KIRSTEN DUNST

Kirsten Caroline Dunst (born April 30, 1982) is a German and American actress, singer, model and director.
Dunst was born in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, to Inez (née Rupprecht) and Klaus Dunst. She has a younger brother, Christian. Her father worked as a medical services executive, and her mother worked for Lufthansa as a flight attendant and was an artist and one-time gallery owner. Dunst's father is German, originally from Hamburg, and Dunst's mother, who was born in New Jersey, is of German and Swedish descent.Until the age of eleven, Dunst lived in Brick Township, New Jersey, where she attended Ranney School. In 1993, her parents separated, and she subsequently moved with her mother and brother to Los Angeles, California, where she attended Laurel Hall School in North Hollywood. In 1995, her mother filed for divorce. The following year Dunst began attending Notre Dame High School, a private Roman Catholic high school in Los Angeles.After graduating from Notre Dame High School in 2000, Dunst continued the acting career that she had begun. As a teenager, she found it difficult to deal with her rising fame, and for a period she blamed her mother for pushing her into acting as a child. However, she later expressed that her mother "always had the best intentions". When asked if she had any regrets about the way she spent her childhood, Dunst said: "Well, it's not a natural way to grow up, but it's the way I grew up and I wouldn't change it. I have my stuff to work out ... I don't think anybody can sit around and say, 'My life is more screwed up than yours.' Everybody has their issues."

Career

Early work

Dunst began her career when she was three years old as a child fashion model in television commercials. She was signed with Ford Models and Elite Model Management. At the age of six, she made her film debut in a minor role in Woody Allen's short film Oedipus Wrecks that was released as one-third of the anthology film New York Stories (1989). Soon after, she made her feature film debut with Tom Hanks in The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990), as the daughter of Hanks' character. In 1993, Dunst guest-starred on Star Trek: The Next Generation in the season seven episode titled "Dark Page" as Hedril.

Critical success

The breakthrough role in Dunst's career came in Interview with the Vampire, a 1994 film based on Anne Rice's novel, in which she played the child vampire Claudia, a surrogate daughter to Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt's characters. The film received ambivalent reviews, but many film critics complimented Dunst's performance. Roger Ebert commented that Dunst's creation of the child vampire Claudia was one of the "creepier" aspects of the film, and mentioned her ability to convey the impression of great age inside apparent youth. Todd McCarthy in Variety noted that Dunst was "just right" for the family. The film featured a scene in which Dunst shared her first on-screen kiss with Pitt, who was eighteen years her senior. In an interview with Interview magazine, she revealed, while questioned about her kissing scene with Pitt, that kissing him had made her feel uncomfortable: "I thought it was gross, that Brad had cooties. I mean, I was 10." Her performance earned her the MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance, the Saturn Award for Best Young Actress, and her first Golden Globe Award nomination.Later in 1994, Dunst co-starred in the adaptation of the drama film Little Women opposite Winona Ryder and Claire Danes. The film received favorable reviews. Critic Janet Maslinof The New York Times wrote that the film was the greatest adaptation of the novel and remarked on Dunst's performance, "The perfect contrast to take-charge Jo comes from Kirsten Dunst's scene-stealing Amy, whose vanity and twinkling mischief make so much more sense coming from an 11-year-old vixen than they did from grown-up Joan Bennett in 1933. Ms. Dunst, also scarily effective as the baby bloodsucker of Interview With the Vampire, is a little vamp with a big future."In 1995, Dunst co-starred in the fantasy adventure film Jumanji, loosely based on Chris Van Allsburg's 1981 book of the same name. The story is about a supernatural and ominous board game which makes animals and other jungle hazards appear upon each roll of the dice. She was part of an ensemble cast that included Robin Williams, Bonnie Hunt, and David Alan Grier. The movie grossed $262 million worldwide. That year, and again in 2002, she was named one of People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People. In 1996, Dunst had a recurring role in the third season of the NBC medical drama ER. She portrayed a child prostitute, Charlie Chiemingo, taken under the guidance of Dr. Doug Ross, played by George Clooney. In 1997, she voiced Young Anastasia in the animated musical film Anastasia. Also in 1997, Dunst co-starred in the film Wag the Dog, opposite Robert De Niroand Dustin Hoffman. The following year she voiced the title character, Kiki, a thirteen-year-old apprentice witch who leaves her home village to spend a year on her own, in the anime movie Kiki's Delivery Service (1998).Dunst was offered the role of Angela in the 1999 drama film American Beauty, but turned it down because she did not want to appear in the film's suggestive sexual scenes or kiss the film's star Kevin Spacey. She later explained: "When I read it, I was 15 and I don't think I was mature enough to understand the script's material." That same year, she co-starred in the comedy film Dick, opposite Michelle Williams. The film is a parody retelling the events of the Watergate scandal which led to the resignation of U.S. president Richard Nixon.In Sofia Coppola's drama film The Virgin Suicides (1999), Dunst played the role of troubled adolescent Lux Lisbon. The film was screened as a special presentation at the 43rd San Francisco International Film Festival in 2000. The movie received generally favorable reviews, and San Francisco Chronicle critic Peter Stack noted in his review that Dunst "beautifully balances innocence and wantonness."In 2000, Dunst starred in the comedy Bring It On as Torrance Shipman, the captain of a cheerleading squad. The film generated mostly positive reviews, with many critics reserving praise for her performance. In his review, A. O. Scott called her "a terrific comic actress, largely because of her great expressive range, and the nimbleness with which she can shift from anxiety to aggression to genuine hurt." Charles Taylor of Salon noted that "among contemporary teenage actresses, Dunst has become the sunniest imaginable parodist", even though he thought the film had failed to provide her with as good a role as she had either in Dick or in The Virgin Suicides. Jessica Winter from The Village Voicecomplimented Dunst, stating that her performance was "as sprightly and knowingly daft as her turn in Dick" and commenting that "[Dunst] provides the only major element of Bring It Onthat plays as tweaking parody rather than slick, strident, body-slam churlishness." Peter Stack of the San Francisco Chronicle, despite giving the film an unfavorable review, commended Dunst for her willingness "to be as silly and cloyingly agreeable as it takes to get through a slapdash film."The following year, Dunst starred in the comedy film Get Over It (2001). She later explained that one of the reasons for accepting the role was that it gave her the opportunity to sing. Also in 2001, she starred in the period drama The Cat's Meow, directed by Peter Bogdanovich, as the late American actress Marion Davies. Derek Elley of Variety described the film as "playful and sporty," saying that this was Dunst's best performance to date: "Believable as both a spoiled ingenue and a lover to two very different men, Dunst endows a potentially lightweight character with considerable depth and sympathy." In the Esquire review, Tom Carson called her performance "terrific." For her work, she won the Best Actress Silver Ombú category award at the 2002 Mar del Plata Film Festival.

Spider-Man and other film roles

In 2002, Dunst co-starred opposite Tobey Maguire in the superhero film Spider-Man, the most successful film of her career to date. She played Mary Jane Watson, the best friend and love interest of Peter Parker. The film was directed by Sam Raimi. Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weeklyremarked on Dunst's ability to "lend even the smallest line a tickle of flirtatious music." In the Los Angeles Times review, critic Kenneth Turan noted that Dunst and Maguire made a real connection on screen, concluding that their relationship involved audiences to an extent rarely seen in films. Spider-Man was a commercial and critical success. The movie grossed $114 million during its opening weekend in North America and went on to earn $822 million worldwide.