What the Hell Happened to Kirsten Dunst?

dunst 2013

Kirsten Dunst

Kirsten Dunst was a child actor who successfully transitioned into adult roles.  She worked opposite Brad Pitt, Robin Williams and Jim Carrey.  She was directed by the likes of Woody Allen, Sam Raimi and Neil Jordan.  She played a cheerleader, a vampire and Spider-man’s true love.  But when her web-slinging stopped, Dunst disappeared from the once-hot spotlight.

What the hell happened?

dunst model age 3

Kirsten Dunst – Age 3

Dunst started modeling at the ripe old age of three.  Clearly, she had committed herself to her craft rather than being pushed into the spotlight by a stage mom.  Surprisingly, Dunst would later express some anger over having been “pushed” into show biz by her mom.  Hard to believe since her mom waited three entire years to put her child to work.

Soon, Dunst was doing commercials like this one for Pillsbury microwave potatoes from 1985:

And here she is shilling for Crayola Christmas of 1989:

Good lord was she adorable!  That same year, she was pitching Baby Doll Surprise, a baby doll whose hair grew:

This was also the year in which I graduated from high school which makes me feel a little weird about those Maxim covers I found while I was doing my research for this article.  In 1989, Dunst had her first movie role in Woody Allen’s short film, Oedipus WrecksOedipus Wrecks was part of a collection of films set in New York called New York Stories.  Dunst had a small role as one of Mia Farrow’s children.  Hopefully she kept a safe distance from Woody.  He has a history with Farrow’s kids.

Kirsten Dunst - Bonfire of the Vanities - 1990

Kirsten Dunst – Bonfire of the Vanities – 1990

In 1990, Dunst had another small role as Tom Hanks’ daughter in Brian DePalma’s infamous adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities.

The book was an acidic social satire which took on race relations, journalism, and Wall Street amongst other things.  DePalma decided to make it silly.  It didn’t work at all.  The movie received scathing reviews and flopped at the box office.  It was a major career speed bump for Hanks (who reinvented himself as a dramatic actor shortly afterwards), DePalma (who was basically exiled for a while) and Melanie Griffith (who would continue working but stopped getting good roles).  Bruce Willis was lucky he had Die Hard to fall back on.

For Dunst, the final fate of Bonfire wasn’t all that important.  As a child actor, the fact she worked in a major motion picture with A-list talent was a stepping stone.  Here’s a scene in which Hanks’ character tries to explain his Wall Street job to his daughter only to be corrected by his wife played by Kim Cattrall.

In 1991, Dunst appeared in a low budget comedy called High Strung.  The movie was co-written by and starred Steve Oedekerk.  It is best known for featuring a pre-fame Jim Carrey in a supporting role.

Next: Interview With the Vampire and Little Women


Posted on July 28, 2013, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actress and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 314 Comments.

  1. Kirsten Dunst reveals the trauma of filming sex scenes

    ‘I don’t like it, I don’t like it. To be honest, I’m like, ‘Let’s get this over with as fast as possible,’ says actor


  2. Woodshock Trailer Has Kirsten Dunst on a Surreal, Drug-Induced Trip

    The Woodshock trailer shows Kirsten Dunst in the woods high on hallucinogens on an insane trip of a horror thriller.


  3. What was your WORST celebrity encounter??

    I sat at a table across from Kirsten Dunst at the Abbey while she was having breakfast with a male (probably gay) friend. He was pretty much silent the whole time while she bitched about this person who screwed her over, that person who’s jealous of her, etc. And when a staff member approached her table, she simply waved them off with her hand. Her friend looked uncomfortable and embarrassed. She seems like an extremely unpleasant person.


    reply 32 Yesterday at 6:32 AM


    • Kirsten Dunst Isn’t Going To See ‘Spider-Man’ Reboots Or Fix Her Teeth, OK?

      Kirsten Dunst has no problem letting you know that she just doesn’t care anymore.

      The 35-year-old actress, who became a household name after she starred as Mary Jane in Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” trilogy, sat down with Variety for a profile with frequent collaborator Sofia Coppola in lieu of their new film “Beguiled.” And boy, does Dunst let some of her opinions be known.

      For instance, she could care less about those “Spider-Man” reboots. Per Variety:

      She’s ambivalent about Sony’s decision to keep rebooting the franchise, now in its third iteration. “I don’t care,” she says of the reboots, admitting she didn’t see the last installment. “Everyone likes our ‘Spider-Man.’ C’mon, am I right or what? Listen, I’d rather be in the first ones than the new ones.”
      Dunst, who also starred in movies like “Bring It On,” “Wimbledon” and “Elizabethtown,” also thinks playing a romantic lead is a big ole snooze-fest.

      “It’s just so boring. I think that was a time when the romantic comedy was so big. I knew it wasn’t for me. I just didn’t have fun making them. I guess it’s not in my DNA.”

      Dunst also lets out a few verbal gems in regards to criticisms she’s gotten about her body over the years — one of which recently came directly from Coppola herself.

      According to the profile, the director asked Dunst to lose a few pounds for her role in “Beguiled,” and she pretty much said, “Uh, no thanks.”

      “It’s so much harder when you’re 35 and hate working out,” Dunst told the magazine. She then used the film’s location in Louisiana as an excuse for why she couldn’t shed the pounds.

      “I’m eating fried chicken and McDonald’s before work. So I’m like, ‘We have no options! I’m sorry I can’t lose weight for this role,’” she said.

      But it may have been Coppola’s influence that turned Dunst into the self-assured and outspoken woman she is today. In the interview, Dunst also recalls a compliment Coppola gave to her when the two first began working together in 1999 for the film “Virgin Suicides.”

      “She said to me, ‘I love your teeth; don’t ever fix your teeth.’ I remember doing a ‘Spider-Man’ movie later, and one of the producers was like, ‘I need to take you to the dentist!’ They even fixed my teeth on the poster. But I just knew I was never doing that. Sofia is the chicest, coolest girl, and she thinks my teeth are great.”

      She added, “She gave me confidence in little things that I wouldn’t necessarily have had.”


  4. Re: Sofia Coppola Says “The Beguiled” Is About The Gender Dynamics Of The Confederacy, Not The Racial Ones

    Quoting for emphasis.

    When white women say women, they do not mean black women.

    You know what’s funny? White women are forever expecting black women to allign themselves with white women’s cause, yet….

    Didn’t Kristen Dunst recently play in Hidden Figures? Her character wasn’t needed in that film. Yet it was included because someone deemed it necessary to include the white female voice and perspective.

    I wonder if Dunst spoke up for the inclusion of the Black female voice in Coppola’s film. Ha! Hell freaking no!!!



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