Kirsten Dunst has been busy. No, not making another "Spider-Man" film. (Three's plenty.) The actress will be seen in several intriguing new films, starting with "All Good Things," a true-crime thriller based on an infamous case.
The film, co-starring Ryan Gosling, was directed by Andrew Jarecki, who captured the unexpected underbelly of suburban life with his documentary "Capturing the Friedmans." Here, Dunst plays a working-class Long Islander who falls for a handsome young man (Gosling) struggling to get out from under the thumb of his malevolent, real estate magnate dad (Frank Langella). The story is inspired by the case of Kathie Durst, who went missing in 1982, leaving her husband, Robert, under a cloud of suspicion.
Dunst, 28, who earned a Golden Globe nomination at age 11 (for "Interview With a Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles"), has also enjoyed star turns in films like "The Virgin Suicides" and "Bring It On" (not deep, true, but fun).
What did you think when director Andrew Jarecki first gave you this script?
I can't believe it's a true story. It was chilling. And so well-written. And what a great role. I knew this was something where I could really let loose. We spent like eight weeks in rehearsal, breaking down each scene.
That's pretty unusual, for a film to have so much rehearsal time.
Very. As an actor you want roles like this, where you can have a wide range of feelings. And not feel like you have to be this cute girl in a box, and the most important thing is that you're in a tight outfit. A lot of female roles -- it's hard, that transition in your 20s. Ultimately, this was a pretty cathartic experience.
I have to ask ... because women across America want to know
Yes, I know the question. (She chuckles.) What was it like
kissing Frank Langella?
Exactly. He's pretty hot. Nah, you know who I'm talking about. That Gosling guy. He's fine. He's cute. (She's laughs.) Y'know what it is with Ryan -- he's charming. He charms all the ladies. He's sweet and like, goofy. He has so many great sides to him. And also this really dark side he can bring out. And I think that's what makes him a great actor.
Your other projects sound intense. Like Lars von Trier's "Melancholia," due out next year.
That was cool. I love Lars.
His films are hard to describe: dark, weird a tad misogynistic?
It's funny -- that's really the opposite of what I experienced. He was so kind and funny. And he has this whole team that he's worked with since film school. It's such a family. I had the best time.
Then there's "Upside Down."
That has major special effects. It's a romance that takes place in two different worlds that can see each other but are held to their own gravity.
Ohhh, another one of those held-to-their-own-gravity romances.
(She laughs.) It's gonna look pretty crazy. They explain it as a sci-fi romance, which I think is totally wrong. It's more a Terry Gilliam vibe, with a beautiful, weird set design. It'll be very unexpected.
Then "On the Road." Ever read the (Jack Kerouac) book?
I read it when I was 16 -- and recently I listened to it on tape with my dad on a road trip we took together. We had fun. A good bonding father-daughter trip.