: It is a character I play; I mean, people read my interviews and they know that that's me and that I'm not committing suicide. I think that if anything, the film will help people, if they see how much the girls meant to these guys and they didn't even know it. And what these beautiful teenage girls had to offer and it was all lost. It's really sad how it works, but it's also very real, in a fairy-tale kind of way.
P: Speaking of lost youth and innocence, do you find it hard to hold on to that essence yourself, living in Hollywood? You've posed in the men's magazine Gear, before Jessica Biel did. . .
KD: They were trying to make me do what Jessica did. I was like, "No, I'm not posing in my underwear, okay honey? So you can find another pose." (laughs) It's funny, the men's magazines are so popular right now, so it's important, I guess, to do some of them. I'm always iffy about doing them, but as long as they're okay with me keeping my clothes on, I'm okay with doing them, because you should see how many guys in school come up to me and they love that I was in Gear. They're like, "That's so cool!" Now I'm reaching the teen guy audience! But as long as they do it tastefully, I think it's okay. And basically everything's sold on sex now, so what are you gonna do? As long as I stay true to myself.
P: Did you go into a 70s crash course for this film?
KD: I had done Dick right before that movie; I went right from Dick to this, so it was like I was in a 70s groove, I guess. (laughs) Dick was more like the disco-y music and disco clothes. I loved my clothes on this movie, because it kind of helped me get into my character. She had a relaxed sexiness about her and the clothes were like that, the tube tops and the slouchy cords. I loved listening to the music, and Sofia would play music during some of our scenes. She played that Heart song during that one scene, it was so embarrassing because I had to get on Josh and his wig fell off the first time. It was nerve-wracking. Also she played that Styx song, "Come Sail Away," when we did the prom scene, to get us in the groove.
P: Do you know any Trip Fontaines?
KD: Of course! You're always going to have your Trip Fontaine who thinks he's just, like, so hot. I think even Josh is a little Trip, although he probably doesn't admit it. (laughs)
P: Do your friends get jealous of you, working with Tom Cruise and now Josh Hartnett?
KD: No. Not at all. Well, maybe for Brad (Pitt), someone like that. But not Josh. It's funny. He's kept a low profile with the teen magazines. Josh is a really good actor and I think he has a lot of potential. He's really serious about it, he's not a goof-off or anything. I think he's going to be very successful. But yeah, I think there's a little Trip in him. He's got the strut.
P: Are you going to take him to the prom?
KD: No. (laughs) I'm taking my friend. I don't know if I'd take Josh -- I think that would be a mess. I'm going to have fun with my friend, he's a fun dancer. But Josh, he's sweet about dancing with me. I know he's not a dancer and every time we've gotten to dance at a party, I'm like, "come on, we've gotta dance!" He's been such a good sport about it.
P: What grade are you in now?
KD: I'm a senior.
P: Do you want to go to college?
KD: Yeah, I want to go to college, but I'm not going to go right away. I'm going to take time off. I have so many things lined up, I can't do college right away. I definitely want to go some time in the future.
P: How do you manage to juggle high school and acting?
KD: It's hard, but because I've been doing it for so long I've had to be disciplined. I've always been a good student. Because this is what I love to do, there are sacrifices you have to make. I don't know, I guess I knew when I came out of my mom that I wanted to do this. (laughs) It was like my mission. If you have that drive, you're willing to juggle things that sometimes you don't want to.
P: Do you feel you've made any sacrifices that you wish you hadn't? Do you feel like anything's missing?
KD: I try to be at school as much as I can and be with my friends. That's the one thing that's hard, not being around my friends. Now that they're going off to college next year and I'm going to do a movie over the summer, it's going to be hard, because I'm going to have to visit them but it's going to be weird that our timing might not be right and we might not see each other. And also, it'll be hard because I'm going to be 18 soon, and I won't have my mom with me anymore, and that's also weird. It depends who you're with on set. Some people you don't really have a lot in common with, so I can see how it can get really lonely.
P: What's your shameless indulgence, how do you get away from the pressures of work?
KD: I love getting facials. I would love, love, love to go to a beauty farm. My mom and I want to plan a trip to go to Canyon Ranch. That's my dream, to go to Canyon Ranch in Arizona. They take you out with Indian guides and do these spiritual, nature walks. I want to go with my mom so badly.
P: What makes you say yes to a role? You've done television, you've done cable, you've done independent features, you've done big budget, would-be blockbuster movies. What draws you into a project?
KD: Well, it's definitely the role I'm playing and the director I'm working with and just the script itself. The story has to touch me in some way and I have to feel some connection to the story in order to want to play this role for someone. But also, sometimes I've read a not-so-great script and I've done the movie because the director was just so wonderful and so fabulous. And sometimes you can get a great script and the director can make it horrible. So it's really hard to pick and choose; you just have to be on the same wavelength with the director. The one thing that I look for is if someone really loves what they're doing or if they're just doing it for the money. I hate when I hear, "Oh, we're trying to get it out in a couple of months, so we're going to rush it and hopefully it will make such and such money." And "We're going to try to make it like THAT movie." I hate when they try to make it like "that" movie. I'm like, okay, if you don't want to be creative and think of your own stuff, then why are you in this business? You've got to be creative to get out there. And Sofia, what she did with this film, I think she did the book so much justice.
P: Are you interested in working in other aspects of the film industry? Do you want to direct?
KD: I definitely want to direct and produce and write. That's one of the reasons I want to go to college. I also want to have my own makeup line, I want to be a fashion designer -- I have a lot of aspirations in life! Sofia totally inspired me. I wanted to direct before, but now even more.
P: Are you still learning how to act at this point? Or do you think you've nailed it?
I don't think any actor stops learning; I know I haven't. I just grow, I think, with more and more movies I do.
P: What have your adult co-stars taught you, from Tom Cruise to James Woods?
KD: James is psycho. (laughs) I don't think I should take any advice from James, especially on relationships! But definitely, with acting, he's amazing with his subtleties. But he's a crazy guy, James -- he's such a ladies' man. It's really funny. People have always told me to just be yourself and keep your head on straight, because that's the most important thing. Once you lose yourself you really have nothing. People who get too swept up in their own press or their self -- if they're too self-absorbed -- no one wants to watch them. You start to get affected and you start to see it, and I think that's the one thing that people told me, was to keep my head on straight.
P: Do you think you helped the other girls on the set? Except for Hanna Hall, weren't they all first-timers?
KD: Hanna was in Forrest Gump and A.J. was an actress in Toronto. But Chelse, it was her first movie, and also Leslie, she was a friend of Sofia's, whom Sofia had known all her life. It was fun, we just all hung out; there were no egos. That was nice, that we could all just be ourselves and hang together.
P: Did they look to you for guidance, because you had more experience?
KD: Maybe without me realizing. I don't know, because I always try to be equal with everyone; I don't want to seem like, ooh, I'm better because I've done more movies. We all hung out in my trailer and we'd paint and draw, and we had this whole collage in my trailer window of all these fairies we drew. We'd listen to music together and we just had so much fun hanging together, but I think it's important that I remain professional -- but that's who I am, so I don't have to try, because I've been raised to be that way. I don't want to set a bad example.
P: There are a million Web sites devoted to you. Do you have a Web site?
KD: I am on the Web -- I mean, I have America Online. I have to create my Web site, I haven't done that yet, but I definitely want to so that fans really know the truth.
P: Do you have a favorite Web site?
KD: I do. I like this one Web site, it's an astrological Web site. It's so good. All of her readings. . . I'm just like, wow! Every month I get it and I'm so pleased. She is so on. Every thing that I'm feeling that month or everything that's going on is so true to what she says.
P: What sign are you?
KD: I'm a Taurus. She just gets it right on. Also, my friends and I sometimes play games when we're really bored online. We've played this game, Nickelodeon Cranial Crunch, and it's so funny! It's kind of embarrassing to admit -- it asks all these dumb questions, but I totally don't know some of them. Like, what's the largest city [in the U.S.]. . . I put Los Angeles, but it's some other city. I was like, what? It really gets us. I also play Slingo. Slingo's pretty fun.
P: What other films do you have coming up?
KD: This summer I'm doing a movie called Getting Over Allison, which is a romantic comedy. And actually Sofia's cousin, Jason Schwartzman (Rushmore) might do it, so that would be kind of funny. It's a really cute script, it's really funny. And I love doing comedy, so that will be fun. Also, Cheer Fever comes out in October or September. It was such a fun group of girls, we had so much fun doing our dances.
P: Did you want to be a cheerleader in high school?
KD: I was a cheerleader in eighth grade. I did that, I went down that road. (laughs) But I did it to be popular and to be cool, because all the cool girls did it, and I wanted to fit in more at school because I was away so much. I didn't even go to one of our competitions; I just cheered at the games. But I had so much fun, and it definitely helped me for this movie.