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


Post Author: lebeau

300 thoughts on “What the Hell Happened to Kirsten Dunst?

    Terrence Michael Clay

    (July 28, 2013 - 5:47 am)

    How divas were lost in Hollywood history:

    What ever happened to Kirsten Dunst? The American actress’s recent screen career underlines how difficult it is to be a movie star in a digital world.

    Two of her most recent films, the raucous comedy-drama Bachelorette and Lars von Trier’s apocalyptic Melancholia were released first on VOD (video-on-demand) in the US. It is fitting, although not very flattering to her, that Bachelorette should have become a No. 1 hit on iTunes at just the time that Robert Aldrich’s caustic thriller What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? (1962) is being revived. (Marking its 50th anniversary, Aldrich’s classic is being shown in a restored print at the London Film Festival this month.)

    “Women old enough to know better act like horny sailors on leave, absorb mass quantities of alcohol and drugs, and generally behave horribly,” complained USA Today about Bachelorette. The more serious problem for Dunst, though, is that when your movies are watched first on laptops and TVs rather than in cinemas, your mystique is bound to be compromised.

    No one is suggesting that Dunst is yet in the same doldrums as Baby Jane Hudson, the one-time child-star turned hectoring harridan, who torments her sister in What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? Nonetheless, Dunst’s case illustrates how completely Hollywood has been transformed since the heyday of female stars like Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Marlene Dietrich, Gloria Swanson and Greta Garbo. These actresses may not always have controlled their careers but they were ferociously protective of their screen image.

    Dietrich, for example, was (as her New York Times obituary made clear) “a thorough professional and perfectionist, expert in make-up, lighting, clothes and film editing.” Having been tutored by Josef von Sternberg, who discovered her and directed her in films from The Blue Angel to The Scarlet Empress, she knew exactly how to project glamour on screen.

    Garbo, meanwhile, had her own cinematographer, William H. Daniels, who used filters and side lighting to make her close-ups as striking as possible. Her hermit-like existence once her Hollywood career was over helped her retain an air of mystery.

    As for Joan Crawford, she grew up dirt poor but, once she became a star, went to extraordinary lengths to live up to her fans’ expectations. In an interview with the American writer Studs Terkel, she revealed that on a typical publicity tour, she changed costumes five times a day and travelled with 36 matching bags and gloves.

    “It gives you a responsibility to be to them [the fans] whatever they want you to be,” she told Terkel in his book American Dreams: Lost and Found. “It’s quite a responsibility, dear friend. You get on your mettle. You get a little taller, you stand on your toes.”

    It’s easy to mock the vanity of Hollywood’s aging divas. As What Ever Happened To Baby Jane and Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard make very evident, the one-time stars led wretched lives, forever peering back into their pasts. Norma Desmond, the forgotten star played by Gloria Swanson, isn’t exactly a role model to emulate. Nonetheless, as she so famously put it as she remembered the silent era: “We didn’t need dialogue. We had faces.”

    The problem for Dunst’s generation is that these stars don’t have “faces.” If their movies are being watched on laptops and TVs rather than the big screen, they become just yet more talking heads. When sadistic celebrity gossip sites publish pictures of them getting drunk or taking their garbage out, fans are reminded very forcefully of how earthbound they now are.

    The fans have long had a sneaking interest in the dark side of the industry. From the Fatty Arbuckle controversy in the early 1920s (when the popular comedian was charged with murdering the actress Virginia Rappé) to the deaths, suicides and illicit affairs covered in scandal sheets like Confidential (“uncensored and off the record”), the private lives of the stars have always been pored over in exhaustive detail. The popularity of Kenneth Anger’s muckraking Hollywood Babylon books underlined the fans’ interest in prurient yarns about the misbehaviour of their idols. However, countering this worm’s eye view of the business were the films the stars actually made. Whatever allegations Anger made about Crawford’s misdeeds and dubious career choices in her early years, we could see her up on screen in Grand Hotel or Mildred Pierce. Even late in her career, in a film as curdled and vicious as Baby Jane, she retained the glamour and arrogance of a real movie star. With a contemporary tabloid idol like Lindsay Lohan, the balance isn’t the same at all. She hasn’t made enough movies to distract from the constant stream of unflattering stories about her private life.

    It’s obvious that many contemporary actresses yearn for the glamour they associate with an older Hollywood. That’s why so many are playing stars from that era. Lohan’s new film Liz & Dick, in which she stars as Elizabeth Taylor opposite Grant Bowler’s Richard Burton, premieres on American television next month. Meanwhile, Nicole Kidman recently started shooting Grace of Monaco, a biopic in which she stars as Grace Kelly. Last year, we had Michelle Williams’ virtuoso turn as Marilyn Monroe in the British-made My Week With Marilyn. Sienna Miller is shortly to be seen as Tippi Hedren in The Girl and Scarlett Johansson is playing Janet Leigh in the new film Hitchcock.

    What is equally clear is that these contemporary stars will struggle to emulate the power and charisma of Davis, Crawford, Monroe, Kelly, Hedren et al. on screen. This isn’t to do with their ability. They are mostly fine actresses. Their problem is that the machine that helped create the older stars is broken. Keira Knightley is fortunate in having a cinematographer (in Seamus McGarvey) she works with regularly both on films like Anna Karenina and on her Chanel ads. Nonetheless, the armies of publicists, make-up artists and technicians who helped mould stars like Davis and Crawford have long since disbanded. Notions of what constitutes glamour have changed too. Outside pop promos and advertisements, the highly stylised lighting, camerawork and make-up that characterised Dietrich’s collaborations with von Sternberg would seem jarring and odd to audiences today. The roles that stars are taking has changed too. After all, portraying a coke-snorting, hard-drinking party girl (as Dunst does in Bachelorette) isn’t quite the same as playing Queen Christina. Greta Garbo’s movies didn’t premiere on VOD – and she never had to share the screen with male strippers either.

    What happened to Kirsten Dunst?


    Kirsten had a pretty good run of success in the late-90s/early-00s playing sexy teenage girls. Even in the first Spider-Man movie, Dunst was playing a teenager.
    Unlike (say) Reese Witherspoon, KD never was able to establish herself as a bankable adult actress or one to be taken seriously.

    Is Kirsten Dunst Getting Her Career Back Thanks To Bachelorette?


    Just as we witnessed last year’s raunchy hit Bridesmaids launch Melissa McCarthy and Rebel Wilson into the mainstream, one of the greatest effects of this year’s comparable dark comedy Bachelorette is that it’s brought Kirsten Dunst back into the collective consciousness. It seems that these all-female, sex-and-party-heavy movies have the dual power to give us new stars and revive the flagging careers of old ones.

    Ironically, just this morning I was wondering about how useful Bachelorette had been for Kirsten, if she had gotten everything she wanted and expected out of it. It was certainly a risky move for her to play Regan, the stone-faced, petty, bulimic antiheroine of this tale of female jealousy. But part of her appeal came from the fact that when we last saw her, she was on the path to becoming America’s Sweetheart. She’d charmed in Wimbledon, originated the Manic Pixie Dream Girl role in Elizabethtown, and was a competent Mary Jane Watson in the Spider-Man movies. Then she sort of dropped out of sight.

    I’d say that that time out of the spotlight led her to make much smarter moves when she returned—like owning the really dark roles. And now, she’s bagged herself a more somber, adult thriller/period piece combo: The Two Faces of January, a dramatic tale of lust and deceit set in the 1960s. Better for me to give you the synopsis:

    A glamorous American couple, the charismatic Chester MacFarland (Viggo Mortensen) and his alluring younger wife Collette (Dunst), arrive in Athens by boat via the Corinthian Canal. While sightseeing at the Acropolis they encounter Rydal (Oscar Isaac), a young, Greek-speaking American who is working as a tour guide, scamming tourists on the side. Drawn to Colette’s beauty and impressed by Chester’s wealth and sophistication, Rydal gladly accepts their invitation to dinner.

    However, all is not as it seems with the MacFarlands and Chester’s affable exterior hides darker secrets. When Rydal visits the couple at their exclusive hotel, Chester presses him to help move the body of a seemingly unconscious man who he claims attacked him. In the moment, Rydal agrees but as events take a more sinister turn he finds himself compromised and unable to pull himself free. His increasing infatuation with the vulnerable and responsive Colette gives rise to Chester’s jealousy and paranoia, leading to a tense and dangerous battle of wits between the two men. Their journey takes them from Greece to Turkey, and to a dramatic finale played out in the back alleys of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar.

    It’s from the writer of Drive and the studios behind Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, so hopes are high. Just look how dramatic everyone looks!

    And that’s not Kirsten’s only project! She and Viggo both have parts in On the Road; her sci-fi love story Upside Down finally comes out in December; she’ll also appear in the thriller Cities with Orlando Bloom; and she’ll be a part of another play-turned-movie, Red Light Winter, about friends whose lives are changed after a run-in with a prostitute in Amsterdam.

    These are all darker, mature roles, perfectly timed since Kirsten turned 30 this year. I think we were all in danger of mentally typecasting her as the sweet young twentysomething, but she needed some time off so that she could return as a woman. A woman with insecurities about not being married, with a shady husband, or with a star-crossed love story with a man who resides in a world that’s the mirror image of her own. I’m really excited to see this new phase of Kirsten Dunst’s career.

    The Resurrection of Kirsten Dunst:

    She’s been the wunderkind, the girl next door, the “It” girl, and the first in the recent string of doe-eyed beauties pegged with the label “Manic Pixie Dream Girl.” The most rewarding category Kirsten Dunst has been thrust into is perhaps the most recent: the comeback.

    With the theatrical release of the comedy “Bachelorette” this weekend, Dunst, 30, has found herself back atop the list of bankable starlets after a few years filled with questionable film choices and a stint in rehab.

    We can track the beginning of her fall from grace around the time of the “Spider-Man 3″ release in 2007. For the final film starring Tobey Maguire as Spidey and Dunst as Mary Jane Watson, you could see the toll three blockbuster installments of the franchise in five years had done to both leads. The two were rather lackluster in their press commitments for the film, though Dunst went on record that she’d do a fourth if director Sam Raimi and Maguire returned. As it happened, Sony pressed pause on the franchise for five years and recently relaunched it as “The Amazing Spider-Man” with a younger cast (Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone).

    News broke in February 2008 that Dunst had checked into the Cirque Lodge Treatment Center in Utah, and though she and her team said it was because of depression, many of the celeb mags reported that Dunst was partying hard. Things didn’t get any better later in the year when her next big movie, “How to Lose Friends and Alienate People” with Simon Pegg, opened in the States with lackluster earnings and critical reception. At the end, the film grossed $2.8 million (the budget was $28 million) with a deflating 37% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

    After leaving rehab in late March, Dunst came out revived but perhaps realizing she was at a crossroads in her career.

    Before “Spider-Man 3,” Dunst had her pick of any tween comedy or drama that was hot at a studio. Whether it was a bubble-gum cheerleader (“Bring It On”), a troubled high schooler (“Crazy/Beautiful”) or an iconic queen with a penchant for cake (“Marie Antoinette”), her good looks and talents would plug any plot hole or non-existent storyline. However, closing in on 30 usually is when the former child star gets the wake-up call that they can’t be young forever. “Who you are at 25 and who you are at 29 is a very different thing. For me, it feels like a 20-year age gap,” she told British Elle in 2011.

    Dunst kicked off her reinvention by co-starring with Ryan Gosling in the drama “All Good Things,” which is based on an unsolved murder. Set in the 1980s on the posh Upper East Side of New York City, the story found a small audience through VOD and hardly made a peep in theaters. However, for Dunst it wasn’t about making “Spider-Man”-like money, as she told Harper’s Bazaar in 2008. “I remember reading an article about Jodie Foster, that at one point she wanted to give up acting and go be a ski bum, and then she did ‘The Accused’ and it reignited her passion for what she does again,” Dunst says. “‘All Good Things’ was a little bit like that for me. After you go through a difficult time, you don’t care anymore. You’re so much more free. You’re not as scared, and you’re not as dependent on what other people think of you”

    But then Dunst got the call she needed. Danish film-making legend Lars von Trier wanted Dunst for the lead in his pre-apocalyptic drama “Melancholia.” After losing Penelope Cruz for the role, von Trier turned to his fellow directing colleagues like Paul Thomas Anderson for casting advice, and Dunst received glowing remarks. She took on the role of Justine, a woman crippled with depression who, along with her sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg), is waiting to see if the aptly named planet Melancholia will smash into Earth and obliterate them all.

    Dunst won the Best Actress Award at Cannes 2012 for her performance, and the film is one of von Trier’s highest grossing films in America, as well as a big hit on VOD.

    Now Dunst is showing her comedic chops as the perfectionist ice queen Regan in “Bachelorette.” Based on the stage play by writer/director Leslye Headland and produced by Adam McKay and Will Ferrell, the comedy was the talk of this year’s Sundance Film Festival where you either heard people call it “the raunchy ‘Bridesmaids’” or “the girls’ version of ‘The Hangover.’” Like “Melancholia,” the film has been available on demand weeks before its theatrical release; it’s also the first pre-theatrical release to hit #1 on iTunes. Dunst’s performance has not gone unnoticed either; as The Hollywood Reporter noted, the Regan character “is embodied to cool perfection and with precision timing by Dunst.”

    Up next you’ll find Dunst in the much anticipated adaption of the Beat novel “On The Road,” starring Kristen Stewart. Her next film “The Bling Ring” with Emma Watson is already in the can; her good friend Sofia Coppola (“The Virgin Suicides,” “Marie Antoinette”) wrote and directs this crime drama co-starring Emma Watson about a group of teens who rob celebrity homes.

    There’s nothing Hollywood loves more than a comeback story, and Kirsten Dunst has a good one. It’s going to be fun to watch where it goes from here.

    Please Explain: Kirsten Dunst (No.2):

    The Juice Blog’s newest contribution to society, Please Explain is on to its next subject. I’ve never understood how actress Kirsten Dunst gets so many high-profile movie roles. The first time I ever remember seeing Dunst was as a 12 year-old in “Interview with a Vampire.” It was one of the best child acting performances of all-time. Guess what, it’s still her best work.

    I don’t like to get too personal on the looks front, but if you are a lead actress, you need to be sexy. Kirsten Dunst is not. The biggest role of her movie career has been playing Peter Parker’s girlfriend in the Spider-Man movies. When you watch a scene on the big screen and think that even Tobey Maguire is slumming it, I think you need to reconsider casting your lead actress.

    Looks are only half the problem, as I don’t think Dunst is a particularly gifted actress. Glenn Close doesn’t turn me on, but I’ve enjoyed her as the female lead before, because she is a powerhouse actress. Dunst has starred in movies done for top-notch directors like Cameron Crowe, Mike Newell, Michael Gondry, and Sofia Coppola. She’s not the worst actress, but her mix of talent and looks makes it a mystery to me why she has gotten such high-profile gigs.

    If you are a fan of Kirsten, explain why my feelings are wrong. If not, please be as descriptive in what you don’t like about her. I chose her as the second subject for Please Explain, as I know she isn’t as easy of a target as Dave Matthews.

      Terrence Michael Clay

      (July 28, 2013 - 6:26 am)

      The Kirsten Dunst Comeback Rolls On:

      Kirsten Dunst disappeared from the big screen for two years (a fact we can blame for the rise of Anne Hathaway), was always seen drunk in the tabloids, went to rehab and battled depression. She pulled it back together and is suddenly everywhere from All Good Things with Ryan Gosling, Lars von Trier’s Melancholia, and staring uncomfortably at the camera in the last R.E.M. video. If she’s looking for a comeback she’s succeeding and has just picked up a new role.

      ComingSoon reports that Dunst will be starring in Cities, which is set in the time right before the economy tanked and interweaves stories happening in New York, London and Mumbai. Orlando Bloom has also been cast, reuniting the pair for anyone who really loved 2005’s Elizabethtown, which is probably no one (One person? Okay.).

      Though financial dramas always sound boring just by definition of the genre, Margin Call, a film about the inner workings of a bank before the collapse, and Tower Heist, about employess at a hotel stealing from a Bernie Madoff like-figure, have been well received.

      Dunst has also filmed Bachelorette, Upside Down, Charm and On the Road, all set to be released next year. The only downside to her doing so well, is she will probably never get desperate enough to film Bring It On 5: Cheerleaders Never Die.

      Kirsten Dunst Gets Serious:

      During the past few years, accolades have routinely fallen on a quintet of Kirsten Dunst’s twentysomething colleagues—Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway, Scarlett Johansson, Carey Mulligan, and Michelle Williams—while little Kiki has festered in the background, a victim of too much, and too mainstream, success ( Spider-Man), and too many projects that missed the mark with both critics and consumers ( Elizabethtown, Wimbledon). And then her recent two-year absence from the screen was accompanied by wild tabloid talk suggesting she was heading for a Lindsay Lohan showbiz netherworld.

      But now she is back. Over the next year, no fewer than four Kirsten Dunst projects will reach screens, a parade of dramatic movies that seem likely to showcase that a serious actress has been developing under our noses. The festivities kicked off last month with All Good Things, the first fiction film by Capturing the Friedmans director Andrew Jarecki. Inspired by the notorious case of Robert Durst, a Manhattan real-estate scion suspected of, but never charged with, killing his wife, Dunst plays Katie, the presumably offed wife, opposite Ryan Gosling as her disintegrating husband. The thankless role of victimized spouse is one that has ground to dust many a fine actress, but in All Good Things, Dunst gives the character a quiet power, persistently making her a more compelling presence than the showy part of the psychopath at the center of the story.

      Kirsten Dunst career comeback? Bring it on:

      Kirsten Dunst has had a rough few years.

      At one point, the actress was on the rise as a leading lady, starring in films like The Virgin Suicides, Spider-Man, and Marie Antoinette. Then, somewhere along the way, she earned the nickname “Kirsten Drunkst” and even worse, she starred in the movie Elizabethtown, with the longest most unnecessary phone conversation in movie history. And remember—before Jake Gyllenhaal was linked to the blondest actress in Hollywood, he was linked to the fair-haired Dunst first.

      Despite the rough bout, it’s exciting to see the actress being recognized for her talent by winning Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival for her work in Melancholia.

      Kirsten Dunst has always been an actress that’s made interesting movie choices. During her teen years, she took on interesting roles on NBC’s “ER” and in satire like Wag the Dog and Dick.

      Maybe this win at Cannes will get her back on top. It’s nice to read about her name at film festivals instead of on Perez Hilton.

      Nominated for Nothing: ‘Melancholia’:

      he Film: Melancholia, the latest meditation on the absurdity of human existence from Danish provacateur Lars von Trier, starring Kirsten Dunst in a theoretical comeback performance as a manic-depressive woman struggling to get through her own wedding. Also, a runaway planet slams into Earth, destroying all life on our planet. Also, Kiefer Sutherland.
      Why It Wasn’t Nominated: The artiest of art films, Melancholia is split into two distinctive acts with extremely different tones: Part 1 is practically an ensemble wedding farce, while part 2 is a hermetically sealed drama about a family facing down the apocalypse. And both are tremendously depressing. Although the Academy isn’t against nominating sad movies, they usually prefer their melancholy with a hefty dose of uplift: Witness the love for the family-friendly Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, or the magic-hour PG-13 vision of WWI in War Horse. Melancholia is the opposite of uplifting: It’s a film which seems to argue that life itself is pointless. Or, as Dunst says at one point: “When I say we’re alone, we’re alone. Life is only on Earth, and not for long.”
      Dunst herself received accolades for her role in the movie, but her performance is extremely internal. Which is appropriate — she’s playing a character who feels locked away from normal human interaction. Unfortunately, it also means that Dunst doesn’t really have any obvious showcase scenes. By comparison, four of the current Best Actress nominees played characters who essentially only have showcase scenes: Glenn Close, Meryl Streep, Rooney Mara, and Michelle Williams spend their movies covered with makeup (and piercings), playing broad characters with memorable accents.
      You could argue that the Academy only had room for one cosmic-themed, narratively complicated family drama — and the humanistic vision of The Tree of Life is much more palatable than Melancholia‘s relentless misery. You could also point out that, if you want your movie to get nominated for an Oscar, it helps to be even just a little bit likable — and the famously combative von Trier was already a controversial personality before he decided to make jokes about Nazis. A dark, weird little film with a curious title and murky lighting and a brutal vision of humanity, Melancholia also only made about $3 million in domestic theaters. In short, this is not a movie that host Billy Crystal could have readily worked into his opening act.

        Terrence Michael Clay

        (July 29, 2013 - 1:25 am)

        The 25 Worst Movies By Good Directors:

        14. Elizabethtown (2005)
        Director: Cameron Crowe

        With his one-two punch of Jerry Maguire (1996) and Almost Famous (2000), writer-director Cameron Crowe massively endeared himself to both critics and ticket-purchasing audiences. In each Oscar-nominated film, Crowe demonstrated his uncanny knack for mature laughs and warm-hearted characterization, done in ways that set him apart from damn near all of his filmmaking peers.

        The honeymoon seemed over in 2001, however, when Crowe’s convoluted trainwreck Vanilla Sky disregarded the wonderful simplicity found in his previous movies. Elizabethtown, starring Orlando Bloom as a flashy shoe designer who heads back home to small-town life, was Crowe’s attempt to recapture that old Jerry Maguire magic—not so much.

        For one, Bloom’s chemistry with co-star Kirsten Dunst is non-existent, yet that’s actually the least of Elizabethtown’s problems. Chief amongst its downfalls is the script’s utter lack of tension. Bloom’s character simply drifts around from one uneventful interaction to the next—for two hours, no less. To paraphrase Cuba Gooding, Jr. in Jerry Maguire, “Show us the NoDoz pills!”

          Terrence Michael Clay

          (July 30, 2013 - 4:44 am)

          And speaking of Orlando Bloom:

          But Orlando Bloom has poor charisma. He went from Lord Of The Rings as a character who did not need much acting range, then to Pirates Of The Caribbean, to Troy, and then he headlined a major Hollywood blockbuster directed by Ridley Scott (Kingdom of Heaven) that bombed, and now the most recent thing he was a minor villain in ‘The Three Musketeers’ … But he was teased to play the main villain in the sequel… but that won’t happen since the first film bombed

          At the start I could tell Bloom was being groomed as a drawing name, but now I don’t see that happening.

          10 Terrible Movie Stars Who Just Can’t Act At All:

          7. Orlando Bloom

          You might know Orlando Bloom as Legolas from the Lord Of The Rings Trilogy and Will Turner from Pirates of the Caribbean and not much else. That’s because every time he shows up in a movie he plays Legolas from the Lord Of The Rings Trilogy and Will Turner from Pirates of the Caribbean but with different hair. That’s pretty much his entire repertoire.

          Back around the year 2007 believe it or not quite a few people had pegged Orlando Bloom to be the next big thing in Hollywood – he appeared in the LOTR trilogy off the back of little to no experience and he was perfectly cast as the slightly aloof elf. This of course didn’t pan out. Perhaps he just cracked under the pressure of having to portray emotions on screen and having to convince you he’s something he’s not (you know like an actor).

          Still Orlando Bloom will always have a place in the film world as Legolas the weightless elf who slid down the back of some weird middle earthy elephant thingy and landed directly in our hearts.

          10 Great Film Ideas Utterly Wasted On Terrible Actors:

          7. Kingdom of Heaven – Orlando Bloom

          How can an action adventure movie about the battles of the Crusades fail to be exciting? That’s like, one of the most interesting, dramatic periods in history, and I would jump at the chance to watch a shiny, expensive, modern version of the events. Wait, what’s that? You cast Orlando Bloom in it? Oh.

          Now, this might be a little unfair, because Orlando Bloom really isn’t a terrible actor. He’s just incredibly bland and not at all right for a film like this. Sure, he’s nice to look at, but despite the high profile roles he’s had in the past, he lacks a certain charisma and screen presence one needs to pull off these types of roles. Sorry, Legolas. It had to be said.

          10 Actors Who Should Never Be Allowed To Work Again:

          9. Orlando Bloom

          Orlando Bloom is a man extremely popular with the ladies, whether he’s being out acted by trees in The Lord of the Rings or single-handedly destroying Kingdom of Heaven, he’s always maintained his status as a heartthrob. On the other hand, however, Bloom has been savaged by critics throughout his career, and for good reason.

          His dismal performances in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, Troy, Elizabethtown and The Three Musketeers are enough to make anyone go insane at his inability to deliver the simplest of lines.

          It’s something of a travesty he has been involved in two of cinema’s biggest and most commercially successful trilogies as he is completely benign of talent and would be better suited to a profession that didn’t involve having to convince people you’re somebody else for a living.

          10 Terrible Actors Who Got Lucky Breaks:

          8. Orlando Bloom

          Aside from a few small appearances in British shows like Casuality, Orlando Bloom was virtually unknown until he was cast as Legolas in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, propelling him to overnight fame, and leading to him also starring in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise as Will Turner.

          All he proved in these films, however, was that he had the look, but not the talent; his obnoxious delivery of lines and incredibly forgettable personality made for some of the more awkward moments in both the Rings and Pirates series, and so it wasn’t too much of a surprise that he ended up being written out of the latter franchise alongside Keira Knightley.

          Compounding this is his CV since; he’s starred in a small number of indie productions, but hasn’t exactly scored a big success since leaving those franchises. He’s reported to appear in the third and final Hobbit film, There and Back Again, but I imagine after he’s done milking that gravy train he’ll return to the obscurity he’s suffered for the last half-decade.

          10 Awesome Performances From Usually Terrible Actors:
          3. Ryan O’Neal – Paper Moon (1973)

          The Orlando Bloom of his day, Ryan O’Neal had the looks to be a movie star but none of the talent. Overbearingly earnest and flat as a pancake, O’Neal had a brief stint as a star before Hollywood figured him out and he disappeared into drunken oblivion. Nonetheless, Ryan O’Neal, the Ryan O’Neal responsible for this moment of cinematic hideousness, had time to pop out one good performance.

          Paper Moon is a classic depression-era comedy from director Peter Bogdanovich about a conman posing as a bible salesman. Playing Moses Pray, O’Neal’s artificial acting style is put to good use by Bogdanovich, who moulds the actor into a dashing silhouette of ’30s Hollywood cinema. O’Neal never fared well in serious roles (Barry Lyndon aside), but Paper Moon shows his flair for comedy. It also shows how well he does when he stops taking himself seriously – as a smarmy, conniving drifter, Paper Moon makes a case for O’Neal being a canny comedian that foolishly spent a career trying to be a serious actor.

          10 Awful Performances In 10 Great Movies:

          8. Orlando Bloom – The Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl

          Ah, Orlando Bloom. While his stilted delivery was just about fitting in the setting of the aforementioned Lord Of The Rings films, it comes off as plainly wooden in the more realistic world and context of Pirates. It probably doesn’t help that he’s performing opposite the electrifying Johnny Depp, but his delivery and general acting falls by the wayside and looks remarkably pale in comparison to the other lead.

          Special mention to Keira Knightley here too, as she was pretty shocking.

          Going back to the subject of Kirsten Dunst:

          As for over pushed, it pains me to say these names, but Kirsten Dunst and Christina Ricci, for different reasons.

          Dunst is, IMHO, not terrible, but got seriously overplayed, especially after Spider-Man. Now it’s just mediocre after mediocre script, which is a shame.

          Ricci is the opposite. She does indy movies all the time, but has not had a mainstream hit in a long time and, even if there is a success, it’s not exploited and she just slides back into niche fame.

          Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

          (February 18, 2015 - 4:07 am)

          Death of the Rom-Com: 11 Worst Cliches of the Moribund Genre:

          ‘Manic Pixie Dream Girl’

          Worst offenders: “Elizabethtown,” “Garden State,” “500 Days of Summer,” “Forces of Nature”

          A gendered spin on the “Magical Negro” trope, the “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” is a spontaneous eccentric who exists solely to pull her male love interest out of his shell. Interestingly, this cliche bears some hallmarks of the “best friend” trope, most poignantly in the idea that possessing a complex inner life is optional and in fact not encouraged. It’s all about his journey, after all.

          Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

          (May 29, 2015 - 10:03 pm)

          Maybe ‘Aloha’ Director Cameron Crowe’s ‘Elizabethtown’ Isn’t As Bad As You Remember It Being:

          By Alyssa Fikse • 05.29.15

          Cameron Crowe does not make movies for cynics. If audiences are going to accept lines like “I gave her my heart and she gave me a pen” and “I was just nowhere near your neighborhood“, they must put aside their usual snark and just let Crowe’s verbose optimism overwhelm them until they submit while shouting, “OK! You’re right! The world is beautiful and Tom Petty sounds like America!” To watch a Cameron Crowe film is to feel alive and powerful. Your dreams are attainable, but even if you don’t quite make the cut, your story is still worth telling.

          Crowe’s career has had the usual ups and downs: the great (Almost Famous), the middling, and those we do not speak of in polite company (Vanilla Sky). His latest, Aloha, opens this weekend, and the critics are not in love or like with it, to put it mildly. This is something of a trend for Crowe following his impressive run of hits with Say Anything, Singles, Jerry Maguire, and Almost Famous, but if it began with Vanilla Sky, it was cemented by Elizabethtown. Divisive and mostly panned, the film even inspired the induction of a new term into the cultural zeitgeist. But what if it’s not as bad as you remember? Here are a few points I’d like you to consider.

          It Means Well.

          For a movie that starts with a suicide attempt and ends with a funeral, Elizabethtown is sweet and endearing. If a hug were to take film-form, it would be Elizabethtown. Yes, it is a little trite. Yes, the performances aren’t as strong as some other Crowe ventures (sure, he’s a couch jumper with a maniacal ever-present smile, but can anyone sell a line like Tom Cruise?). However, the charm, genius musical moments, and life-affirming spirit are all still there. It will never be remembered as Crowe’s best work, but the ire that it receives might be undeserved. Sometimes it is a relief to watch a small film about nice people trying to do good.

          The Story of Loss and Being Lost is Universally Affecting.

          Back when Elizabethtown was released in 2005, Orlando Bloom was poised to become The Next Big Thing. However, the world eventually decided that they really only liked him as an elf or a pirate, and he never reached the level of fame that his early career predicted. Elizabethtown was his big shot at being a leading man, and he doesn’t quite pull it off. However, his performance is still endearing. As Drew Baylor, a failed shoe designer who lost his company, $1 billion and lost his job, Bloom postpones his suicide attempt when he learns that his father has died and that he has to handle the cremation and memorial service. His sad puppy face cannot help but garner some goodwill, and his emotional journey and acceptance of his father’s death is deeply moving. Anyone who has lost someone close to them, especially a parent, can relate to the rudderless feeling that accompanies the absence. As Drew drives across the country, spreading his father’s ashes and finding some form of closure, audience members may find a bit of emotional catharsis as well.

          Dissecting the Myth of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

          Along the way, Drew meets Claire, a bubbly flight attendant who offers a friendly ear. Kirsten Dunst is often cited as one of the biggest flaws in this film. Her Claire is the quintessential “Manic Pixie Dream Girl,” a girl existing only as a plot device and to show the protagonist (usually a morose young white man) how to truly live. This criticism isn’t unfounded, but I would argue that Dunst does well with the material she is given. She’s full of folksy advice and toothy smiles, and she tries her best to convince Drew (and the audience) that life isn’t so bad and good things are attainable after failure. Ultimately, this is Drew’s story, and she is just one of the many characters that are there to help him find his way. Pop-culture writer Nathan Rabin, who coined the phrase, has expressed regret for adding it to the pop-culture landscape, pointing out that while the term was created to expose sexist tropes, it itself became a sexist trope. Claire may not be the most progressive character, but the hate directed at Dunst’s performance might be a bit unfounded. Tell me that you wouldn’t want an incredible road trip map like the one she makes, and I will call you a liar.

          The Soundtrack Is So Great.

          As with all Cameron Crowe films, part of Elizabethtown‘s strength is in its excellent soundtrack. Two songs in particular permeate the film: “My Father’s Gun” by Elton John and “It’ll All Work Out” by Tom Petty. These songs perfectly encapsulate the feelings of loss, hope, and starting again that define this film. Also, My Morning Jacket, one of the greatest rock bands performing today, cameos as Ruckus, a Drew’s cousin’s Lynyrd Skynyrd cover band. As the band plays “Freebird” while the memorial services go up in literal flames, a classic Cameron Crowe moment is born.

          Ten years after its release, Elizabethtown is worth a second viewing. Let this movie’s sunny optimism envelope you. Failure and grief are a part of life, but they are not the end of life. Allow yourself to be moved by Susan Sarandon’s tap dancing, pseudo-philosphical musings on who the collective “they” is, and of course, Chuck and Cindy: Lovin’ Life. Also, any movie that incorporates house demolition into child care cannot be wholly bad.

            Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

            (May 30, 2015 - 12:58 am)

            The decline of Cameron Crowe’s battered idealists:

            “I love him. I love him for the man he wants to be. And I love him for the man he almost is.” —Renée Zellweger, Jerry Maguire

            Way back in 2000, when Cameron Crowe was doing press for Almost Famous, I asked him what defines “the Cameron Crowe hero.” His response:

            “The battered idealist. It’s just my favorite character. I write it no matter what I do. It sort of comes from my upbringing. My mom would always say, “Be positive, be positive. It’s rough out there, but don’t succumb. Don’t succumb to the cynicism in the world.” To me, a hero is somebody who’s able to accept the environment of the world, deal with the stuff that’s thrown in their path—or, in Fast Times [At Ridgemont High], the coffee that’s thrown in their face—and somehow keep their heart.”

            Fifteen years later, with Crowe’s Aloha poised to flop over the weekend, the director himself has become a battered idealist, trying to push his sincere, open-hearted vision through a studio that lacks confidence in him and a consensus among critics (me included) that he’s made his worst movie. Based on the quote above, his instincts as a filmmaker would be to stay positive and not succumb to the cynicism of the world—even though his films, with their weakness for catchphrases and big, crowd-pleasing gestures, could be mistaken for cynical in their worst moments. And bum moments have been popping up more frequently in Crowe’s work lately, from the excesses of Elizabethtown, which turns a third-act road adventure into an endless journey through his iPod, to the bland platitudes of We Bought A Zoo, an oft-touching (and underrated) family film that pushes his earnestness to the limit, to the nonsensical plotting of Aloha, which pivots on an act of private-sector nefariousness that wouldn’t be plausible for a Bond villain.

            To a certain extent, Crowe is right to dig in his heels. Sincerity is the guiding force in his movies, and an increasingly rare presence in mainstream cinema. Just the title alone for We Bought A Zoo got the Internet meme machine up and running, but Crowe’s emotional investment in a family working through their grief by taking on a new adventure is unquestionably real—and recalls the superior Carroll Ballard film Fly Away Home. Contrast that with the family-first bullshit shoveled by meathead blockbusters like Furious 7 and the upcoming Entourage, and Crowe’s insistence on treating his characters with true generosity and love is held in sharp relief. His films are fundamentally about the pursuit of happiness, and without the abiding optimism that goodness is rewarded and happiness is achievable, Cameron Crowe would not be Cameron Crowe, and Hollywood would be poorer without him.

            But Crowe’s unwillingness to rethink his “battered idealist” character is stubbornness of a more self-destructive kind. The problems with Aloha don’t fall entirely on mercenary military contractor Brian Gilcrest (played by Bradley Cooper), whose war-weary cynicism and hidden reserves of feeling are cast from the mold of Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca. The film is abysmally plotted and paced, particularly in the first and final third, and contrives an ending that’s both ludicrous and tidy. But Gilcrest is the latest example of a Crowe hero who’s all but interchangeable with Crowe heroes past, and the writer-director’s unwillingness to update him for the times or change the formula that carries him to greatness is doing serious damage to his work.

            Let’s go all the way back to Crowe’s directorial debut, Say Anything…, when his idealist was too young to get much of a battering. When Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack), the lovable slacker who wins the unlikely affections of class valedictorian Diane Court (Ione Skye), gets asked what he wants to do for a living, his response is a memorable jumble: “I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed.” Lloyd doesn’t have to think of the future—pointedly refuses to, in fact—beyond spending the summer with a girl he adores. He’s at an age when such radical idealism is possible, because he hasn’t yet entered the real world, and when Diane’s father (John Mahoney) is arrested for bilking the residents of his retirement home, we can see the terrible compromises that can go along with being an adult. Crowe gets the luxury of ending the movie before Lloyd is truly tested; we’re left with only a hint of uncertainty.

            When Cusack appeared 10 years later in Stephen Frears’ High Fidelity, it wasn’t hard to imagine his Rob Gordon as a grown-up Lloyd Dobler, beaten down by failed relationships, a struggling record-store business, and a more pronounced uncertainty about the future. But while Crowe could certainly handle the soundtrack for High Fidelity—and the star, and some of the humor, too—he’d be incapable of making it, because the complexities of being an adult continue to elude him. Rob doesn’t succumb to cynicism at the end of High Fidelity, but he does learn that idealism isn’t always the best way forward—that compromise is necessary for a healthy relationship (shi**y music included), that the fourth or fifth choice for a career can be great, and that the pursuit of happiness is ongoing and occasionally elusive. The thirtysomething Lloyd Dobler has to sell and buy things, maybe process them if necessary. That’s the way of the world.

            Yet Crowe has continued to advance the myth that happy endings are possible in Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous, Elizabethtown, We Bought A Zoo, and Aloha. When Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) writes his starry-eyed manifesto, gets fired by a large sports agency, and strikes out on his own, his journey is about living up to the ideals of his client-first manifesto—and becoming a better person in the process. And that leaves Dorothy Boyd (Zellweger), the single mother who joins his quixotic mission, to wait around until Jerry becomes the man he wants to be, and almost is. His lone client, a temperamental wide receiver played by Cuba Gooding Jr., calls it “the kwan,” a full package of “love, respect, community… and dollars, too” that stands as the ultimate goal, an achievement beyond the cold percentages and deal-making that usually define the relationship between an agent and an athlete. But touching as Jerry Maguire is, Crowe sets up the entire narrative as a mechanism through which one guy’s kwan is achieved, and it’s everyone else’s job to help make that happen. And once it happens, presumably inertia takes over: A happy object in motion tends to stay in motion.

            But where does that leave the women in Cameron Crowe movies? Beyond delivering the hero to the place he wants to be—to the place their perfect selves already are, in most cases—Crowe has never been able to imagine their destinies as being independent of his men, or even capable of supporting a true partnership. After Penny Lane (Kate Hudson) ushers teenage Crowe surrogate William Miller (Patrick Fugit) into adulthood in Almost Famous, she practically disappears into fairy dust. The women who stick around—Dorothy Boyd, Kirsten Dunst’s flight attendant in Elizabethtown, Scarlett Johansson’s zookeeper in We Bought A Zoo, Emma Stone’s fighter pilot in Aloha—do so because they’ve succeeded in their primary mission to make the hero as great as he wants to be. The shame of it is that Crowe plainly loves women, and has written some memorable roles for them, but he seems utterly incapable of making their wants and needs part of the narrative calculus. At best, his women get to look with pride and awe at the more complete men they’ve been instrumental in creating.

            The older Crowe gets, and the more the world changes, the more exposed the flaws in his formula become. Aloha is his worst film by orders of magnitude, and Cooper and Stone his least convincing pair, because his battered idealism is obscured by confusion in the plotting, and her unsullied idealism seems completely absurd for someone with a military career. Crowe throws Gilcrest into both a complicated love triangle and a dubious collaboration between the public and private sector, then goes to astounding lengths to tie up every loose end and bring him to the very same place he brings all his protagonists. And there again stands the bright young woman in his life, grinning at the accomplishment.

            To a degree, Crowe comes by his Hollywood endings honestly. From his time as a precocious Rolling Stone journalist, he’s never been able to shake a reputation for working too much in the main, of being more booster than critic. Part of the appeal of Crowe’s movies is that he wants his characters to achieve their best, happiest selves, and that certainly doesn’t conflict with a film industry that’s perpetually angling for that conclusion. But the best battered-idealist characters don’t necessarily shed the adjective in the end; the Bogart of Casablanca sacrifices himself and accepts a less-perfect fate, and the film is more romantic and egalitarian because of it. Failure is part of being an adult—and “fiascoes,” too, per Elizabethtown—but Crowe has kept the Lloyd Dobler fantasy alive into his late 50s, trusting that his unwillingness to “succumb to cynicism” will eventually pay off. In that, he’s writing his own false narrative.

          Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

          (August 17, 2015 - 2:39 am)

          ELIZABETHTOWN (2005):

          Written & Directed By: Cameron Crowe
          Cinematography By: John Toll
          Editor: David Moritz
          Music By: Nancy Wilson

          Cast: Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst, Susan Sarandon, Jessica Biel, Judy Greer, Bruce McGill, Paul Schneider, Loudon Wainwright III, Alec Baldwin, Jed Rees, Paula Deen

          After causing a loss of almost one billion dollars in his company, the shoe designer Drew Baylor decides to commit suicide. However, in the exact moment of his act of despair, he receives a phone call from his sister telling him that his beloved father had just died in Elizabethtown, and he should bring him back since his mother had problem with the relatives of his father. He travels in an empty red eye flight and meets the attendant Claire Colburn, who changes his view and perspective of life.

          This film is like a quirky cult novel or at least it wants to be, by trying to appeal to a mass audience and be a blockbuster. It wants to be unconventional yet tries on all the hip clothes and wants to be liked by the cool kids.

          I was personally excited for this film as it had Been 4 years since his last Film VANILLA SKY, which was a remake of the Spanish film OPEN YOUR EYES and once I knew this would be more of an original screenplay. I was all the more interested, until I began to see the trailers.

          This film has a whole backstory behind the scenes of getting made. With many starts and many cancellations. That seems unfortunately to be a pattern these days for director Cameron Crowe. Now understand I am a fan of his earlier films as FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH was a hallmark for me growing up. Even his directorial debut THE WILD LIFE, while not as good as Fast Times (Which he only wrote) was memorable to a degree. Cameron Crowe always managed to be a modern romantic. Without going overboard into mushiness and gave his films not only a pop culture reality, but more of a conetemporary feel. Giving a comedic edge, though luckily never talking down to the audience.

          Cameron Crowe had written the role of Drew Baylor with Orlando Bloom in mind. When Crowe originally offered Bloom the part, Bloom was unable to take it due to scheduling conflicts with Kingdom of Heaven. Crowe then cast Ashton Kutcher in the part but later felt that Kutcher and co-star Kirsten Dunst had no chemistry and decided to let him go. Crowe then pushed his January 2004 start shoot date back to July 2004 for a summer shoot. Many young actors that included Seann William Scott, James Franco, Colin Hanks, Christopher Masterson and Chris Evans auditioned for the part of Drew. Scott was seriously considered and nearly nabbed the part but Crowe pushed to get Bloom instead. When Bloom was able to work the film into his schedule, Crowe cast him in the part.

          While I am sure certainly a better choice at the time Then Ashton Kutcher. Orlando Bloom, Proves to be one of the films biggest weaknesses. As he offers no Charisma and no energy in the role and seems like he is stranded and doesn’t know what to do. It might be that the script makes everyone else around him interesting. Yet continuously makes him boring and bland. Kutcher might have been an inspired choice only because of his handsomeness and quirkiness on screen. Though this role would have called for more dramatic scenes and talent that he hadn’t quite tapped into yet…or ever. Especially if the film SPREAD is any hint.

          Cameron Crowe’s first choice for the part of Claire Colburn was Kirsten Dunst. Dunst wanted the part very much but had already signed for The Village. Evan Rachel Wood (who was apparently too young) was then under consideration for the part but Dunst dropped out of The Village at the last moment to audition for the part and won it. Judy Greer, however, appeared in both “The Village” and “Elizabethtown”. Scarlett Johansson auditioned for the role of Claire. And Jessica Biel auditioned for the role of Claire but was cast as Ellen instead.

          Jane Fonda was originally set to play Hollie Baylor but dropped out when filming was delayed. She was replaced with Susan Sarandon

          When it comes to this film, I believe it’s a case of the director’s heart being in the right place and wanting to convey a message to the audience. At the very least he is trying to tell a story that was near and dear to his heart, unfortunately he Bogged it down in over-sentimentality, even for the audience he was aiming for (which seems more like he was courting) the film is trying to be earnest.

          You can feel that the film is personal, so personal that the only person to really enjoy and get the film might be the filmmaker and those close to him. It’s well intentioned with plenty of theory.

          The writing makes the film feel like an on location episode of The television show ALLY MCBEAL. Overly sweet to the point of over saturation with emotions. To try and get the audience to identify with the film as well as entertain. The film has a great soundtrack that one wonders if the scenes were more inspired by the songs he chooses to use more then natural story elements. Since there are many scenes that just seem to add characters, but don’t further the plot. It can be seen as enriching, but just makes the film feel longer.

          Cameron Crowe here seems to have gotten comfortable and older. Making films using the same skills he always had when he was younger and using the same types of methods that have worked before for him. This is the first time they just didn’t and come off as obvious and transparent. There is heart here yet it is buried by so much Americana throughout and little characters full of quirk as well as situations. That it feels insincere and pandering. Drowning out whatever goodwill there is. It also isn’t subtle as it just seems to be blatant until you feel drowning in it. This might have worked in the past, but the film is too all over the place and most of it’s notions feel classic, yet Don’t work as easily as they once did. Especially for an experienced filmmaker he should know better.

          The Claire Colburn character in this movie (played by Kirsten Dunst) was the reason for “The A.V. Club” columnist Nathan Rabin’s coinage of the term “The Manic Pixie Dream Girl,” which later entered into common usage in movie writing. Rabin’s definition of the term, which first appeared in a 2007 article titled “My Year Of Flops/The Bataan Death March of Whimsy Case File #1: Elizabethtown,” was: “The Manic Pixie Dream Girl exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures. The Manic Pixie Dream Girl is an all-or-nothing-proposition. Audiences either want to marry her instantly (despite The Manic Pixie Dream Girl being, you know, a fictional character) or they want to commit grievous bodily harm against them and their immediate family. As for me, well, let’s just say I’m not going to propose to Dunst’s psychotically chipper waitress in the sky any time soon…(see Natalie Portman in Garden State for another prime example).”

          Now i can’t entirely blame him. This is his first original screenplay after the acclaimed, ALMOST FAMOUS a tale that was autobiographical. Here he tries to use what seems to be some personal experiences especially his feelings it seems about his father and works as a meditation through his feelings the best way he knows how to. Unfortunately once he does he also indulges in the factors that have so far worked previously. The unorthodox romance, the manic pixie dream girl who has no other life then to be there and advise him. Everything about this film seems to have a need or desire to be cute anytime it gets too close to reality. Make even the conventional be more quirky and artisanal. It seems like a story and draft that kept getting bigger and is too big as no one told him no to certain aspects.

          This feels like a studio version of GARDEN STATE only with a bigger budget and more southern themed.

          Yet you can see the influences of Billy Wilder and classic films in the work of Cameron Crowe. Here it just seems more expansive. The staging the emphasis more on dialogue and wacky situations. A philosophy of life and the craziness of it all which each character seems to have. Bleak situations made lighter by larger than life characters and elements.

          Don’t get me wrong there is much to like and admire in the film. Especially the final 20 minutes a road trip that is scored to Elton John’s MY FATHER’s GUN proves that director Crowe hasn’t lost his ear for music and montages.

          It is truly exhilarating. As in that scene the director finally brings out the emotions the rest of the film aimed for.

          The film seems like it would work more as a book with it’s quirkiness and odd tone and different directions it chooses to take and especially towards the end the road trip which feels like a travelogue for a dream road trip could have been better served in print and reading and hearing the details. Like you are there then just letting it be background in a montage to find deeper meaning and remind the audience of Americana. Which essentially this film ultimately feels like a melodramatic propaganda piece of Americans and dismantling of the American dream to show what is of true value in life.

          The last film featuring character actor Gailard Sartain (ALI, MISSISSIPI BURNING, THE PATRIOT, THE REPLACEMENTS, FRIED GREEN TOMATOES) who retired from acting.

          As Kirsten Dunst plays her role. When she is on screen that is when the film seems to find the time to be enjoyable. I even found Kirsten Dunst to go above and beyond with her role here. I just wish the film was as worthy. She is the manic pixie dream girl in question. This is also the film that had film critic/writer Nathan Rabin create the term manic pixie dream girl to describe a female character who is so quirky, wacky and perfect as she dispenses world weary Advice and has this demeanor of happy, yet needs to be saved. Her only purpose it seems is to inspire the male leads and make him fall in love with her. Though they have just met.

          Which is part of the problem the characters never feel real they seem like fantasy versions of people you wish you could meet. They seem to have a certain sweet poetry to them. So in essence they always feel like characters of a writer.

          The film leaves itself open to many questions throughout the film. In terms of logic, but are meant to help further the plot. I mean would a shoe company really put a hundred million dollar campaign on a new sneaker by an unproven designer and then never test the shoe? Then in today’s times with rarities being so hip and getting too dollar for them. Wouldn’t these sneakers become instant collector’s items?

          I understand that this film is a celebration of life in general. It just feels like with this film every scenes seems like it is attempting to be movie trailer ready and in essence a highlight reel upon itself.

          The film early on tries to be darkly comedic but then again has to make everything so special and different that it comes off more as wacky. It’s obvious this is a film that is deeply personal and when you do work that is deeply personal. You get blinded to things you normally would know to avoid or know to work around or edit out eventually, but usually this art work you are making is therapeutic to you dealing with your emotional state. We all cope in different ways.

          This film is dealing with an emotional minefield while also being a celebration. More than a memorial and here and there you seen touches of the auteur coming in.

          But it’s with most things that are personal. yes some can relate, but some don’t understand and are lost

          It has a lot of emotional tangents. While filling the film with quirky lovable characters, but strangely while providing support these characters seem better suited in a television show.

          As the film goes along we are meant to use the lead as a surrogate as all the crazy situations occur and we meet the rest of the characters. He is the only bland character and he is suicidal. Which is rarely brought up again after his cute failed attempt. I don’t know if the character is written as bland or if that is Just the way Orlando bloom decides to portray him. He does what he is asked to do, but truly bring nothing to the role. No charisma to the character. He Is just so stiff.

          Skip it, but with reservations as some might actually enjoy it and see it as sincere and pure.

          Grade: D+

        Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

        (September 22, 2014 - 6:17 pm)

        Kirsten Dunst 2014: ‘Spider-Man’ Actress Talks Indie Movie Career, Aging And Women In Hollywood:

        Kirsten Dunst, unlike the vast majority of other actresses, doesn’t think women have a harder time in Hollywood as they get older.

        “I don’t buy that stuff about things getting harder for actresses as they get older,” the 32-year-old actress told The Edit. “Actually, I think it’s going to get easier. I mean, it’s the golden age of television and I’m only about five years away from doing a TV show, for sure. I’m not going to record an album or anything but I would definitely do a musical movie. Basically, I’m pretty much game for anything.”

        Also contrary to mainstream opinion, Dunst argued that plastic surgery and botox hurt career longevity far more than they help it.

        “If you’re going to be an actress who is lasting and still working when she’s older, you can’t have stuff done because you just look weird, and you certainly can’t be in period films,” she said. “I’ve heard of men doing it too, and I get so distracted by it. I can’t even see their performance because I’m just thinking, ‘What did they do to their face?’ ‘Filling’ is definitely the worst thing people do; it makes everyone look puffy.”

        Dunst’s own career has come under speculation in recent recent years, as the “Marie Antoinette” actress has been largely absent from mainstream blockbusters. According to Dunst, she simply wanted to go indie.

        “You forget that not everyone goes to see independent films,” she said. “The other day this guy said to me: ‘Were you in the Spiderman movies?’ When I said yeah, he asked: ‘Do you make movies anymore?’ For most people, if you’re not in mainstream cinema, it’s like you’ve vanished.”

          Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

          (September 25, 2014 - 7:06 pm)

          Kirsten Dunst’s First Kiss Was Brad Pitt:

          CONAN: you’ve done so many big movies.
          what is the one you get recognized most for?
          KIRSTEN DUNST: definitely “spider-man.”
          and actually, what was funny is I was at Bloomingdale’s recently.
          I live in the valley, which is close to the studio. I was in fashion square mall and this woman comes up to me. I’m shopping for shoes. she looks at me and she takes my
          hand and she goes, I miss you in film.” she’s like, I’ve seen you in the “spider-man” movies, but why don’t we see you anymore?
          I miss you in movies.
          and I’m like, oh, god, I’m sorry we didn’t make a fourth movie. I’ve been working.
          I’m doing some independent theater, I’m sorry. she made me feel terrible and
          also like — yeah, just terrible, actually. — just terrible, actually. I just felt terrible, but she was so sweet, too.
          CONAN: that makes it even worse.
          KIRSTEN DUNST: yeah.
          the next film I have is warner bros., so maybe she’ll be happy. she wants a blockbuster movie. she wants me to bang it out. I’m like, I’m sorry, I —
          CONAN: you can’t apologize. also, I can’t believe how many
          people — when I walk around people always come up and — people say a lot of nice things. sometimes people think they’re saying something nice and I’m always getting like, oh, you’re so — I mean, you’re good-looking in person.
          KIRSTEN DUNST: oh, my god.
          CONAN: people think you’re so much better in person, and then I think, what freak is on the show?
          KIRSTEN DUNST: I felt that way, too. I’m like —
          CONAN: it’s so crazy. who’s that guy?
          ANDY: I always wonder, too. what does she expect that you’re turning down blockbusters left and right?
          KIRSTEN DUNST: I’d be happy to. please.
          CONAN: people are like, get me a blockbuster.
          KIRSTEN DUNST: here you go.

        Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

        (January 7, 2015 - 6:31 pm)

        Future of Movie Stars: Who Will Shine? Who Will Fade Away?


        Kirsten Dunst. I really think she’s someone who just flat out burned out. I mean really, she was EVERYWHERE in the mid-90’s up to the early 2000’s. It seems like she’s slowed the pace waaaayyyy down, but I’m not so sure if it’s that no one wants to work with her, or it’s her own choice. She did get good reviews for Melancholia, which came out recently. I wonder if she’ll go the way of another 90’s teen starlet and become the lead actress on a gritty cable t.v. show.

        Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

        (January 25, 2015 - 12:48 am)

        Clash of the Egos: On-Set Drama and Feuds:

        Lars Von Trier, I’ll never forget the side eye Kirsten Dunst gave him.

        When he started talking out the a** about Hitler, during a press event for Melancolia.

        In hindsight, I’d say he pretty much killed her chance for an Oscar nom.

      Terrence Michael Clay

      (July 29, 2013 - 2:41 am)

      Something that really irked me about “Spider-Man 3” is when the 3 main castmembers (Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, and James Franco) would do interviews and stuff to promote the movie (e.g. “Live w/ Regis & Kelly”, NBC’s “Today Show”, and MTV’s “Total Request Live”), it sounded like they were all really tired of playing the characters (more to the point, there were rumors that Tobey Maguire couldn’t handle the role anymore, as it was too strenuous on his back). The bottom-line is that you don’t have any enthusiasm for the movie you’re in, then why should I therefore, have enthusiasm to go see the damn thing at all?

        Terrence Michael Clay

        (August 2, 2013 - 5:28 am)

        The third Spider-Man movie suffered from a bad case of laziness (there are way too many plot coincidences) and “too many cooks in the kitchen”. You had the stuff that the studio wanted (e.g. Venom and to a lesser extent, Gwen Stacy), stuff that Sam Raimi wanted (e.g. Sandman, who is needlessly retcon into being the true killer of Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben, albeit “accidentally”), and stuff that needed to be included from a narrative standpoint because of the previous movies (e.g. the Harry Osborn/New Goblin stuff). I really don’t think (especially in retrospect) that anybody’s hearts (from the main three actors to Sam Raimi) were truly into it. By this point, they were kind of cashing in.

        It’s really too bad because, after the mostly positive response that the second movie received, Sam Raimi could’ve ended his Spidey trilogy (and who knows, how many more movies he could’ve done, since he never got around to doing a Lizard movie, despite us only seeing him in his human/Dr. Curt Connors form) on a much higher note. I just wish that “Spidey 3” and not ended on such an anti-climatic, ambiguous and dour/downbeat note.


          (August 2, 2013 - 8:41 am)

          Agreed. Although I actually think Raimi was invested. He can just make weird choices some times.

          To me, the New Goblin stuff derails the movie the most. I appreciate that they made an effort to tie up the Osborne storyline. But once you start getting into convenient soap opera amnesia, you have lost the plot. They probably should have just done a movie focusing on Harry as the New Goblin while introducing the black suit to set up Venom for a 4th movie.

          No matter how you slice it, there was enough material in Spider-man 3 for two movies. But the cast (and Raimi) were weary of the franchise and didn’t want to commit to a 4th film. So they squeezed too much in the third one and the movie suffered as a result.

          I’m still amazed that as jam-packed as the movie was, Raimi found room for two musical numbers. But then again, those scenes are pure Evil Dead Raimi.

          Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

          (October 27, 2014 - 6:24 pm)

          Spider-Man: All Movies Ranked From Worst To Best:

          1. Spider-Man 3

          What makes The Amazing Spider-Man 2 such a heinous crime is that at its core is was repeating the exact same problems that brought down Spider-Man 3 and the whole Raimi run of the series. What edges the original threequel ahead of the recent sequel is that there’s still a clear attempt to tell a coherent, stand-alone story.

          At its heart Spider-Man 3 has too many villains. It is an unavoidable problem that is central to everything else that went wrong with the film. But as Christopher Nolan showed with his Batman movies, it is possible to have multiple villains run through a film and it not feel crowded. The issue here is that each villain is fundamentally flawed to the point where they probably wouldn’t work on their own. Sandman is a mopey anti-hero who is lazily retconned into relevance, Venom is never explored beyond being a literal embodiment of inner-angst and the new Green Goblin, whom the series has been setting up for three films now, has amnesia central to his arc.

          The franchise had got to the point where it was so big that the studio felt they needed something with a wide appeal and began to override the creative decisions (see also, Batman Forever). There’s glimmers of good ideas in here – the Sandman origin sequence is visually brilliant and when taken out of context of the story some of the action sequences are fun – but it’s overwhelmed by a sense of compromise.

          Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

          (July 5, 2015 - 1:47 am)

          Re: Are we too harsh on SM3?


          We know that Venom was technically forced into SM3 by the studio, but to me, the film itself makes it seem like Sandman is the character that was shoehorned into the film. I’ve always said that I think SM3 could have been an amazing movie if Sandman was removed from it altogether and Brock/Venom was utilized as the main villain/conflict.

          If you think about it, Sandman in this film ultimately has little to no bearing or impact on the story itself. The story could have been told more competently and effectively if he wasn’t a part of it. He really only serves two functions in the story as it is, which is to 1) provide “bigger” action/spectacle than the previous films had and 2) an excuse for Peter something to be pissed about while he had the black suit.

          The retcon of Sandman killing Uncle Ben is the plot point that feels the most shoehorned into the movie. Since Sandman ultimately had nothing to do with Peter Parker and had no reason to have a vendetta against Spider-man (he escaped from prison, had an accident that gave him powers, and wanted to get money for his sick daughter), this was just a dumb way to create a coincidental connection between Sandman and Peter. The thinking behind the decision to make Sandman the real person who killed Uncle Ben is just so ass-backwards.

          I know some Sandman scenes were ultimately cut, but it stands now, he goes missing for chunks of the film (while Peter is dealing with the four or five other conflicts), to the point where you almost forget that he’s in the film at times. Even the scenes that were cut hardly would have added much depth or development, other than to emphasize that he was doing this “for Penny” and to explain exactly why he teamed up with Venom at the end, besides “we both hate the Spider”.

          Cutting Sandman and focusing solely on Venom and Harry as antagonists would have been an opportunity for the franchise to give us something other than villains with coincidental links to Peter who were created purely by chance in lab accidents that gave them powers and/or made them crazy. Yes, it’s a coincidence that Brock happened be at the cathedral when Peter got rid of the black suit, but the film could have further emphasized the dark thoughts and ill will/hatred that Brock felt towards Peter and Spider-man due to previous events. The black suit then only further enhanced his negativity and gave him the means to have the power to execute his will. Harry was also a “villain” not born by chance, but one who had a storyline that developed over three films and went over the deep end after choosing to follow his father’s path.

          A central theme in Spider-man 3 was about the darkness that we all carry within in us, and how hard it can sometimes be to tow the line between light and dark. Venom and Harry were perfect representations of that. As they tried to show in the film, Eddie represented a dark reflection of Peter Parker. He was someone who lacked the moral compass to always do the right thing, used lies and deception to try to get ahead, couldn’t get the girl of his dreams, and felt hatred towards someone like Peter who put him to shame and seemed to “have it all”. Harry, on the other hand, was the classic case of a “good guy gone bad” for all the wrong reasons, largely because of his misguided perception of his familial ties and the mistreatment/neglect of a father that never respected him.

          Sandman had none of that. He was pretty much just a good guy that seemed to be trying to “get by” in the wrong way (stealing) and accidentally killed someone once…but felt really bad about it. Then, when he escaped prison and got his powers, he was still just a good guy trying to do the right thing (help his sick daughter) but doing so in the wrong way. The theme of “forgiveness” that he represented (Peter needed to learn to forgive him for Uncle Ben’s death) was something that could have been represented between Peter and the core cast of characters in a different way, if that was something they felt they needed to do.

          As for Peter and the black suit, he didn’t need the thought of Uncle Ben’s killer still being at large as the motivating factor behind his “darkness”, just as it wasn’t needed in the comics. After receiving the black suit, the way it affected him should have been represented by his actions. Mistreating the people in his life (besides forcing them to give him cookies and milk or putting his feet on someone’s desk), going “too far” with his exploits as Spider-man by unnecessarily hurting criminals, saying cruel things to Aunt May, nearly killing his former best friend (as he did), and lastly, pushing Mary Jane away and ultimately striking her down. Peter hitting MJ in SM3 was pretty much the only compelling moment that properly demonstrated the effects of the black suit, and even then…it was an accident. Instead of those things I mentioned as black suit symptoms, we had a new hairstyle and two dance sequences that chewed up screen time for virtually no reason. (Note: Three dance sequences if you count Harry and MJ’s kitchen dance…)

          Even will all the over-stuffed story points, Eddie Brock still had a passable level of development throughout the film that led to him becoming Venom. If the movie had just given more time to his story and not Sandman’s, I actually think Venom could have wound up being Spider-man’s most memorable on-screen villain. It would have been great for them to really emphasize both Peter and Eddie’s descents into darkness, leading up to that defining moment in the cathedral (which could have came a bit earlier in the film) — a moment that allowed Peter to come back into the light, and allowed Eddie to only go further into darkness, despair, and hatred.

          /end essay

        Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

        (November 17, 2013 - 2:11 am)

        I’ve suggested this before in Michael Keaton’s WTHHT article (in relation to actors in superhero movies like Keaton’s “Batman” and Dunst’s “Spider-Man”) that Kirsten’s “Spider-Man” co-star, Tobey Maguire just might be due for his own WTHHT in the near future. Here’s something to give you a better idea:

        The funny thing about Tobey Maguire is that arguably at the end of the day, his Spider-Man “fame” really didn’t add to much. It was almost as if the public really wasn’t clamoring for more of him outside of the Spider-Man franchise. I mean, he barely did any other movies during that time-span (“Seabiscuit” is the one movie that immediately comes to my mind). The most high profile thing that he has done since he stopped being Spider-Man was “The Great Gatsby”, and I wouldn’t be too surprised if Leonardo DiCaprio (Tobey’s real life best friend) helped him get in the movie.

          Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

          (November 17, 2013 - 2:28 am)

          More to the point:
          What happened to Tobey Maguire’s career? (forums.icine):
          Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 1:24 am Post subject:
          I’d compare him to Matt Damon perhaps, an actor who is five years older, but similar in that neither are particularly gifted actors from a technical standpoint, but each relied on a likable boyishness well into his 30s. The difference is that Damon has managed to adapt to truly adult roles, not by changing his persona so much as by adding layers to it. It feels like he’s really grown, and you get the sense that he wants to challenge himself. That hasn’t happened for Maguire yet, and I’m not sure it will. I suspect that he doesn’t have much more to offer than the one or two notes he’s already shown us. And as I said, that wide-eyed quality becomes less appealing the older you get.


          The late ’90s were banner years for Tobey Maguire. Considered a talented rising star at the time, he had a string of good roles in good movies with The Ice Storm, Pleasantville, The Cider House Rules, and Wonder Boys. (He was so good that people mostly let him and Leonardo DiCaprio slide on that whole “P****y Posse” thing, which in hindsight maybe we as a culture should have tried to come down on a bit harder.) He seemed sweet, loveable, and nearly the epitome of the boy next door. Hey! That sounds like the perfect guy to take on the role of Spider-Man, and he was, for a while. His Spidey was kindhearted and noble, and you wanted to give him a hug every time he had to put duty before making out with Mary Jane.

          And then the disastrous Spider-Man 3 came out, and all you could see was douchiness. It was intentional, of course — that’s what the story called for, even though it still wasn’t successful. But suddenly all you could see was his emo hair and his petulant frown and think, wait, wasn’t that guy once in a group called the Pussy Posse? That’s the problem with iconic roles: when they go sour, the stigma tends to stick with you. Maguire does have a shot at redemption with The Great Gatsby, but we’ll have to wait and see.

            Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

            (November 17, 2013 - 2:35 am)

            One other side-note regarding Tobey Maguire is that I’ve read various stories on his IMDb page about him being aloof and otherwise unpleasant towards fans. For example, it’s easy to count on Tobey to be the type of celebrity who will flat out refuse to sign an autograph or take a photo w/ you. He must have known that by taking on an iconic role like Spider-Man would immediately create a lot of fans, yet he never appeared to be nice to any of them.

            Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

            (June 19, 2014 - 3:34 am)

            Here’s another good reason why Tobey Maguire perhaps, also deserves a WTHHT:

            Former “Spider-Man” actor Tobey Maguire — a regular winner in high-stakes poker games — “was the worst tipper, the best player, and the absolute worst loser,” according to Molly Bloom, who organized games for Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Affleck.

            A Vanity Fair excerpt of Bloom’s new memoir, “Molly’s Game” (ItBooks/HarperCollins), tells how a cocktail waitress from Colorado became Hollywood’s “Poker Princess,” taking home more than $50,000 a night.

            Bloom, 36, details how the games ended for good when Maguire decided she was making too much money. The “Seabiscuit” star humiliated her in front of the other players, ordering her to “bark like a seal who wants a fish” for a $1,000 chip.

            She tried to laugh it off, but Maguire persisted, “I’m not kidding. What’s wrong? You’re too rich now? You won’t bark for a thousand dollars?”

            Bloom also tells how Maguire refused to play poker without his Shuffle Master, a $17,000 device “that is supposed to deliver a fair, random shuffle every time and increase the speed of each game.”

            One day, when Bloom was delivering a check for his winnings, Maguire suggested that she pay him to rent the machine for future games.

            “I looked past him to the expansive foyer of his mansion in the hills. You could see straight through to the ocean. I laughed. Surely he was joking,” Bloom writes.

            “He couldn’t possibly be serious about charging rent for a machine he insisted that we use, from the guys whose money he was taking every week. But he was as serious as death.” Maguire wanted $200 a night for his Shuffle Master.

            Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

            (December 15, 2013 - 2:46 am)

            9 Terrible Movies That Ruined Promising Careers:

            3. Spider-Man 3 – Sam Raimi And Tobey Maguire

            Before my friends and family read this and tell me off for being a hypocrite, I must just say: I loved Spider-Man 3, I re-watched it over and over and I felt like crying when James Franco’s Goblin died. Nevertheless, I can appreciate why so many people call it a terrible film, so I had to fit it into this list.

            Sam Raimi made some very hated stylistic decisions on Spider-Man 3, including emo Peter Parker, some dodgy dancing, fighting three villains at once (with not nearly enough time on Topher Grace’s Venom), to name just the most frequently cited problems. Raimi has directed Drag Me To Hell and Oz The Great And Powerful since Spidey 3, neither of which were awful, but equally none inspired any particular devotion. The main thing Raimi may have lost is his reputation, which will never again reach his Evil Dead heights.

            Equally, his prancing about with eyeliner on may have cost Tobey Maguire some street cred, but I will say no more because it looks as though he may have saved himself with The Great Gatsby.

            Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

            (April 21, 2014 - 1:51 am)

            9 TV Stars Who Horribly Botched Their Big Leap Into Films:

            1. Topher Grace

            Of all the young actors who starred on That ’70s Show, only the youngest, Mila Kunis, has been able to sustain a successful movie career after the series ended in 2006. Both Topher Grace and Ashton Kutcher made only sporadic appearances in the final season as they attempted big screen careers. While Kutcher has had a few minor hits, Grace likely wonders if he should have stayed on television.

            The movies that Grace has starred in, like Win a Date with Tad Hamilton and In Good Company, have done poorly at the box office, particularly because moviegoers and critics don’t see Grace as a leading man in romantic comedies. His highest-profile supporting role – playing Eddie “Venom” Brock in Spider-Man 3 – was ridiculed by fans as another awful casting choice. Famously, his film Take Me Home Tonight was shot in 2007 but was not released until 2011 because of concerns over its drug content. When it finally was released, it grossed just under $7 million.

            Since then Grace’s films have continued to do poorly, though it’s entirely possible that his career will see renewed interest after the release of Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, in which Grace has a supporting role. However, Hollywood is unlikely to think of him as leading man material ever again.

          Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

          (June 19, 2014 - 4:03 am)

          Tobey Maguire told poker hostess to ‘bark like a seal’ to earn a tip:

          Bridget says:
          June 13, 2014 at 10:05 am
          Yep, I believe it. And what a piece of work – it certainly makes sense why Tobey rarely works anymore.

          Brin says:
          June 13, 2014 at 10:38 am
          This^^. A piece of work who doesn’t work and we know why.

          Bridget says:
          June 13, 2014 at 11:21 am
          If you look at the other guys in the posse, most of them are still working (even the ones that have made a lot of money): DiCaprio, Kevin Connolly, Lukas Haas, Jay Ferguson… they all started out as kids in the business, they’re all still working actors. But Tobey married a Meyer and then just stopped (except for Gatsby, which feels like people pulled strings).

          Emma – the JP Lover says:
          June 13, 2014 at 2:28 pm
          @Bridget, who wrote: “But Tobey married a Meyer and then just stopped (except for Gatsby, which feels like people pulled strings).”

          Married a ‘Meyer’ … what does that mean? Who is her family and is she a heiress or something?

          *Never mind! The question is answered below.

          Bridget says:
          June 13, 2014 at 3:58 pm
          Yep, Meyer is a major power player and you can see it reflected in his daughter’s social life. When Jennifer was pregnant the guest list for her baby showers was ridiculous! So Maguire spends years building his career from childhood, hits it big with Spiderman, marries the daughter of one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, and then just stays home and plays poker. Its kind of weird.

          lauren says:
          June 13, 2014 at 6:11 pm
          @Emma – the JP Lover: his wife is Jennifer Meyer, daughter of Ron Meyer who is President and CEO of Universal Studios

          Valois says:
          June 13, 2014 at 7:58 pm
          Lukas Haas and Jay Ferguson…do they really work a lot? Never heard of the latter one and I wouldn’t know Haas either, if he wasn’t Leo’s pet.

          Bridget says:
          June 14, 2014 at 2:38 am
          Both Ferguson and Haas are steadily working actors. They’ve certainly put more time onscreen than Maguire since Spider-Man ended.

          Bridget says:
          June 14, 2014 at 3:04 pm
          Also, to elaborate: Lukas Haas may be best known nowadays as Leo’s bud, but he was an incredibly successful child actor at one point (remember Witness?). And Ferguson has worked steadily for years, though he’s probably best known as Stan on Mad Men.

          Valois says:
          June 14, 2014 at 9:07 pm
          Thanks for the infos, Bridget!
          I do know Ferguson’s face from Mad Men, didn’t know his name though.

          Just Googled Witness, it was released quite a few years before I was born, thatÄs why t doesn’t ring a bell.

          Bridget says:
          June 14, 2014 at 10:42 pm
          So all those guys became friends because they were basically on the same audition circuit – they’d see each other in the waiting rooms at all these things and eventually struck up a friendship. In the early days Haas was probably the most successful of them, but all those guys have at least worked steadily over the years. Maguire was really the only one to give it up.

          And in case you’re wondering how I know some of this stuff, I’m in my early thirties, which means I was DiCaprio’s prime fan demographic when he really hit big.

          Mia4S says:
          June 13, 2014 at 10:23 am
          Holy Insecure Douche Batman!…I mean Spider-Man!

          He has money but he also married a woman from a family with a lot more money than him (studio exec’s daughter) and his career has kind of stalled. He doesn’t measure up in his age group of actors anymore. Somehow it all adds up if this is true.

          Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

          (March 9, 2015 - 12:33 am)

          Re: T0bey Mcguire and Ke.r.ry Washingtun Tea:

          If I remember his wife was friends with Rshda Jonez then went after him behind her back. He went for it cause he knew the connections of her dad but it backfired on him cause his career has tanked. He’s doing tv work now and not good tv work. So, maybe that’s why he’s so angry and nasty now.

          Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

          (July 5, 2015 - 1:30 am)

          10 Actors Who Are About To Make A Huge Comeback:

          Tobey Maguire – Pawn Sacrifice

          Remember Tobey Maguire? Of course you do. Can’t blame you if you’ve forgotten, though, given that Maguire hasn’t really featured in anything noteworthy since Spider-Man 3 – and even that movie was something of a huge critical bomb.

          Now, reminded that Tobey Maguire is still alive and well, some of you might be wondering: “Yeah, where is Tobey Maguire? What’s he up to these days?” Well, aside from appearing in The Great Gatsby with Leonardo DiCaprio back in 2013, nothing much, actually. In fact, his career since 2007 has pretty much consisted of a few cameos and some TV work.

          But now Maguire is back, riding into Hollywood on the back of a potential Oscar-winner. That’s to say, Pawn Sacrifice – a biopic of chess prodigy Bobby Fischer – looks to be the stuff of Academy Awards glory, and certainly appears to be something of a comeback vehicle for the former Peter Parker, who is rumoured to put in a truly brilliant performance.


          (July 15, 2015 - 7:06 am)

          I will have more to say on this very, very soon.


      (August 8, 2013 - 7:08 pm)

      “When you watch a scene on the big screen and think that even Tobey Maguire is slumming it, I think you need to reconsider casting your lead actress.”

      Er- what? she might not be your movie crush- but she’s very attractive- and outside of movies- certainly out of Tobey’s league.

      Maybe your perspective is messed up by Tobey romancing Theron in Cider House Rules- but that was almost certainly because all the men were in WWII.


        (August 8, 2013 - 7:20 pm)

        A lot of other bloggers who write about entertainment make me feel good about what I do here. I get snark. I love snark. But sometimes, there’s a fine line between being snarky and just being stupid. I’m sure I’ve crossed it myself more than once. But these guys who write articles bashing the looks of Hollywood actresses who wouldn’t look at them twice should really reconsider their writing style. Dunst is all over those Maxim hot 100 lists. You’re telling me that this is “slumming”?

    Terrence Michael Clay

    (July 28, 2013 - 6:06 am)

    Kirsten Dunst stars in ‘Upside Down’:

    Q: You’ve made a lot of interesting career choices lately with roles in offbeat films like “Melancholia,” “On the Road” and now this. Do you feel you’ve gravitated towards the unusual?

    Dunst: For me, I gravitate towards the director. Always. Usually, I’d rather do a script that I find—and I’m not talking about this film, but in general—that maybe is not amazing, but I’d rather work with a great director than on something that has an amazing script and a director who I think is mediocre. That’s because I think it’s really all up to the director (to make a good film). They’re the orchestrators of the entire process. With Juan (Solanas), he is such a visionary director and I loved his short films so much, I knew the story would be important but the visuals also would be so magnificent. It was a concept that I’ve never heard of before. It was incredible.

      Terrence Michael Clay

      (July 29, 2013 - 2:11 am)

      Kirsten Dunst: ‘I’m proud of my career’:

      Kirsten Dunst has revealed that she is proud of many of the movies she has made throughout her long career.

      The actress, who received a Golden Globe nomination for her breakthrough performance in 1994’s Interview with the Vampire, said she finds the positive reaction from the public rewarding.

      She told Moviefone: “I’m proud of so many movies. I’ve always done things that… I was proud of Virgin Suicides.

      “I’m proud of a lot of things in my career. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I was very proud to be in that movie.

      “When you reach an audience of people enjoying films that you do, it’s so satisfying as an actor.”

      When questioned further, she said: “Because you want to be part of storytelling – and to affect people is what your job is. And that is the best when it works and people really celebrate the movie and they come up to you and are emotionally moved by it.

      “I mean, that’s your job. So, when that happens and all of it falls into place – and it’s a good film – it’s great to be a part of that.”

      Kirsten Dunst Regrets Early Film Career:

      Actress KIRSTEN DUNST has one major regret in her life – taking on so many big films at a young age.

      The 26-year-old has made 25 movies and was aged just 12 on her big screen debut in Interview With The Vampire.

      But Dunst admits she was too young to make career decisions herself and wishes she had enjoyed her younger years more.

      She says, “I do have regrets. I regret I have done too much in such a short time and regret some of the decisions taken on my behalf.”

      She adds, “I went through my teens like an adult.”


    (July 28, 2013 - 10:16 am)

    Sneaky good choice, Lebeau! As soon as I saw the topic, I thought “hey, yeah! What’s she been doing since Spider-Man?”

    A few stray thoughts:
    -every child actor who graduates to adult roles from here on out can count on lots of continued Youtube exposure.

    -I’m pretty sure that watching the Tower of Terror movie could only decrease my enthusiasm for the ride, not enhance it.

    -what’s up with your google? It has a dirty mind. I’m actually constantly surprised how little blue content I get on searches I get nervous about milliseconds after hitting “search.”

    -I haven’t seen it, but I had always assumed that “Mona Lisa Smile” was actually a 1950s version of “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” starring Roberts instead of Maggie Smith.

    -It has become fashionable to underrate the Raimi Spider-Man movies (3 was, in fact, a legitimate mess), but it is easy to forget what a positive influence on comic book movies the first two really were. You only have to read about what Cameron had in store for us to be eternally grateful to Raimi. To this day I am suspicious of every Cameron movie that comes out because I know what he would’ve done to Spider-Man.

    -I actually really enjoyed Marie Antoinette. The artifice of the modern soundtrack and production style comment directly on the lifestyle being led by the main characters. I understand the criticisms about style winning out over character, but not every movie has to be “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?” you know. Film is a visual medium which can be delivered in many ways. I am not a fan of Baz Luhrmann, but I did like Marie Antoinette.


      (July 28, 2013 - 3:30 pm)

      Thanks, Daffy. I’m finding I need to be a little creative with my candidates these days. I have done most of the obvious ones. In Dunst’s case, I knew she had been working, but I had not seen a single one of her movies since the last Spider-man. To research, I went back and watched All Good Things, Melancholia and The Bachelorette. All three are conveniently available on Netflix. And they all have good qualities worth recommending.

      It has become fashionable to trash Raimi’s Spider-man the same way it has become trendy to put down Donner’s Superman. I don’t get it. Personally, I’m not a big fan of the super serious super hero movie. For every Dark Knight out there, you get two weaker movies that could have used a sense of humor. See Man of Steel (or don’t.) I know you’re more of a Spidey fan than me, but I’d kind of like to see what he would have done. I’m pretty open to a radical reinvention of Spider-man. And I find I almost always like Cameron’s work even when I don’t love it.

      I have yet to see Marie Antoinette. It looked interesting to me. I just never got around to watching it. I’ll have to make some time.


        (July 28, 2013 - 3:41 pm)


        check out this link to find out more about Cameron’s take on Spider-Man.


          (July 28, 2013 - 4:08 pm)

          Unfortunately, I could only get about a minute and a half of that video to play. I remember reading all that stuff back when it became public. But I have to think that Cameron the perfectionist would have fixed things up had he actually made the film.

        Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

        (December 3, 2014 - 5:14 pm)

        10 Reasons You’re Wrong About Spider-Man 3:

        It wasn’t all bad…

          Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

          (December 15, 2014 - 2:27 am)

            Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

            (December 15, 2014 - 4:11 pm)

            The Mother Brain Files: Web Head Blues:

            Avi Arad was the CEO of Toy Biz, the home of all Marvel action figures, in the 1990s. When Marvel fell into bankruptcy in 1996, Arad swooped in and took control. He got Marvel out of their financial woes and sought to expand through selling the film licenses to the major studios. He exerted his influence increasingly with each Marvel film, including Spider-Man 3. Initially, Raimi had a tremendous amount of creative control on the previous entries and had hoped to follow in the same direction in the third outing. Raimi crafted a simplistic story about Parker realizing that the world is not black and white when it comes to fighting crime through the film’s only two antagonists: The Sandman and Harry Osborn’s New Goblin. Once Raimi turned in his treatment, however, Arad forced him to include the Venom character due to his popularity. Though Raimi was not familiar with the character and felt he wasn’t interesting enough to be included in his story, Arad and the studio believed Raimi owed them for all the freedom they had allowed him to have previously. Bowing to their wishes proved to be a big mistake.

            Spider-Man 3 was met with big box office but lackluster reception. Fans complained about the bloated script, wasted characters (Venom and Gwen Stacy), and the cheesy humor (i.e. Saturday Night Fever montage). Internally, there was a lot of finger pointing on who to blame. What was clear to Raimi was that if he made another film, he would not allow himself to work a rushed schedule and be forced to make a script he did not believe in. As he continued with plans for Spider-Man 4 featuring Lizard, Black Cat, and Vulture as the main villains, Arad and the studio again pushed for fan favorite villains, several unsatisfactory scripts, and short notice release date. Sick of the politics, Raimi and his team walked away.

      Terrence Michael Clay

      (July 29, 2013 - 1:40 am)

      6 WTF Comic Book Movies That Almost Got Made:

      5. Spider-Man

      Here’s where we really start to get into some WTF territory. When James Cameron was involved with Spider-Man, the studio was worried that he’d go over budget. So they told him that he wouldn’t get a single cent of his fee until he turned in a script that could be budgeted under a certain amount. Proving that you don’t get James Cameron until you pay James Cameron, he basically took an existing script, changed a few lines, and added his name to the title page.

      Cameron would go on to write his own version, but the initial one he chose to pass off as his was really, really bad. In this one, both Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus get their powers from a cyclotron experiment and Doctor Octopus is after anti-gravity or something. In this script, Doctor Octopus for some reason claims he’s Spider-Man and uses the catchphrase “okey dokey.” Given that Cameron was considering Arnold Schwarzenegger for the role, this is something I could actually have seen happening (and now I’m getting flashbacks to Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Freeze).

      When Cameron actually did write his own script, it wasn’t much better. In fact, in some ways, it was much worse. Peter is described as an isolated loner—so far, so good—who wears his isolation as a “badge of superiority.” Umm…okay? And after getting his powers, Peter awakes feeling very relaxed, and lifts up his sheets and find organic webbing…specifically a “sticky, white mass.” And yes, they did storyboard that scene and I have included it above, because I cannot un-see that image, and you must all share my pain.

      Oh, and Spider-Man and Mary Jane have sex on the Brooklyn Bridge. And they do it by performing a spider mating ritual. I don’t know if there’s a storyboard for that scene and I don’t really want to know. But if there isn’t, I’m sure the Internet has Rule 34’d it already.

      Stick to time-traveling robots and killer aliens, James. It’s what you’re good at.


    (July 28, 2013 - 12:56 pm)

    Have I ever mentioned how much I love this blog? 🙂 Several WTHH entries ago, it really started to hit me how I was only tangentially aware of the film world between around 1995 to late 2012 while being consumed with work. Kirsten Dunst is a perfect A list yet under the radar choice, she is a much more accomplished actress than I would have imagined. “Melancholia” is now in my Amazon cart. Really, the category of “works but doesn’t have to” can lead to interesting projects. The limited release, or even direct DVD market seems to provide some creative outlet in a mainstream world doesn’t it? Several other clips in the article merit additional investigating. “Drop Dead Gorgeous” looks especially intriguing with that Nora Dunn supporting role.


      (July 28, 2013 - 3:36 pm)


      During the 90s up through around 2003 I saw just about everything. But at some point, that stopped being the case. Definitely after the birth of my first child, I stopped watching nearly as many movies. That’s part of why WTHH is such a good fit for me. I followed all of these careers when they were relevant and now I miss a lot of these actors.

      The thing that I find frustrating is that 10 years ago a movie like Melancholia would have gotten a bigger theatrical release. It wouldn’t have shown in multiplexes. But every college town in the country and every big city would have shown it on at least one screen. It’s great that these movies are still getting made and they are available on video. But every year it gets harder and harder to make smaller, more thoughtful movies. Spielberg had trouble getting Lincoln made and he’s freaking Steven Spielberg!


    (July 28, 2013 - 4:24 pm)

    When I saw “Spider-Man 2” I said a very nasty thing about Kirsten Dunst. There’s the scene when MJ is playing on stage giving a terrible performance. At that moment I said “Playing a bad actress it’s almost natural for Dunst”. Then I watched her in “Melancholia” and “Virgin suicides” and I have to change my mind on her, both performances were very good. If I’m not wrong Dunst won a Best Actress award in Cannes for “Melancholia”. Two things

    1-Marie Antoinette never said the infamous phrase about “cakes”. She’s often quoted saying it, but she never said anything like that. It was part of the defamation campaign against the Royal Family during the French Revolution. Mary Antoinette was only a lady who was in the wrong place in the wrong time. She’s often been treaten unfairly.

    2-Dunst tried to come back to mainstream with “Upside Down” this year, though the movie has been both a critical and commercial failure. But I don’t think Dunst is to blame for those failure, the script looks pretty weird and she co-starred a proven box-office poison like Jim Sturgess

      Terrence Michael Clay

      (July 29, 2013 - 1:08 am)

      5 Woefully Cast Roles In Comic Book Movies:

      5. Kirsten Dunst As Mary-Jane Watson – Spider-Man Trilogy

      This could be a rather controversial choice to begin things. The Sam Raimi Spider-Man series of movies tends to polarise many audiences who see it as either the beginning of the modern superhero movie or just a wasted opportunity to do something interesting with Marvel’s biggest selling superhero. One of the main threads that ran through it though was the story of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson and their ‘will they/won’t they’ love for each other.

      On the face of it Kirsten Dunst did seem like a perfectly reasonable choice for the role of MJ as she certainly had the look (see above). The trouble really began when she had to show the chemistry with Peter Parker that leads up to one of the best known relationships in all of comic book history. Part of this is in the face that Mary Jane Watson in the comic book is a feisty, sassy woman that is in all ways Peter Parker’s equal.

      Dunst interpretation of her though comes off as more cutesy and has little similarity with the humour, assertiveness or fun that the MJ of the comics has. Indeed, as the movies move on, Dunst seems more like a wet blanket or a damsel in distress than the girl of Peter Parker’s dreams. What was needed therefore, was an actress that could make MJ seem a capable woman in her own right.


        (July 29, 2013 - 10:02 am)

        yes yes, and they placed MJ in a plot from the books that involved Gwen Stacy. I sort of felt like this was Raimi and co messing with the core audience a little and letting us think that they might kill MJ instead of Gwen. It didn’t bother me much at the time, and I certainly never blamed Dunst. She was given a script and performed it based on her own talents.
        What seems a little weirder to me is how the reboot has cast an actress who is PERFECT for MJ, but put her in the role of Gwen.


          (July 29, 2013 - 10:08 am)

          Agreed on Raimi and co messing with audience expectations. Any time you see the Goblin and a bridge, Spidey fans are thinking the outcome might be lethal.

          Casting Stone as Gwen was a little odd given how perfectly she would have fit MJ. But she pulled off Gwen just as well. I can see wanting to use Gwen over MJ in the reboot since the Peter-MJ relationship was so central in the Raimi films

          I think it made sense given the use of Gwen to go ahead and cast Stone in the role rather than wait for her to potentially play MJ in a sequel. There was no guarantee they would ever get around to MJ or that Stone would be interested in the role at a later date.

          My problems with Amazing Spider-man had nothing to do with Stone. I’m sure Jim Carrey liked it too. 😉

            Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

            (August 5, 2014 - 4:54 am)

            The Amazing Spider-Man 3: 9 Actresses Who Could Play Mary Jane Watson:

            Jane Levy

            When in doubt, always bet on red. And at the moment, one of the most promising and talented actresses in Young Hollywood is an auburn haired beauty that is a near-doppelganger for Mark Bagley’s image of MJ from the Ultimate Spider-Man comic book series. But more importantly, she is ever increasingly proving that she’s a fantastic actress. First making a splash on Suburgatory, ABC’s amusing family show about the hell that is Suburbia, USA, Levy showcases an instant charisma and wit that should come natural to any depiction of comic book Mary Jane’s nonchalant badassery.

            Levy has also begun transitioning strongly to features when she, ironically, lived in a Sam Raimi franchise’s shadow and came out with far more fan support and praise than its big budget cousin. As Mia Allen in Evil Dead, Levy played both the hero and the demonically possessed villain for a gruesome, mean-spirited, and wholly groovy reinterpretation of a cult classic that already has its own following that wants to see Levy cross chainsaws with Bruce Campbell. She has since proven she can handle more earnest dramedy by appearing in the inevitable Millennial touchstone, About Alex, due out later this year. A talent on the rise, inescapably the question will become what superhero project will she join, and this one is in need of a charismatic redhead…

            Brie Larson

            Brie Larson had a breakout year in 2013. Giving a knockout performance in Short Term 12 and enjoying a scene-stealing role as a 21st Century Silent Bob in Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Don Jon, Larson is another actress that is at this point searching for the right mainstream vehicle. She almost had it when she was the runner-up choice for Sarah Connor in the upcoming Terminator reboot, and she was also rumored to be a contender for Sue Storm in the Fantastic Four remake. However, as an actress, she’s shown incredible range as either a young supervisor of troubled teens or actually playing one in films like The Spectacular Now and (on the other end of the spectrum) 21 Jump Street. Plus, she has fan-boy cred for appearing as the villainous Envy in the cult classic Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, whose whole female cast could make up half this list…

            Mary Elizabeth Winstead

            Perhaps the closest realization to John Romita Sr.’s original vision for Mary Jane, Mary Elizabeth Winstead looks like the character stepped off the page when sporting the long red bangs. But more importantly, Winstead has come into her own in the past few years as an undeniable star on the indie circuit. She worked early in her career with filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino in Death Proof and flirted with franchise films like Live Free or Die Hard, but she truly proved to be a revelation of untapped talent in 2012’s hypnotically wrenching Smashed. Playing a young wife with a drinking problem, it is a multi-layered performance that mixes comedy and tragedy in equal measures. And her newest film Alex of Venice features another absorbing turn in her first fully adult role as a workaholic dealing with divorce.

            Of course, some may say that she is too adult now to play a college age character, but at 29, she is still over a year younger than Andrew Garfield. And if rumors about Woodley appearing too young next to the British web-head are true, Winstead could more than compliment Garfield’s still youthful Spidey. Plus, she truly appears to be MJ come to life. This is of course assuming that Garfield sticks around for more than one movie after his contract ends in 2016…

            Alison Brie

            Another actress that would likely compliment the wisecracking Garfield well is Alison Brie, aka the comedic secret weapon on Dan Harmon’s eternally under-appreciated Community. As an actress who flips back and forth with great ease between playing overeager community college student Annie “Adderall” Edison, and long-seething housewife Trudy Campbell on Mad Men, Brie has a stunning range of talent that is only now being noticed for the big screen treatment in Hollywood. Whether it is as the demonically sweet voice of UniKitty in The Lego Movie or the plainly demonic publicist in Scream 4, Brie leaves an impression in every project she participates in and is only now looking for a star vehicle. However, like Winstead, this scene-stealing comedy ninja might work well with Garfield’s Spidey, but if Sony is looking to recast their Spider-Man in only a few years, she might just miss the red streaks.

            Deborah Ann Woll

            One television star that will definitely be free for a web-slinging spin after this summer is True Blood’s Deborah Ann Woll. As the fiery ginger vampire with a particular sweet tooth for Bible thumping hypocrites on the steamy HBO blood-and-sex soap, Woll has played the perpetual teenager “baby vampire” since the show’s first season and has remained a fan favorite on the series for its entire run.

            Created whole cloth by Alan Ball for the TV show (as opposed to its source material by Charlaine Harris), Woll faced some early skepticism but won over even the most ardent book purists with her down to earth appeal and infectiously endearing joy at being a newly minted member of the Undead. She could also bring that same kind of glee to a Peter Parker who will undoubtedly be morose and downtrodden following the ending of The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Woll has the right kind of star potential to give this franchise another shot of adrenaline in the arm, and it’s a part that she could really sink her teeth into.

            Dianna Agron

            Still, if Marc Webb and Sony look to pull from a television actress on the potential rise, then they might seek out one they had previously considered. It is well known that not only did Dianna Agron try out for the role of Gwen Stacy in the first Amazing Spider-Man film, but that she was the rumored second choice of the project’s creative pool until they saw Emma Stone test with Andrew Garfield, whose chemistry with her is self-evident for obvious reasons. Nonetheless, Agron came very close to being the one taken for an unpleasant ride by the Green Goblin, and the former Glee star is still looking to transition to film after starring opposite Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer in Luc Besson’s The Family. She’s already courted positive feedback from Sony once to play Gwen. Perhaps she can now land in the franchise’s web as Mary Jane?

            Margot Robbie

            Yet, if Sony is leaning closer toward an up-and-coming “It Girl” who is already breaking out, Margot Robbie more than may fit that bill. Cast as the jaw-dropping trophy wife to Leonardo DiCaprio’s repellent Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street, the 23-year-old Australian actress left one hell of an impression on moviegoers. While the part was relatively small, she sold trashy Brooklyn royalty with an accent as authentic as the movie’s version of Naomi Belfort, a gold digger with serious career objectives.

            Working with Martin Scorsese has done much for the starlet, who has gone overnight from roles on ABC’s defunct Pan Am and supporting work in About Time to seemingly being considered for every major blockbuster role in Hollywood. Having contended to appear as both the new Sarah Connor and the new Sue Storm, Robbie finally landed a franchise as Jane Porter in David Yates’ Tarzan. But one swinging love interest can turn into another, and few are more swinging in that groovy 1960s sense than the original comic book Mary Jane Watson.

            Anna Kendrick

            If there is one young Hollywood actress who appears ready to cross over into super-stardom, and has yet to sign onto a major summer blockbuster franchise, it’s everyone’s girl next door, Anna Kendrick. Ms. Kendrick has been knocking it out of the park one movie at a time following her breakout role in Up in the Air, which netted her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Since then, Kendrick has reliably stuck to the work, providing one impressive turn after another. Whether it be as the anxiously disorganized psychiatry rookie in 50/50 or the youthful tag-along caught in an awkward spot in Joe Swanberg’s largely (and impressively) improvised Drinking Buddies, Kendrick has always stood out.

            And musical loving audiences discovered exactly that in her star-making role in Pitch Perfect. Playing a musical diva without the success to back up her condescension, it was a curiously unique take on romantic comedy protagonists, which are usually played more as Mary Sues. Thus, it could be imaginable that Kendrick is ready to play Mary Jane after already proving that she can more than bring the firecracker energy needed for the character, as well as the warmth she has displayed in many other movies. Then again, Kendrick already has her own starring franchise with Pitch Perfect 2 in the works for 2015. It may not be the time to sign on as the second love interest in someone else’s sequel.

            Shailene Woodley

            And yet, at the end of the day, is it possible that this is all a long-winded workaround to Woodley reclaiming the role for a new introduction in 2016? After all, we do not know exactly what her contract is with Sony, but we can guess that it was for more than one picture. Also, it is currently unclear whether Woodley was cut due to rumored chemistry and age difference issues with Garfield, or if the studio spin about not fitting the movie’s narrative flow was the marketing’s honest truth. There is no denying that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 certainly had trouble finding a rhythm even in the final cut.

            Still, whatever problems led to the deletion of Woodley’s appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, it should be remembered that this occurred before a little movie called Divergent opened. Indeed, the YA adaptation proved doubters wrong when it earned a triumphant $54 million in its opening weekend and has grossed $250 million its worldwide cume so far. Given that YA sequels tend to do better than franchise starters, Summit and Lionsgate have definitely doubled down on Woodley’s star appeal by turning the third and final volume of the Divergent literary trilogy by Veronica Roth, Allegiant, into a two-part finale, much like Twilight and The Hunger Games. Further, the buzz on Woodley’s summer romance drama, The Fault in Our Stars, is strong with early screening reactions being nothing short of enthusiastic. Woodley already stands poised to be a movie star. Why sign that away now if she’s under contract?

          Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

          (July 13, 2015 - 2:56 am)

          Amazing Spider-man 3 woulda been.. interesting:

          Post by mitchelhayes on 16 minutes ago
          Excluding the Peter Parker character I thought the Amazing Spider-Man series was far better casted. Better Aunt May, better lover interest (Emma Stone is just far more likable than Kirsten Dunst) and I did enjoy the more serious tone.

          Outside of Peter, in the first 3 Spider-Man films, no one is likable at all. Mary Jane cheated on everyone she was with, Aunt May shunned Peter after realizing that Pete was there when he died (this made no sense, it’s not like Pete shot him), The Sandman tried to murder half of New York, yet we were supposed to feel sorry for him?

          I get why people love the original Spider-Man movies. It had cool moments, but it was far from a masterpiece

          Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

          (October 27, 2015 - 12:25 am)

          10 Franchises That Killed Off The Wrong Person


          Gwen Stacy In The Amazing Spider-Man 2

          Why she shouldn’t have died: Emma Stone was one of the few good things about Sony’s hasty reboot of the Spider-Man franchise, having lost faith in Sam Raimi’s vision right around the time he put Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker in a black suit and emo fringe. The Amazing Spider-Man turned out to be an equally slip-shod tonal mess, but there was always that one bright shining beacon amidst the awful film-making.

          The actress brought something genuine to the films, her natural chemistry with Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man leading to the only scenes that didn’t feel forced, awkward or overwritten. Then they killed her off, because that’s what happens to the character in the comics.

          Who should’ve died: If anybody knows who Gwen Stacy is, it’s as the girlfriend who dies. So when it happened in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, it wasn’t so much an emotional gut punch as a sad inevitability. What would’ve been interesting, and actually devastating, would’ve been some subversion; switch in Mary Jane Watson. A trick like that, killing off a newly introduced key player, would have shown Marc Webb and co. understood what the fans expected and possibly given the Amazing series some longevity.

          Heck, this almost happened with the original movies; the third act of Spider-Man was The Night That Gwen Stacy Died, only with MJ in it, but Sam Raimi didn’t have the stones to commit.


            (October 27, 2015 - 5:27 am)

            Emma Stone had me after “Zombieland”. I couldn’t imagine writing a screenplay (suspend belief and imagine me writing a screenplay) in which I’d kill her character. Heroine, cool friend, love interest? Oh yeah.
            Anyway, I don’t know why Spiderman needed to be rebooted so soon like that.

        Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

        (February 18, 2015 - 3:57 am)

        Spider-Man 2017: 10 Things Marvel Must Get Right:

        A Great Portrayal Of Mary Jane Watson

        Thanks to Emma Stone, audiences have had the definitive Gwen Stacey on the big screen. The same can’t be said for Mary Jane Watson. Kirsten Dunst started off well enough in the first Spider-Man but became bland and irritating by the end of the third film. Watching Sam Raimi’s trilogy now it is clear that there is minimal chemistry between Dunst and Maguire compared to the electricity between Stone and Garfield. It probably helped that the latter became a couple in real life.

        Shailene Woodley was original supposed to play Mary Jane Watson in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 but was cut from the final edit. And, considering the plot, it is difficult to see how she could have fitted into the story and been done justice.

        Still, there’s no getting around it – Mary Jane Watson is the love of Peter Parker’s life and now is the right time to reintroduce her. The actress playing her needs to have some of the spark of Gwen Stacey, but still play true to the character of the comics. The casting director needs to get this right.

        Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

        (April 9, 2016 - 3:09 am)

        Read This: The surprising, subtle feminism of the Spider-Man trilogy


        In her reassessment of the Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire trilogy, writer Sarah Barrett actually finds a lot of stuff to praise. For instance, Peter Parker’s love interest Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) is allowed to be a flawed character in her own right with insecurities that stem from her emotionally abusive father. And Barrett argues that Spider-Man is explicitly interested in challenging Peter’s desire to put Mary Jane on a pedestal. Plus as she puts it, “A woman in a movie trilogy wearing low-cut tops, portraying herself as sexy, dating at least one new man per movie, and she’s not slut-shamed? Well, it’s more than most actual female celebrities ever get.”


      (July 29, 2013 - 9:06 am)

      Dunst was the subject of a backlash from Spider-man fans for reasons I don’t understand. Well, I sort of do. Comic book fans are really picky about who plays their heroes girlfriends. I have heard a lot of people complain that Dunst was not good looking enough to play Mary Jane.


      But then, fans make the same complaint about just about every super hero love interest. I have seen a lot of bitching over the new MJ in the Amazing Spider-man sequel. I know lots of people who overlook Margot Kidder’s terrific Lois Lane because of her looks. It’s crazy.

      I can sort of understand why some people take shots at Dunst’s acting abilities. In some movies, she comes across slightly medicated. The Spider-man movies especially. I suspect as the series went on, she checked out. But she may have also been on medication for depression. I don’t know.

      If you watch the movies she clearly cared about, it’s obvious that Dunst has talent. But that doesn’t necessarily excuse sleep-walking through certain roles.

      I’ve heard that about “Let them eat cake” before. I’m not overly concerned with historical acuracy in my entertainment. Did the movie depict her saying the famous line?

      I actually left Upside Down out of the article because it was a foreign film that didn’t get a US release. The budget is pretty staggering!


        (July 29, 2013 - 12:22 pm)

        Watch her in Marie-Antoinette and see that she can easily handle a leading role (furthermore, in that film there were no other “names” as support characters). To me she has everything: beauty, charisma and acting ability. I guess that now she prefers to do arthouse stuff (what Hilary Swank should actually do, IMHO), but she has nevertheless A-list class.


          (July 29, 2013 - 9:02 pm)

          I’m kicking myself because MA was on cable a while back and I missed it. I’ll keep an eye out.


        (July 30, 2013 - 7:47 pm)

        I think that Dunst was miscast as MJ. I think the reason why I didn’t like her as MJ is because she’s not the “Mary Jane” type of girl. I always thought of Mary Jane as a sexy pin-up of the 50’s, while Dunst is more a “girl-next-door” kind of girl. I think Dunst was much more adapted to play Gwen Stacy instead of playing Mary Jane. And forgive my ignorance, I honestly thought “Upside Down” was a Hollywood movie. As for Marie Antoinette, I never had the occasion to watch it but I think I’ll check it out ASAP. I never watched it ’cause really Marie Antoinette is an historical character who would have never been remembered if it wasn’t for her sad fate. If she wasn’t involved in the French Revolution and killed by Jacobins she would have been completely forgotten like the vast majority of french queens.


          (July 31, 2013 - 7:39 am)

          It’s funny how things play out differently here vs. other countries. I don’t think many people in America have even heard of Upside Down. And yet, based on its budget, it was a major release (and flop) in Europe. It apparently played in 11 theaters in the US and was dumped on video a month ago.

          As for Dunst as MJ, I hear from people all the time that she was miscast. But really, who would have been better in the role? Part of the problem is that MJ has been different things to different people over decades of comic book appearances.

          I think a lot of fans expected MJ to be a super model as she was in the comics. But that wouldn’t have fit the story Raimi was telling. His MJ was literally the girl next door. As Daffy pointed out, Raimi merged MJ and Gwen Stacey to form an ultimate love interest for Peter. I think Dunst fit that interpretation of the character very well.

          I have a bad reaction when I hear people complain that Dunst (or the new girl who’s name I don’t recall) aren’t “sexy” enough to play MJ. Is that really the only dimension they see as being important to the character? Her sexuality? And if so, do they want her played by a Victoria’s Secret model who can’t act?

          I honestly think fans get it completely wrong with respect to the female characters in super hero movies. Dunst is just one of many examples.


            (August 1, 2013 - 9:15 pm)

            I’m sorry if my comment made you angry 🙁

            However my bad reaction to Dunst as MJ wasn’t only about her being not “sexy” enough (although when I watched Spider-Man for the first time I was 15 yo, so that dimension used to be very important at the time 😉 ), but I also perceived a lack of charisma, and MJ is a very charismatic character. You say Dunst play well only in movies she clearly care about, and probabily you’re right. In both “Virgin Suicides” and “Melancholia” she was very good while in Elizabethtown she was only so and so (tough in the case of “Elizabethtown” it was the whole package who was banal). I think Dunst is like the kid in your class who’s very clever, but study only what she likes and only when she’s in the mood, if you understand what I mean. She’s good, but only when she wants and when she’s in a project she really like.

            As for “Upside Down” I only saw the trailer and it really looked like a Hollywood sci-fi, so the trailer led me to the mistake. I didn’t saw it cause it looked too weird, even for a sci-fi movie.


            (August 1, 2013 - 11:13 pm)

            Angry? Me? No way, man. I’m not angry. I’m just opinionated. 😉

            I was mostly talking about people who have complained about Dunst or other actresses in super hero movies over the years. I actually do agree that Dunst was a bit on auto pilot during the Spider-man films. Especially the last one. Her heart wasn’t in it the way it is in other movies.

            I’m not sure who else you could have cast who would have done a better job. I feel the same way when people criticize Maguire as Peter/Spidey. I can see he is a little one-note. But who would have been a better job. I think Raimi did a good job casting given who was available at the time.


    (July 28, 2013 - 8:31 pm)

    Just did some more research on Melancholia. I can see the genius from the distance of clips but watching this from beginning to end might leave me in the care of a psychiatrist. It can’t stay in the Amazon cart. My kids need me.


      (July 29, 2013 - 9:07 am)

      That’s true of any Lars von Treir movie. I enjoyed Dogville well enough, but it was a slog at times. Great film to watch while folding lots of loads of laundry on a Sunday afternoon. I haven’t yet mustered up the courage to watch Anti-Christ.

      Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

      (June 9, 2014 - 1:36 am)

      10 Overly Pretentious Movies We Should’ve Walked Out Of:

      1. Melancholia

      From its startling slow motion opening sequence, complete with music from the prelude of Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, it’s immediately clear that Melancholia, Lars Von Triers’s 2011 movie starring Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Alexander Skarsgård, considers itself as a weighty and significant movie. Admittedly, the same could be said for most of Von Triers’s filmography, a director who never shies away from controversy and experimentation.

      As the title clearly suggests, this is a film about depression both personal and universal. Newly weds Justine and Michael (Dunst and Skarsgård) arrive at a sumptuous stately home in the countryside along with numerous guests including Justine’s sister Claire (Gainsbourg). As Justine sinks further and further into irreconcilable depression, the rogue planet known as Melancholia approaches Earth, a head-on collision seemingly imminent.

      That the film emerged from therapy sessions Von Triers underwent to deal with his own depression isn’t of itself a cause for criticism – with a tendency towards the upbeat in cinema in general, movies which tackle uncomfortable negative emotions are often a welcome breath of fresh air.

      That said, conflating the emotional breakdown of a character with the apocalyptic destruction of the planet is clearly heavy-handed, and a rare, exceptional performance from Kirsten Dunst isn’t enough to salvage Melancholia from being oppressively pessimistic.

    Terrence Michael Clay

    (July 29, 2013 - 3:03 am)

    There’s no doubt in my mind that Kirsten’s personal problems (whether it be alcohol-related as often rumored or depression as her official claim) curtailed her post-“Spider-Man” (the mostly critically indifference towards the third movie and the subsequent reboot certainly didn’t help matters) momentum. That sort of thing could make it hard on an actor/actress in terms of how one could be marketed. Kirsten herself even admitted that she likes to smoke pot:

    What didn’t help matters is that you can argue that because of stuff like the “Spider-Man” movies and “Bring it On”, Kirsten had a bit of a mostly young fan-base. Maybe part of Kirsten’s problem is that she made her niche as a child-teen-young adult actress, before eventually “aging out”. And because Kirsten ever really proved herself as seriously bankable leading lady w/o “Spider-Man” (as perhaps evidence by stuff like “Elizabethtown” and “Wimbledon”) all that was really left for her to do was smaller, more offbeat and edgier work.

    Then again, maybe the experience in making the “Spider-Man” movies by the end sort of soured or burned her out on making those type of huge, mainstream, blockbuster movies (I’m quite sure that Kirsten made enough money off of those movies that she could retire) in the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, the movies that Kirsten has done since “Spider-Man 3” has from my understanding, not grossed more than $3 million at the box office. So this of course (along w/ her I think 2 year absence from movies to deal w/ personal issues) that she disappeared from the mainstream.

      Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

      (April 30, 2014 - 5:13 pm)

      Career Prospectus: Kirsten Dunst:

      Could you please do a Career Prospectus on Kirsten Dunst?

      I loved her as an actress with Drop Dead Gorgeous, Bring It On and Dick being the best! She blossomed with Sofia Coppola and got millions for Spiderman. Things were looking good. Then came a break-up with Jakey, public outcry over her teeth (WTF!), drunkenness followed by rehab and, as we’ve read on your blog, bitchiness.

      So in recent history she had Bachelorette, and now she has coming up Two Faces of January with Viggo Mortensen and Oscar Isaac. She has nothing else booked, except a project that looks doomed, and she lost a role in the next Paul Thomas Anderson movie to Reese Witherspoon. This is unconfirmed but rumors were strong that she had read for the part and many wanted her to get it.
      My question is, where is she going? Is she lost among the Natalie Portmans and Michelle Williamses, her career companions for some time? Have the Emma Stones and Jennifer Lawrences taken over? Will she never mature to a Charlize Theron level?

      Thank you!


      We’ve actually gotten several requests for Kirsten Dunst, so let’s get into it. First, Drop Dead Gorgeous is one of my favorite movies of all time. There’s nothing else to that, it’s just a great f*cking movie. (“The swan ate my baby!”) Whatever happens to Kirsten Dunst, she’ll always have Mount Rose.

      Dunst took a break in 2008, and everyone knows she went to rehab. Why she went is irrelevant; she did what she thought was necessary to take care of herself and be well, and beyond any other consideration, that is the most important thing. But there’s no denying there has been a loss of momentum ever since. It’s why so many of them are terrified to take a break for any reason—they’re told if they go away for even the shortest time that they will be replaced. And it’s not necessarily untrue. Dunst has been in the business her whole life. She’s connected, she has a legion of fans, and she is very talented, but by the time she came back in 2010, the landscape of young actresses had shifted. So there is pressure to make up for lost time.

      The question is whether or not Dunst wants to make up for that lost time. I always think of her in relation to James McAvoy, who went through a slowdown himself about a year after Dunst withdrew. When he came back in 2011, though, he displayed a clear plan of attack for regaining his footing: major mainstream release to reestablish his foothold with the public, followed by a stage role to increase the acting cred, and then mixing smaller films with his comic book franchise. And before you say, “It’s easier for McAvoy, he’s a dude,” keep in mind that when he stepped back, he opened the door to Michael Fassbender and Benedict Cumberbatch, two of the most impressive talents in his generation. His competition is crazy.

      Dunst hasn’t evinced a similar knack for planning. She’s definitely been avoiding major mainstream work, which is fine. She’s already been there and done that with Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, so there’s no urgency to go back there, though she does have a comedy with Jason Sudeikis penciled in for 2014, and a cameo in Anchorman 2 (although really, who doesn’t have a cameo in Anchorman 2?). And she’s scheduled to be in Jeff Nichols’ next project, which is backed by Warner Brothers, so there’s a slow creep back toward the mainstream after sticking to indies for the last three years.

      But there doesn’t seem to be any motivation to it. Dunst works with top-tier people and she’s done good work in an array of interesting films—she won the Best Actress prize at Cannes for Melancholia—but there’s an ennui, not only on her resume but even kind of tangible in her performances (Melancholia, especially, was incredibly mannered). It looks a little like going through the motions. Like, “I’m an actress, so I act,” without any real regard to building a meaningful career. It’s not about becoming the most famous actress in the world, or being in some big studio project, it’s just about having a direction and carving out a niche. After Lord of the Rings, Elijah Wood dialed it back and has pretty well stuck to cerebral horror movies and black comedies like Wilfred. He’s indulging himself, plain and simple, but he’s also cornered a piece of the genre market and is very happy in his little cubby hole (hobbit hole?).

      And that’s what is missing with Kirsten Dunst. She’s only 31 but she’s accomplished so much; she can work to please herself but it feels like she’s half-heartedly chasing someone else’s definition of success. She’s already conquered the cycle Emma Stone and Jennifer Lawrence are going through now, but she has yet to define what her second act will be.

      Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

      (September 27, 2014 - 3:00 am)

      Then again, “Bring it On” could serve as an prime example of Kirsten being able to carrying a “hit movie” on her own but I guess that’s right there w/ her “Spider-Man” successor, Emma Stone in “Easy A”. Both movies were more or less, bridges or stepping stones (they weren’t officially box office stars yet) to a full fledged adult career (and both movies incidentally, came shortly before landing “Spider-Man”).


    (July 29, 2013 - 10:05 am)

    She has that combination of subtle dramatic ability and almost Pfeifferesque, ethereal beauty that made her the perfect choice for Melancholia. She’s also still young.


      (July 29, 2013 - 10:09 am)

      I never compared her to Pfeiffer myself. But you’re right. She has that quality.

    mr. ngoc

    (August 10, 2013 - 8:11 am)

    Dunst had to treat depression for a while (2008-ish) however from what I’ve read so far it was rumoured to be a cover for her addiction. Glad that she finally got through it.

    Upside Down is mostly a Russian production, I’ve seen it – nothing to write home about.

    For a while, Dunst was rumoured to be impossible for insurance – much like Lindsay Lohan, except her problems were kept tighter (probably because she got a better team, generally a better actress and most ppl in Hollywood expect her to recover unlike Linds). Melancholia was a true comeback story for her. Shame that it got overshadowed by Lars’ Nazi remarks.

    Honestly I like her best when she plays rather unsympathetic characters. MJW was written badly in the films, and that’s undoubtedly the biggest reason for the character’s blacklash. But Dunst contributed to that problem as well. However, i still prefer their chemistry to Andrew & Emma (which is also awesome, btw).


      (August 10, 2013 - 8:52 am)

      There were definitely rumors swirling about substance abuse. It’s one of those things where you hear the rumor so often you can’t help but believe it. If she really was as bad as rumors suggest, her team did a great job containing it. I said in the Lohan article than she really needs to hire a driver. It’s the DUIs that make everything public record. If a celeb can just stay in the passenger seat, they can avoid a lot of bad press.

      There is something about Dunst that makes her more compelling when she’s playing less sympathetic characters. I don’t know what it is. She has a haughtiness about her I suppose. But also a vulnerability that undercuts the iciness. In a way, she’s got a Nicole Kidman or classic Hitchcock blonde vibe.


        (August 12, 2013 - 7:53 pm)

        I remember reading a quote by Charlie Sheen that these other actors need to hire limo’s etc- as bad as he got- no DUI’s.


          (August 12, 2013 - 8:53 pm)

          That’s called WINNING!

          Seriously, how hard is it to call a cab? They can afford it.


    (August 12, 2013 - 2:00 pm)

    2 observations:

    1) Mary Jane, err, Ms. KD went into “rehab.” NOT that it’s a bad thing, but it shows she has a troubled “inner life.” (I know, so do a LOT of people, me included, but if you’re “troubled” — see Sean Young, La Lohan — some people do not want to work with you.)

    2) I saw her on some talk show — Leno’s I think — and she came across [not to be mean] as a dingbat, practically the stereotype of the flaky, flighty, shallow Hollywood actress, one rung above a bimbo.

    But you bring up a very good point — she appears in a lot of indie movies, and unless they’re advertised on TV or play at a multiplex (there’s a multiplex in Chicago that regularly plays one or 2 indies at the same time it shows H’wood fare), lots of Americans aren’t gonna see ’em.


      (August 12, 2013 - 2:31 pm)

      It sounds like rehab – whether it was for depression, substance abuse, or both – has done Dunst some good.

      Child actors and models so often miss out on a proper education and socialization. I’m never surprised when one of the turns out to be uneducated, flighty, self-centered, etc. I’ve seen interviews with Dunst and she does not seem like the best conversationalist.

      Fortunately, a lot of people catch up with those independent films on Netflix or video these days. I think American audiences will watch movies they never would have sought out at a theater if they happen to be streaming on Netflix.


        (August 12, 2013 - 9:29 pm)

        Many times a beautiful screen idol can disappoint at a live interview. I don’t think it’s fair to send Dunst, etc. into such an interview without the intense prepping that vacuous politicians get. I remember being a little shocked in the 80s hearing my then hero, Madonna, being interviewed live. Many, many people in their 20s sound less intelligent than they really are, until maybe their 40s when powers of articulation begin to translate intuition. And, as you point out Lebeau, missing out on a proper education and socialization only compounds the effect.


          (August 13, 2013 - 8:35 am)

          You have to take into consideration how these interviews work. When you’re on a big talk show like Letterman or Leno, they have talking points. The intervire isn’t scripted per se. But often it’s been rehearsed. When Letterman acts surprised or angry, odds are he’s playing along with a gag that was worked out in advance. Exceptions include Farrah Fawcett and Crispin Glover.

          But when these stars are promoting a film, they are flying all over the country and sometimes the world. It’s a permanent state of jet lag sometimes compounded by bad habits and partying. On top of that, they do interview after interview answering the same inane questions. They start getting punchy.

          There’s a video of an interview Bruce Willis and Mary Louise Parker did in England to promote the Red sequel. Willis is just downright rude because he’s an ass. But Parker is clearly on his side too. These repetitve interviews don’t always bring out the best side of the stars.

          To a certain extent, I’m sympathetic. Sure, these interviews are part of the job of promoting their movie. And the best stars do them with a smile. That’s a big reason Schwarzenegger was as big of a star as he was back in the day. But if you’re an actor who got into movies for the acting, these inane Q&A sessions have got to be a drag.

          A small part of me wanted to punch that chipper Brit interviewer in the face every bit as much as Willis did. Man, you couldn’t break that guy’s spirit for nothin’!

        Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

        (September 8, 2013 - 5:49 am)

        Kirsten Dunst is getting hammered on straight vodka all the time:

        Last week there was an interesting report from Radar that claimed Kirsten Dunst is still drinking all the time, despite her stay in rehab in 2008. As some pointed out, Kirsten seemed to encourage the view that her rehab stint was because of “exhaustion” or something like that, but the facility she checked into is known mainly for substance abuse and alcohol abuse. So I feel pretty confident in saying that at one point, Kirsten felt she had some kind of drug-or-alcohol abuse problems, and she tried to deal with it. Unfortunately, last week’s rumors seem to be true – and it might even be worse than expected. According to the Enquirer, Kirsten is downing double vodkas like there’s no tomorrow:

        Spidey cutie Kirsten back on bottle, pals fear!

        Kirsten Dunst is back on the bottle – and pals are worried her partying will land her back in rehab. The 27-year-old Spider-Man star – who did a stint in rehab last year – was stumbling drunk at the Tropicana bar inside the Roosevelt Hotel on Aug. 18, according to eyewitnesses.

        “Kirsten looked completely wasted and holding on to some random guy,” the source told The ENQUIRER.

        “When he asked her what she was drinking, she told him to order her a double vodka on the rocks – straight vodka! He ordered himself a whiskey, got her a double and they staggered off into the crowd.”

        As The ENQUIRER reported, Kirsten – who shot to fame in 1994 as the child vampire Claudia in Interview with the Vampire – spent six weeks in rehab at Utah’s Cirque Lodge in February 2008. But barely two months later, the talented thesp was spotted boozing it up three times in one week!

        First, she was seen drinking at Manhattan’s Bowery Electric. Then she was boozing it up at La Poubelle in Los Angeles, and finally Kirsten spent two boozy nights with pals at The Palazzo Lavo Club in Las Vegas.

        Just four months later, it looked as if Kirsten drank herself into such a vodka stupor at The Room in L.A. that friends had to drag her out of the underground nightspot. Now she again appears to be hitting the bottle hard.

        “The guy Kirsten was partying with at the Tropicana held her by the arm to keep her stable,” a second eyewitness confided.

        “Even though she was wasted, she looked like she was trying to hide her drink in her jacket as she walked toward a couch. But minutes after she sat down, Kirsten gulped her drink and they immediately went back to the bar and got more.”

        [From the National Enquirer]

        What part of her actions are just normal partying and what part is actual alcohol abuse? Kiki has always seemed like a strange bird to me, but I think some of that oddness may have been both cultivated and alcohol-related. She’s only got one film coming out this year – a film called All Good Things, starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan. She’s contractually obligated to do anything the Spiderman franchise wants, but other than that, she doesn’t seem to have a lot going on career-wise. Which came first, the career lull or the alcohol abuse?

        Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

        (September 27, 2014 - 3:20 am)

        What annoys me about Kirsten based on some of the more recent interviews that I posted on here is that it seems like she’s awfully bewildered when “regular people” ask her about not seeing her in high profile movies since “Spider-Man 3”. I don’t know, I guess it somewhat strikes me as Kirsten sounding a bit snobby on her part. It’s like she can’t totally fathom the idea that most people would rather see her in more “commercial”/”mainstream” stuff (besides “Spider-Man” of course) like “Bring it On”, “Get Over It”, “Jumanji”, etc. Kirsten’s point of view seems to be that the movies that she pretty much exclusively makes now are those in which she actually “gets to act”, and thus are the only ones worthy of our time (regardless of visibility).


      (September 4, 2015 - 7:07 pm)

      I was always under the impression that Megan Fox is the type to rip out your heart and show it to you anyway.


    (August 17, 2013 - 1:29 pm)

    “Drop Dead Gorgeous” watched last night. Dunst was absolutely adorable in the movie. i might be off base here… or I might just finally be noticing something everyone else already knew… but 1999 seems like it was a very interesting movie year. DDG followed the lead of Spinal Tap (“Mockumentary”) as critics have noted. Because of the interesting genre, definitely worth watching once. The satire of beauty pagents was good but the dark elements didn’t work for me. Plus it seemed to lose focus for about the last third and kind of fell apart. Dunst and her costars performed the comedic elements very well, and I think the script allowed for improv ability, although Kirstie Alley and Denise Richards were not as natural in their roles.


      (August 18, 2013 - 10:46 am)

      My impression of a movie like DDG is that it probably started off with an incredibly wicked script which got defanged by committee and test screenings until it was too toothless for the intended audience and too dark for the mainstream. I don’t think I have ever actually say through DDG so I can’t speak to it specifically. But I see it all the time. A prime example is The Invention of Lying which clearly started off as a blistering satire of religion before morphing into a rom com that still offended most religious viewers.


        (August 18, 2013 - 11:34 am)

        There is something lacking that is difficult for me to analyze. It isn’t toothless … the satire itself is biting. My complaint is more that it would have been good to see the satire further developed. The writer, or writers, clearly have imagination and the script is often indeed wickedly good. If the committee or test screening process weakened the finished result, that’s kind of a shame because this definitely has the feel of a project that could have much better. I agree that the dark elements might have alienated mainstream audiences. Fans of dark comedy seemed to have loved that aspect though. I will recommend this movie to fans of Kirsten Dunst because they will love it for sure.

        Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

        (December 7, 2013 - 12:07 am)

        Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999):

        Post by CrazySting on yesterday at 3:54pm
        Am I the only one who totally loves this movie?

        It’s by Lona Williams, who was on The Simpsons writing crew for a while and, interestingly, the film comes off like a live action version of that show. It didn’t do too well in cinemas, so not too many seem to have heard of it. Which is a shame because it has to be one of the funniest films of the ’90s. I see a lot of Arrested Development-style comedy in it too.

        -Easily one of Kirsten Dunst’s best performances. “I owe my life to that deaf baby!”
        -Well, you know what, dad? Peter’s gay! GAY!
        -Amy Adams’ debut
        -Denise Richards does the best dance performance ever.
        -“Adam West was not available for comment.”

        Post by SHAKEMASTER TV9 is Don Knotts on yesterday at 3:58pm
        Kirsten Dunst at her most attractive for young me. Kirsty Alley was also great in it. Amy Adams so great as the hot girl.

        Lona Williams also wrote Sugar & Spice which shares a similar comedic style. But she left because of disagreement over the tone.

        Post by PKO on 11 hours ago
        A really funny film, although it tails off at the end. The big conclusion should be Kirstie Alley’s meltdown, instead it keeps going a bit aimlessly.

        Lots of great performances; Kirstie Alley, Kirstin Dunst, Ellen Barkin, Denise Richards (yes, really), Allison Janney, Amy Adams and Will Sasso.

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (September 8, 2013 - 5:20 am)

    Kirsten Dunst’s career is about showing up in random music videos:

    Most of you know that I’m not any kind of fan of Kirsten “Kiki” Dunst. I’ve always found her flaky, and her “I’m a ditzy starlet” act grates on my last nerve. That being said, I don’t generally hate on her looks. Kiki can be – and often is – a very pretty girl. This cover is one of those times where she looks great. She’s the cover girl for the new (I’m assuming April) issue of V Magazine, in a lovely, striking shot by Mario Testino. Now, I have absolutely no idea what Kiki is promoting, or why she should need a magazine cover, but whatever.

    In other Kiki news, have you heard the Akihabara Majokko Princess cover and seen the video for The Vapors’ “Turning Japanese”? I put it below – I think it only came online a few days ago. Some people like it, but I think it’s… “totally random” if I’m being nice. Totally f-cking insane, if I’m being unkind. The video is directed by McG (he of Charlie’s Angels fame) and Takashi Murakami, and I have no idea why any of this happened:

    Like, what the hell? Is this what Kiki’s career is now? Just random sh-t?

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (September 8, 2013 - 5:42 am)

    “What the Hell Happened to” Kirsten Dunst’s “Mona Lisa Smile” co-star Julia Stiles:

    Julia Stiles broke out into the mainstream with her widely acclaimed performance in 1998’s 10 Things I Hate About You. Just how acclaimed was she? She walked home that year with an MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance and the Chicago Film Critics Award for most promising actress of the year and film critic Adina Hoffman of the Jerusalem Post, even called her “a young, serious looking Diane Lane!” If praise like that doesn’t make phones start ringing at CAA I don’t know what does. (That was a joke. But her acting chops were appealing to both teens and adults.) Julia spent the next few years racking up the Teen Choice Awards, appearing opposite such heartthrobs as Freddie Prinze Jr., Josh Hartnett, and Sean Patrick Thomas (who she appeared with in 2001’s major hit Save the Last Dance). That film (which won her more MTV Movie and Teen Choice awards as well as a Rolling Stone cover) gave her actual clout in the industry and she used it to get a small but pivotal and money-making role in the Bourne Identity franchise, a fun part opposite William H. Macy and Alec Baldwin in David Mamet’s State and Main, and a meaty dramatic role opposite Stockard Channing in 2001’s The Business of Strangers. But in the mid 2000s, she started to fizzle. Mainstream flops like Mona Lisa Smile, The Prince and Me, and A Guy Thing seemed to demonstrate that she couldn’t handle comedy or light material. She still got some nice paychecks from the Bourne movies, but she herself was no longer bankable (and had been usurped by the likes of Anne Hathaway, Kate Hudson, Kirsten Dunst and Natalie Portman), so she turned to the stage, and went to college. She graduated from Columbia University in 2005 with a degree in literature.

    In 2004, she performed in London in a revival of Mamet’s Oleanna opposite Aaron Eckhart, (in 2009 she reprised this role on Broadway opposite Bill Pullman). I happened to see that production in LA before it went to Broadway and can vouch that Ms. Stiles was extremely effective and a magnetic performer. She also spent the mid to late 2000s doing smaller and more serious dramas like Edmond (2005), The Omen (2006), and The Cry of the Owl (2009).

    In 2010, she followed the path of many talented actresses looking for work and went to television where she starred on the sixth season of Dexter and was nominated for an Emmy and Golden Globe for her performance. She has also became a new muse of playwright Neil LaBute, appearing in short films that he directed and a new film he wrote called Seconds of Pleasure, and almost appearing on Broadway (opposite Dane Cook!) in LaBute’s play Fat Pig, but the show was cancelled due to financial trouble. It seems Ms. Stiles is has been keeping extremely busy as of late, with three movies coming out in 2012 and at least two currently in pre-production. The biggest profile picture is David O. Russell’s The Silver Linings Handbook, in which she stars opposite Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Robert DeNiro, and Chris Tucker in his first non-Rush Hour role since 1997. The other films are smaller, but seem to have great casts and directors.

    So what happened to Julia Stiles? It’s the classic case of intelligent, strong, classically trained actress-turned teen queen-turned flopper-turned legitimate actress again. I see her emulating Maggie Gyllenhaal or Michelle Williams and perhaps becoming something close to Gwenyth Paltrow over the next few years in terms of film choices (serious work on stage and screen mixed in with the occasional paycheck flick). She’s not going to be as big as Anne Hathaway, Reese Witherspoon, or Amy Adams, but she’s a talented, bright actress who is also into charity, so I imagine she’s happy.

      Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

      (September 8, 2013 - 5:44 am)

      What Ever Happened to Julia Stiles?


      I was watching a bunch of old movies one weekend and I decided to re-watch the movie The Prince and Me, starring Julia Stiles.

      My first thought when I was watching was, “Whatever happened to Julia Stiles?” The last I saw of her was in the Bourne movies that starred Matt Damon but I nothing more after that. I heard that she went to college but I’m pretty sure that she would be done by now.

      I really liked her in Ten Things I Hate About You and in the Save the Last Dance movies. It’s too bad that I haven’t seen her in anything in a while.

      Naturally, I turned to Google to see what she’s been up to. I found out that she’s dabbled in writing and directing and theatre. She was also part of the show Dexter and of a YouTube series titled “Blue.”

      From what I read about her, it seems that Julia Stiles has had enough of mainstream/commercial movies because her recent work has her doing alternative projects. I guess she wanted a different career path than what she initially started with.

        Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

        (February 17, 2015 - 4:44 pm)

        Re: Who is Blacklisted in Hollywood and why (bring the tea):

        J.u.l.i.a. S.t.i.l.e.s.

        Her career was about to take off again after her stint on Dex/ter (she even received a golden globes nomination for her work) but she got blacklisted after her on-set affair the Dex/ter came out. Word on the street is that JenCarpen.ter (scorned (ex)wife of Dexter) badmouthed her all over town and got her blacklisted. And now, the best the girl can do is a low-rate web series and Lifetime movies. So sad.


          (February 17, 2015 - 5:57 pm)

          Yeah, I heard the affair that Micheal C. Hall had was with Julia Stiles (the timeline correlates as well). I didn’t know Jennifer Carpenter badmouthed her (LOVE the Debra character), but I know she got quite emotional about her relationship with MCH during this “Dexter” panel I caught on video.

        Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

        (August 17, 2015 - 2:36 am)

        Where is Julia Stiles? What Happened to Julia Stiles?


        Born on March 28th, 1981, Julia Stiles is an American actress who has starred in many blockbuster films. Most famous for her roles in 10 Things I Hate About You, Down to You, Save the Last Dance, The Business of Strangers, Mona Lisa Smile, and The Omen, Stiles has won numerous awards and accolades for her acting performances. She kept on earning roles in major movies throughout the years, until recently it seems she has disappeared. What happened to Julia Stiles?

        Julia stiles was born and raised in the iconic New York City, and she was the oldest of her two other siblings, Johnny and Jane. Her parents were Judith Newcomb Stiles, a potter, and John O’Hara, a businessman. When she turned eleven, she started acting at New York’s La MaMa Theatre Company, and there she realized that acting was a career she wanted to pursue. She later went to school to study the art of acting and become noticed for roles.

        Her first film roles were in I Love You, I Love You Not, where she acted alongside Jude Law and Claire Danes, and The Devils Own, where she had a small role as Harrison Ford’s character’s daughter in the Alan J. Pakula film. It wasn’t until 1998 when Julia Stiles landed her first leading role, in the film Wicked, where she played a teenage girl who was accused of murdering her own mother so that she could keep her father all to herself. She received critical acclaim for her performance in the movie, as critic Joe Balthai wrote that she was “the darling of the 1998 Sundance Film Festival.”

        The following year, she starred in another movie alongside Health ledger, where she played Kat Stratford in Gil Junger’s 10 Things I Hate About You, a modern retelling of the Shakespeare classic play, The Taming of the Shrew. This is the movie that blasted her into stardom. Critics raved over her acting performance, with Chicago Film Critics voting her the most promising new actress of the year, and with her winning an MTV award for Breakthrough Female Performance for her role in the movie. She then starred in Down to You, and while the movie was not a success, critically or commercially, she still received a Teen Choice Award nomination for her on screen chemistry with the other leading actor, Freddie Prinze Jr. She starred in two more Shakespeare adaptations, but neither was very successful.

        In 2001, Stiles starred in Save the Last Dance, as an aspiring ballerina who was forced out of her small hometown in Illinois after her mother died to live with her struggling musician of a father. She attends a school there with a population of nearly all African American students, and she feels left out. She soon, however, falls in love with a character played by Sean Patrick Thomas, who teaches her how the ways of hip hop dance so that she can get into a dance school. The movie was a huge success, commercially and critically, as Julia Stiles won multiple awards, including MTV awards for Best Kiss and Best Female Performance, as well as a Teen Choice Award for the best fight scene for her fight with Bianca Lawson in the movie. She received more fame than ever before from this movie, and she even landed on the cover of Rolling Stone’s April issue that year, with the famous magazine declaring her “the coolest co-ed.” Due to the way the film was shot and edited, it could be argued that she didn’t perform her own dancing in film, and had a stunt double. However, in an interview in the Rolling Stone magazine, she said that she performed all of her own dancing in the film, even if it appeared otherwise. She was one of the most talented, young actresses at the time, and she was finally receiving the fame she deserved.

        Throughout her career, she starred in a large quantity of romantic comedies. In an interview with Rebecca Murray, when asked what makes a romantic comedy standout, Stiles said, “How do I make a romantic comedy standout? You know, I don’t really see this as a romantic comedy. That sort of label definitely has a negative spin to it. I feel like my intention with the movie all along and Martha’s [Coolidge] and the studio’ was to make like a romance, almost like the classic love stories from the 1950’s. And certainly there are funny moments in the movie, but when I think of a romantic comedy, I think of…I don’t know. I think of more like written jokes, slapstick almost.”

        “I think that the naming of a romantic comedy has negativity around it because it’s become like a meaningless phrase. Everything gets labeled a romantic comedy if it has romance in it or a joke. Am I wrong? I think this is more fantasy because you watch two people fall in love and connect. It’s the tried and true story of two people from different walks of life connecting on a really deeper level. There is a fantasy element to it and fairy tale element to it, but what’s nice is that my character is really grounded and real and is believable, hopefully, if I did my job.”

        In another interview by Laura Dawn, when asked how she finds a way to enjoy her work, she said: “I’ve really turned a corner recently in terms of not taking work too seriously, so it is much easier for me to not take my work home. I used to struggle a lot with dwelling on how the day at work was, and I would dwell on my performance. Now, I’m like, ‘Well, that’s over and done with, and I can’t control the outcome, so move on.’ I just remember that it is entertainment I am making. I know it sounds earnest, but I do really feel in my bones that acting is just a small part of the equation when you are making a movie. The director really is in charge. Actors are as important or unimportant as the rest of the people around them.”

        Julia continued to go to school during this period of her life. When asked if school provided a nice balance between her acting and fame, she said: “Yes. It’s nice to go to a place where my professors really demand that I perform intellectually. They care about my ideas and what I have to say. Not that the work that I do as an actress, that the people I work with don’t care about what I have to say, but it’s just apples and oranges. I guess I have attention deficit disorder and I guess that I like to change it up a lot. I have no desire to do post graduate work. My experience being in school is really different from a lot of my peers. Like, I’m there really almost like it’s a really expensive book club. I feel like I get to go and read great literature and hear what really intelligent people have to say about it. And that’s a luxury. I’m just sort of in school because it’s a safe place to grow up and it’s very stimulating, but I don’t think that I would do post bachelor work. I mean, it wouldn’t really make sense for me because I don’t need an English degree to be an actress. It becomes much more specific, getting a masters degree in English. It’s really more designed for people who want to be English scholars and it’s much more focused.”

        Stiles appeared in State and Main, and The Business of Strangers shortly after. In the latter she acted alongside Stockard Channing, who said of Stiles: “In addition to her talent, she has a quality that is almost feral, something that can make people uneasy. She has an effect on people.”

        After appearances in three movies in the Bourne franchise, and starring in Mona Lisa Smile, Stiles’ acting career slowed down. She starred in the web series Blue, with her playing a single mother protecting her son. The show consisted of multiple online episodes all around ten minutes in length. Since 2013, however, she has been very quiet. Many people have asked what happened to her. In 2014 she starred in Out of the Dark, but that was the last movie she had a role in.

        Her personal life is a very clean one, with her being an advocate for Habitat for Humanity, and even building housing in Costa Rica.

        When asked about what issues and organizations she is passionate about, her response was all about helping others receive education: “Education is huge for me. I went to public school until I turned thirteen, and was lucky enough to afford college once I became successful as an actress. I cannot believe that quality education costs as much as it does in this country. Ghetto Film School is a remarkable public high school in New York City where students learn to express themselves through filmmaking, and have hands-on access to equipment. We can become very short-sighted in terms of objectives. The first thing to go during times of economic crisis and budget cuts is funding for things that are essential and not-quantifiable, like the arts. Save Big Bird!”

        She travels a lot, so much that she had to give up veganism so that she could travel more often, since she had developed anemia. The truth is that no one knows why she has disappeared from acting. She was one of the most promising young actors during her rise, and her fall is a strange mystery.

      Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

      (November 9, 2013 - 9:09 pm)

      10 Movie Stars Who Could Really, Really Use A Hit Right Now:

      Julia Stiles
      I am all for former leading actors taking smaller roles in order to create a different kind of career with a supporting bend to it, but there’s a difference between being the third lead and being the seventh lead, as Stiles was in last year’s brilliant Silver Linings Playbook. Even more troubling, she hasn’t had any other role of any kind in anything that made any real dent at the box office since 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum, unless you count her one season guest role on Showtime’s Dexter, which was widely viewed.

      I get why Stiles never developed into a leading lady in romantic comedies. She doesn’t have that goofy, struggle against the current zaniness that’s needed, but she’s good enough in her own weird way that she should be regularly landing major parts in bigger movies. That hasn’t happened recently. Hopefully, moving forward she can net something meaty and full of spunk that she can be proud of.

      Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

      (May 2, 2016 - 12:54 am)

      Future of Movie Stars: Who Will Shine? Who Will Fade Away?


      Julia Stiles did the break thing, and she also the problem of having a babyface until her early 30’s. It was hard to take her seriously as a grown woman in The Omen remake.


    (November 9, 2013 - 12:38 pm)

    You hit the proverbial nail on the head with Melancholia. That movie is maddening and mesmerizing. The word itself- melancholia- is beautiful. I always recommend that movie to my friends. I like to see who “gets it’ and who doesn’t. I could talk about that movie for hours. If that is the new direction Kirsten Dunst wants to take her career, then I am totally on board. Also, people should give Marie Antoinette another chance. It’s a gorgeous film.


      (November 9, 2013 - 12:42 pm)

      Dunst isn’t as popular as she once was, but I find her movies more interesting than ever before.


    (December 6, 2013 - 9:49 am)

    I agree with some of whats been said regarding Orland Bloom and Kristin Dunst. I completely disagree regarding Ryan O’neal. Have you ever seen “Whats up Doc”. Probably one of the funniest movies ever. Ryan Oneal was brilliant as the nerdy yet adorible Howard Bannister. O’neal’s comedic timing was immpeccible. He held his own opposite Barbara Striesand and Madaline Kahn. Its too bad he didn’t do more comedy because he’s brilliant in that genre. Too say he’s an awful actor is completely ridiclious.


      (December 10, 2013 - 4:45 pm)

      I don’t have a strong opinion on O’Neal either way. I saw What’s Up Doc and was not impressed. I was a huge fan of Bringing Up Baby, the Cary Grant/Katherine Hepburn film What’s Up Doc was based on. I probably couldn’t give What’s Up Doc an unbiased viewing. Grant and Hepburn are a tough act to follow.


    (January 3, 2014 - 12:22 am)

    Actually, the reviews for Marie-Antoinette were mostly positive (http://www.metacritic.com/movie/marie-antoinette) and have only increased with time. It has gained quite a bit of respect now that people recognize the film’s character study intentions rather than expecting a historical film. It also made 20 million more than its budget overseas.


      (January 3, 2014 - 7:30 am)

      65 is a pretty middle-of-the-road metacritic score. (It holds a less-impressive score of 55 on RT.com) While technically that may qualify as “mostly positive” in that it is greater than 50%, you have to take into account that reviews tend to skew positive on aggregators. Aggregate sites like metacritic also have the flaw of including modern reviews. If, as you say, the movie has increased in respect since it was released, that would be reflected in its current score. At the time of its release, the reviews were far from glowing. However, my assessment that the reviews were “mostly negative” is probably over-stating the case in the opposite direction. I will update it to a more neutral “mixed”. Thanks for pointing that out.


        (January 3, 2014 - 8:58 pm)

        Well, in comparison with other film ratings from aggregate sites, it does lean towards the positive territory…hence the classification. If you sort by 2006 films, you will see how many ended up in the red with scores lower than 40. Also, “mostly positive” on Metacritic is attributed to scores about 60, rather than 50. MetaCritic does not include modern reviews…those are all from 2006-2007 when the film was released. RottenTomatoes, however, is all-inclusive. The film has gained a reputation for receiving negative reviews because of the Cannes “booing” ordeal, which was debunked by Ebert (who was one of several top critics to give it a 4/4) as two disgruntled critics jeering, but this is simply not the case. In fact, if you include French reviews, the average would be even higher. To be factual, you would need to say that the reviews were mixed-positive.

        I know I sound like an assistant to Mrs. Coppola, but I have studied the film and its reception in-depth with the film community and have come to despise the negative reviews myth.


          (January 4, 2014 - 8:57 am)

          You have convinced me there is more to the story. I am going to look into it further and I will update the article with something more in-depth than “mixed”. I do enjoy busting up movie myths.

          Thanks for sharing your point of view. These kinds of conversations always improve the overall depth and quality of the articles.


            (February 14, 2014 - 4:33 pm)

            These conversations are what makes me love film!


    (March 25, 2014 - 5:11 am)

    I can relate to depression: I have friends that suffer directly or are bipolar. My heart goes out to Kirsten Dunst.


      (March 25, 2014 - 8:05 am)

      Depression is no joke. It seems like she is doing well. So good for her.

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (April 13, 2014 - 12:10 am)

    Kirsten Dunst Offends With Traditional Gender Role Comments in Harper’s Bazaar UK: “You Need a Man to Be…:


    (June 5, 2014 - 3:25 pm)

    All Good Things … A favorite Dunst movie


      (June 5, 2014 - 4:01 pm)

      I thought it was a hidden gem. I’m surprised it hasn’t developed more of a cult following.


    (June 5, 2014 - 4:33 pm)

    Yeah, i liked the film as well (I’m familiar with the actual case through true crime shows and articles; the guy got busted shoplifting at a supermarket). I’m surprised there isn’t more of an audience for this film, considering many people consider Ryan Gosling such a beefcake (I’m just in it for the performances and storylines:-).

    Jesse New

    (June 17, 2014 - 1:19 pm)

    Kirsten Dunst was really pretty in the late 90’s early 2000’s. WHAT HAPPENED? That’s what I wanna know! She used to be so hot, now she is not even remotely attractive. It looks like she got involved with some hard core drugs that aged her. Just my opinion.


      (June 17, 2014 - 1:24 pm)

      I still think she’s extremely good looking. She’s aged, but time will do that to you. There have been rumors of substance abuse which may have spread up the process.

        Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

        (September 22, 2014 - 6:03 pm)

        Face Off: Ali Larter vs. Kirsten Dunst:

        This week sees the opening of Clint Eastwood’s musical biopic JERSEY BOYS. The boys from Jersey aren’t really our thing around here, but I think we can do something with a couple of Jersey girls in the form of Ali Larter and Kirsten Dunst. Born and raised in The Garden State, they’re two of the finest offerings that state has made to the current hottie population. But which of these two beautiful blondes should make New Jerseyans swell with the greatest pride? Those of you not stuck in a bridge closure can make your choice below.


        Where Kirsten might have that old Hollywood look, Ali is very much the epitome of 21st century beauty. A model before she was an actress, Ali’s beauty has always been a selling point for her and something that’s fascinated me for years. I can’t put my finger on exactly why that is. Normally I’m annoyed by the whole blue-eyed blonde thing. For some reason Ali is an exception to that. Whatever it is that sets her apart for me, I like it.

        There has been some back and forth concerning Kirsten’s credentials as a beauty. I never had much of a doubt about her capabilities there, but I can understand why some have. I’ve always liked that old Hollywood look she has about her, especially in the eyes. The issue some have had on that point probably sources from her supposed issues with the whole idea of being a famous actress – something symptomatic of former child actor malaise I suspect. Anyway, I’m going with the one who has never disappointed here. And that’s Ali.


        Ali has always been a stunner here. No big surprise, considering that modelling past of hers. She’s perhaps not the fist choice of your average big boob fan, but there’s a lot more to the equation than tits. My mind keeps going back to Ali in that leather body suit in JAY & SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK. Or in nothing but whipped cream in VARSITY BLUES. She’s a tasty treat.

        I’ll admit that Kirsten has had some rather frustrating fluctuations in this area. At one point she’ll be a thin yet nicely filled out hottie. The next month, emaciated and deflated. Sadly, such things are not unheard of in the circles she runs in. Currently Kirsten seems to be back in a fairly nice form. I hope that lasts a while, for as we saw recently in that nude scene in MELANCHOLIA and in that famous wet t-shirt scene in SPIDER-MAN, girl has a lot of potential here.


        On the other hand, Ali rarely misses and opportunity to show off. My mind goes back to that brief window of time after her first kid was born and the mommy boobs had sprouted. She was taking every opportunity to show off her increase in cup size for everyone to see. That’s someone who’s comfortable in her own skin. And why not? It’s such beautiful skin. Ali has every reason to be proud of what she’s got.

        Kirsten is pretty hot when she wants to be, but I get the impression she’s not that interested in such things. That didn’t seem to be the case a few years back, but those fluctuating priorities I spoke of earlier interfere once again here. Grudging acceptance of one’s hotness on occasion doesn’t impress me as much as someone who really indulges in it to the benefit of all, like Ali does. Anyway, it’s not a great way to secure my vote.


        Ali has had a few noteworthy moments on big and small screens and enjoyed a relative amount of pervasiveness in the biz at various times in her career. I don’t think she’ll ever be up for any major awards any time soon, but she’s a competent if not capable actress. Though I’d say the pretty face that gave her a start in the modelling world is still her greatest asset.

        As much as she might resent it, her child actor origins truly made Kirsten a name in the biz. Back in the day it was with movies like INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE and LITTLE WOMEN. That fame continued on into her teen days with movies like THE VIRGIN SUICIDES and then on to adulthood in the SPIDER-MAN series and so forth. Lately Kirsten’s divided feelings about fame have interfered a bit with her star power. Taken as a whole, I think it’s safe to say that Kirsten’s career is more impressive.


        I like Kirsten as an actress and I find her plenty hot when she wants to be. Ali, on the other hand, has never failed to impress. She’s not as good an actress as Kirsten, but as far as being a hottie goes, she’s got winner written all over her.


    (August 1, 2014 - 6:04 am)

    I remembered that she made a big impression to me when I first saw her in the Interview with The Vampire trailer. When she rose from the bed and said “I want some more” in the voice that I am sure had send chills down many spines. She showed remarkable maturity in that movie, despite how young she was.

    I also remembered that fans of the novel were not happy that Tom Cruise got the role of Lestat. But I think he did well in that role. It was a bit funny for me then, how Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt had to switch their hair colours for their respective roles.

    That also reminded me how, again, fans of the ‘Reacher’ series novels were not happy that Tom Cruise got the titular role of Jack Reacher. In the books, Jack Reacher was supposed to be 6’5″ muscular guy.

    But to be fair, the guy was also describe by a female character that he looked like a condom crammed with walnuts. Which I am sure not many actors would fit that particular bill anyway.


      (August 1, 2014 - 8:18 am)

      Dunst was fantastic in Interview. I remember that moment of the trailer and thinking “Damn. They got Claudia right.” She stole that movie.

      Cruise was definitely case against type in Interview. He wanted to play Lestat because 1. Lestat is the showier character and 2. Lestat is the focus of the second book which is generally regarded as the best in the series. Cruise was planning to star in the sequel which would be even more anticipated that the first movie. But Interview got a lukewarm reception and The Vampire Lestat never got made.

      No one was more upset about Cruise’s casting than Anne Rice. She was very vocal about it at first. She had written the character with a young Rutger Hauer in mind. Cruise looks nothing like that. What she and a lot of fans didn’t take into consideration is that Hollywood make-up artists, costume designers, lighting, etc can work miracles. Lestat is supposed to be a rock star. Cruise, the biggest movie star in the world at the time, can easily embody that aspect of the character. Rice later recanted her criticism, so I give her credit for that.

      I didn’t read the Jack Reacher books but I know a guy who is a fan. He wasn’t happy with the casting of Cruise, but he did like the movie. It’s a shame it wasn’t successful enough for sequels.


        (August 1, 2014 - 9:02 am)

        Now that you mentioned it, I do remember Anne Rice was upset about Cruise being cast too. As well as the recant later. I supposed it was well deserve at least.

        I haven’t read the book either. There was a wikipedia entry about the author’s reaction to Cruise being cast. The author was like… Jack Reacher being 6’5″ was to represent the idea of this character being a force of nature and larger than life actions, not the actual physical representation of the character. I haven’t watch the movie either.


          (August 1, 2014 - 9:14 am)

          I’ve heard the movie is pretty good. I should probably check it out. It’s on Netflix.


        (August 1, 2014 - 10:29 am)

        I wonder how the movie will be if Pitt and Cruise switch roles. I am quite certain that Cruise could do the brooding tortured Louise but I am not sure if Pitt could be Lestat… Not him at that time anyway…


          (August 1, 2014 - 10:41 am)

          I think people forget that Pitt was not an established star when that movie came out. The verdict was still out on him.

          Do I think he could have done it? Absolutely. He had already oozed charisma in Thelma and Louise. I would actually be more concerned about Cruise. With the right director, Cruise can turn in a good performance. But “brooding and tortured” is far from his wheelhouse.

          One meta take on the movie is that Cruise/Lestat is the older, fading established star whereas Pitt/Louis is the up and coming star who will is struggling with fame/vampirism. On that level, I don’t think switching roles works.


    (August 7, 2014 - 2:19 pm)

    i think if spiderman wasnt rebooted then her career wouldn’t be in this bad shape cause she would have a safety zone to be in when her career went dead. still elizbethtown proved she can be bubbly and fun i enjoyed it even though it bombed i want to see her in those kind of roles cause lets face it she will never been taken seriously as a serious actress.However she had sucess in superhero films i guess playing a love interest in another superhero movie would fit her well


      (August 7, 2014 - 6:04 pm)

      I don’t really think the Spiderman reboot has any effect on Kirsten Dunst’s career (Tobey Maguire’s either). it’s just that she took some time off, and hollywood/the public at large is fickle, get’s bored, and move onto other films and performers. I also think that Kirsten Dunst has been taken seriously and has been a part of some unusual projects (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “Melancholia” come to mind for me).


        (August 8, 2014 - 8:09 am)

        If Spider-man 4 had happened, it would have been an extra paycheck for Maguire and Dunst. That is assuming Dunst came back for it. She never expressed any interest. I suspect that if Raimi and Maguire signed on for it, Dunst would have to. But as you say, her time away seems largely voluntary. Perhaps mandatory if the rehab rumors are to be believed. Since then, she’s really carved out an interesting path as an actress in independent films. Unfortunately, most people have never heard of them.

          Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

          (August 9, 2014 - 1:49 am)

          I kind of wonder if Bryce Dallas Howard’s version of Gwen Stacy was introduced in the third movie as sort of a “backup” love interest or plan just in case Kristin didn’t want to do them anymore.



            (August 9, 2014 - 8:28 am)

            I’m sure that was a contingency plan. Kind of funny they introduced the girls in reverse. The first three movies focused on Mary Jane pretty heavily so it might have been a bit awkward. But after Spider-man 3, I think a change would have been good.


            (August 9, 2014 - 8:39 am)

            I just recently rewatched The Village and was thinking along the same lines.


    (August 7, 2014 - 10:02 pm)

    i guess some offbeat supporting indies roles like eternel sunshine can do the trick however with exception of francos reboots has hurt dunst and tobey dunst hasnt had a hit since spiderman 3 and most of her success comes from spiderman movies and tobey only one hit after spiderman bulk of his sucess lyes in spiderman pretty soon if tobey dosent watch out hell be on this page too


    (August 9, 2014 - 12:53 am)

    if spiderman 4 happened it would be another chance to a hit for them to be in dunst was all for in for it then and if extended 5 movie she could have a franchise to retreat to when needed t a hit


      (August 9, 2014 - 8:27 am)

      There was never going to be a fifth movie. Sony had already decided to reboot after 4 no matter what. Unfortunately, they couldn’t pull 4 together so we just went straight to the reboot.


    (August 9, 2014 - 1:32 am)

    i think u want to throw jamie lee curitis in the site too she made a list a few times but her career is hit and miss. right now she hasnt done anything important in a while


    (August 9, 2014 - 1:50 am)

    kind of like what happend to keaton after he turn down batman forever his career sank and the same is happening to tobey and dunst

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (August 9, 2014 - 1:47 pm)

    GET OVER IT (2001):

    Directed By: Tommy O’Haver
    Written By: R. Lee Flemming Jr.
    Cinematography By: Maryse Alberti
    Editor: Jeff Betancourt

    Cast: Ben Foster, Kirsten Dunst, Melissa Sagemiller, Colin Hanks, Shane West, Martin Short, Zoe Saldana, Mila Kunis, Carmen Electra, Swoosie Kurtz, Ed Begley Jr., Christopher Jacot, Coolio, Kylie Bax

    When Berke Landers, a popular high school basketball star, gets dumped by his life-long girlfriend, Allison, he soon begins to lose it. But with the help of his best friend Felix’s sister Kelly, he follows his ex into the school’s spring musical. Thus endues a love triangle loosely based upon Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, where Berke is only to find himself getting over Allison and beginning to fall for Kelly

    Kirsten Dunst makes her singing debut with “Dream of Me”, which is also included on the film soundtrack.

    This is a strange movie even for being a teen film. I applies it do trying to be something different and have fun with the genre. Though watching the film everything and everyone seems a bit off.

    Most of the actors are long in the tooth to play their roles. They look generic instead of noteworthy especially the wardrobe. Especially as it seems an effort to make the cast look younger than they are. The outfits are loud and unflattering.

    Mila Kunis, who seems to be one of the only actors their characters age. Looks too young to be in the movie and really has nothing to do. Except for look pretty in a handful of scenes

    The film tries to be like every teen high shook movie cliche mixed in a blender and released onto the screen.

    Even Kirsten Dunst seems above this. It seems like most of the cast took the film just to take part in a genre that was once popular, but by then was common and dying. That seems just trying to tie into any fad they could find. Kirsten Dunst makes her singing debut with “Dream of Me”, which is also included on the film soundtrack.

    Proof comes in the form of pop star Vitamin C. At the time of the films release she was a popular pop star, who in the film follows and sings/narrates points of the story. Just as Jonathan Richman did in THERE’s something about Mary. And has another pop star at the time Sisqo in a supporting role even though he looks to old and brings nothing to the movie except for the end credits song and dance sequence.

    Late singer and actress Aaliyah was considered to play the role of Maggie in the film, but the part was given to Zoe Saldana.

    Ben Foster looks lost and embarrassed in the leading role. Just like how his character seems to feel in the high school play. Foster was coming off the Disney show FLASH FORWARD. So since this character is more reserved and normal he has no real quirks to play and no real personality. He has nothing to do most of the time other then react. Leaving him no room to be memorable

    Somehow the filmmakers got Martin Short to be in the film. I don’t always find him funny, but he is a very talented actor and comedian. Here it feels like he is slumming to maybe entertain a new legion of fans. He does what he can though I do believe they let him improv and ab-lib most of his role. As he is better than this film as is most of the cast. He is definitely better then the material. He makes the film feel like a cult novelty

    The film does have a few joys. But it is mostly disposable. Some of the cast are more recognizable and famous now. Here in this film they have smaller supporting roles.

    Maybe it’s just that the film was written earlier then it’s production. And was changed over the years and rewritten to try to be hop ad comment on youth culture. Then just took too long To get Into production. So everything. In the film appears late or out of time and stale by the time the film was made or maybe the film is just bad. It was written by the same writer of SHE’S ALL THAT

    Wait for television. If you must see it, I would suggest skipping it.

    It’s like a skeleton in the closet film that gets regular airplay

    Grade: D


      (August 9, 2014 - 7:32 pm)

      Kirsten could use an indie she can play drama unlike what bodwaya says I think when he writes his posts he’s high most of the times he’s an idiot makes no sense I do think she was robbed oscar nomination for eternal sunshine


    (August 25, 2014 - 1:10 pm)

    leabu do u think tobeys spiderman or andrews were better i like tobeys spiderman 3 in my opinion best one ever and u think paltrow will ever be on the list or spacey


      (August 25, 2014 - 1:15 pm)

      I prefer Raimi’s Spider-man films. But I really disliked Spider-man 3. It was by far my least favorite Spider-man movie until Amazing Spider-man 2 which is really, really awful. Amazing Spider-man 2 is Batman and Robin-level bad.

      Eventually, I will get to everyone or die trying.


        (August 25, 2014 - 2:04 pm)

        Spider-Man 3 was the weakest of the Raimi trilogy with 2 the best.


          (August 25, 2014 - 2:14 pm)

          That’s largely the consensus. Although I don’t have a strong preference for 2 over 1. I know Cinemarchaeologist positively loathes Spider-man 2.


            (August 25, 2014 - 2:21 pm)

            I suspect the reason I like 2 the best was that it felt the most complete. Origin story out of the way now they could focus on the Spider-man character. And they did quite well. 1 was great too.

            The primary problem with 3 was that it tried to do too much. Admittedly the studio forced Raimi to add in a bunch of stuff he didn’t want and that contributed to it.


            (August 25, 2014 - 2:29 pm)

            I think that’s why most people (myself included) prefer 2. Not sure why Sony is so obsessed with the Spidey origin.

            3 was just a mess. They tried to cram 2 movie’s worth of material into 1. If Raimi didn’t want to make a movie with Venom in it, he shouldn’t have. Ugh.

            ASM 2, if you haven’t seen it, has a lot of the same problems as SM3. They tried to cram in too many subplots so they could set up their Sinister Six movie for the franchise they were determined to build. I think they may have killed the Spider-man franchise trying to make it something its not. I predict a reboot will be along in 5 years.

            Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

            (August 26, 2014 - 3:26 am)

            What lies ahead for the Spider-Man franchise?


            Sony clearly has big plans for its Spider-Man franchise, but how will it pan out? Seb looks at what we know, what might happen, and more…

            Now that the dust has begun to settle on The Amazing Spider-Man 2, it’s about time to look forwards once more to what Sony’s Spider-franchise might have in store for us. With ambition far beyond simply producing solo Spider-Man films one after the other, the studio is apparently determined to build an entire franchise out of one set of character rights – it’s a bold stance, but one that will clearly require some creative lateral thinking when it comes to who they manage to make a hero out of.

            Let’s take a look, then, at what we know about the future Spidey tie-ins, and for good measure what we can speculate about endlessly…


            (August 26, 2014 - 8:21 am)

            The only element of the Spider franchise that appeals to me at all right now is that they have announced that they are developing a movie with a female lead. Shame on WB and Marvel/Disney if they let Sony get there first. I assume we’re talking about a Black Cat or Spider-Woman movie. Neither is a favorite of mine. But I will go see the movie on principle even if Sony seems incapable of making a decent super hero movie right now. They own the rights to one of the coolest and most popular super heroes in history and they keep messing him up!

        Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

        (October 20, 2014 - 4:01 am)

        10 Simple Fixes That Would Have Saved The Amazing Spider-Man 2:


    (August 25, 2014 - 1:25 pm)

    i liked batman and robin amazing spiderman 2 and spideman 3 all very entertaining i think tobey fit the role better he was awkward like the comics andrew garfield seemed to cool and confident to be spiderman


      (August 25, 2014 - 1:31 pm)

      Garfield makes a great Spider-man. He makes a lousy Peter Parker. He’s good with the Spidey quips but way too confident to be Peter. But that was far from my biggest problem with Amazing Spider-man 2.

      Of all the super hero franchises out there, the Spider-man franchise is the one I am least excited about. Just don’t care anymore. I don’t like what they have done with it and I don’t like what they have announced for the future. I’m hoping they reboot again without retelling the origin story.


        (August 26, 2014 - 10:21 am)

        they pretty much nail what’s wrong with Garfield as Peter Parker here


          (August 26, 2014 - 10:23 am)

          Have you seen ASM2 yet? OMG is it ever bad!


            (August 26, 2014 - 10:29 am)

            yeah, I went opening night knowing it would be bad. I had planned to write something up about it, but by the time it was done, I just couldn’t dignify what I’d seen with any effort of my own 🙂

            I agree that Garfield is good in the suit, but they really botched the Goblin/Gwen Stacy story lines. And while I usually really like Paul Giamatti, he was embarrassing in ASM2.

            It’s really depressing that my favorite character is being fumbled so badly.


            (August 26, 2014 - 10:38 am)

            I agree with all of your criticisms. And yet you make no mention of my least favorite element of the movie. The take on Electro was right out of Batman and Robin. Did he really need to fall into a vat of electric eels?!? What were they even doing in there? I haven’t groaned that much since the heyday of Schumacher and the Bat credit card.

            You have my sympathies. I reacted similarly to Man of Steel.


            (August 26, 2014 - 10:48 am)

            Sometimes when it comes to super powers, the more you explain, the sillier you look, especially in film. That’s why the concept of mutants was such a windfall for Marvel. Why spend all that time thinking up excuses for why a character has powers when you can just stamp them with “Mutant.” If I had been in the writers’ room, I personally would have encouraged them to just introduce some bad guys with no explanations at all.

            I think the “idea” in ASM2 was that Oscorp was experimenting with all sorts of crazy animal-based stuff, in part with the express purpose of creating super-powered people. If this is the case, then Max just stumbled into something they were planning on doing to somebody else. But, yeah…it just seemed too much of a coincidence.


            (August 26, 2014 - 10:54 am)

            They had the line about animal experimentation. But groan that was such a stupid way to execute it. All it made me think about was all the other crazy experiments that must be spread out around the place. Like is there some room filled with radioactive rodents that will one day result in the creation of Spidey’s arch rival, The Gerbil!?!

            I got the distinct impression that the eels were somehow being used to provide the labs electricity because that’s how science works.


            (August 26, 2014 - 10:59 am)

            …or maybe Vermin? Do they also plan on ruining Kraven’s Last Hunt?


            (August 26, 2014 - 11:03 am)

            I doubt it. Who has time for one single story. I imagine it will be half of a subplot in Amazing Spider-man 3. He will get his powers from radioactive lions.


          (August 26, 2014 - 10:42 am)

          OMG! They end with a dig on Dunst! What is it with Spider-man fans hating on Dunst every chance they get?


            (August 26, 2014 - 10:50 am)

            yeah, I don’t agree with them on that, but I do think she was miscast as Mary Jane. Casting Dunst meant a basic re-imagining of the character. That being said, I had no problem with her in the movies once she was in them. Her rapport with Tobey was good.


            (August 26, 2014 - 10:57 am)

            We’ve had the whole Dunst/MJ conversation before. It never bothered me. I understood immediately that they were re-imagining the character as a cross between Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane. Also, the character in the comics was never all that well defined anyway. At least not in the books I read. She was basically “girlfriend/wife” nagging Peter when the plot required it, serving as a hostage when needed and rewarding him with sex after a job well done. I really don’t care what you do with MJ after reading the way she was portrayed in comics.


            (August 26, 2014 - 11:03 am)

            That’s because you were reading AFTER they got married. The attachment Spider-Man fans have with MJ comes from well before they got married. She was a strong female character at a time when most comic book love interests were whiny milksops (like >ahem< Gwen Stacy). Mary Jane was not dependent on Peter. She had her own stuff going on and was a confident woman. That is the character people loved.


            (August 26, 2014 - 11:05 am)

            This is true. Admittedly, I read Spider-man during a very long dark period. I have also read some books after they magically erased the marriage from history. From what I have read, it’s not the marriage that mattered. Modern day MJ still fills the same basic functions she did in the 90s. Just now, Peter sleeps with other women too.


            (August 26, 2014 - 11:13 am)

            and this has a little to do with the times as well. Even deep into the 80’s an unattached female character who wasn’t sad about it after a certain point, but seemed to love herself and be having a good time was a feminist statement in and of itself. Nowadays it’s not that simple.


    (August 25, 2014 - 1:33 pm)

    i still like the spiderman movies reboots where good but i just they continue a 4th with tobey and the gang the third one left room for another movie although i like superhero movies they r getting old we need more original comedies like this is the end


    (August 25, 2014 - 2:13 pm)

    spiderman 2 was good but 3 was the best but had a great mix of charm comedy and action topher grace was great as venom stole the show


    (August 26, 2014 - 12:12 am)

    true too many villains but it didnt seemed cramed the plot wasnt sloppy


      (August 26, 2014 - 8:33 am)

      I like Kirsten Dunst (I loved “Dick”, a film which I can’t stop playing with). Anyway, I think she’s done a lot of cool projects. Heck, tennis champ Chris Evert once said in an interview that she was her favorite actress (as female tennis players go, I always like Jennifer Capriati). Wait, i’m rambling.


        (August 26, 2014 - 8:47 am)

        I never understood the intense hatred some people have for Dunst.


          (August 26, 2014 - 9:55 am)

          Yeah, I think disliking someone like that is a waste of energy; that isn’t what life should be about. But I think Kirsten Dunst’s body of work is both versatile and inspired.


            (August 26, 2014 - 10:08 am)

            There seemed to be a point where she was checked out and sleeping through certain roles. But I get the impression she has worked through whatever issues she was dealing with. Her recent output has been very impressive.

          Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

          (September 22, 2014 - 5:56 pm)

          Cameron Diaz vs. Kirsten Dunst in the Battle of Vapid Remarks:

          My dear companions in judgment, my fellow snarkoisseurs, it’s my pleasure to introduce a new Pajiba game in which we take quotes from celebrities’ current promo tour interviews and pit them against each other in a battle of stupidity.

          Welcome to Who Said It Worst? (Cue studio audience applause and peppy theme song!)

          Todays contestants are:

          Cameron Diaz

          With a 20-year career in saying dumb things in interviews, Diaz is the favored contestant. She’s currently on a promo tour for her upcoming film, The Other Woman, and has a whole lot of thoughts on womanhood, turning 40, and monogamy.

          Kirsten Dunst

          Dunst isn’t doing the full circuit promoting a specific project, but she has been doing more interviews than usual. And it’s been a goldmine of dumb comments.

          So whose remarks makes your face hit your desk hardest? Let’s play the game!

          First topic: Love and Marriage!


          A lot of people chase after [marriage] because they’ve been told, ‘This equals happiness. They chase it, they get it, and then they find out, ‘Why did I think this was going to make me happy? I’m miserable.’ …I don’t know if anyone is really naturally monogamous. We all have the same instincts as animals. But we live in a society where it’s been ingrained in us to do these things.


          I feel like the feminine has been a little undervalued. We all have to get our own jobs and make our own money, but staying at home, nurturing, being the mother, cooking – it’s a valuable thing my mum created. And sometimes, you need your knight in shining armor. I’m sorry. You need a man to be a man and a woman to be a woman. That’s why relationships work…”

          Verdict: Two women making broad, blanket statements applying their opinions to all relationships. But Dunst out-dumbs Diaz here, no contest, with her antiquated, heteronormative dribble. Point: Dunst.

          Second round topic: Sleeping With People You Shouldn’t


          Everyone has been cheated on, everyone will be cheated on. I can’t fix that, I don’t know how, I don’t have any judgment on anybody, I don’t know how to fix the problem.

          On whether she’s ever had a director make sexual advances towards her.

          I don’t give off that vibe. I think that you court that stuff, and to me it’s crossing a boundary that would hinder the trust in your working relationship.

          Hmm, I don’t know if a big shrug is the best response to infidelity, but Dunst’s claim that women who get harassed bring it upon themselves is so far over the line of sanity, it’s obvious: Point: Dunst

          Things are not looking good for Cameron Diaz. She’s going to need to up the crazy if she wants to win this.

          Final Round: Below the Belt

          (This quote is actually from her new book on healthy living.)

          Pubic hair serves as a pretty draping that makes it a little mysterious to the one who might be courting your sexiness. Pubes keep the goods private, which can entice a lover to come and take a closer look at what you have to offer.


          Have you ever heard of Free City sweats? They’re sweatpants, but very, very comfortable. I can get very comfortable.

          Verdict: It’s hard to pin down what exactly is so dumb about Dunst’s sweatpants quote. Is it the product placement of $150 sweatpants in an interview? Is it the use of the word “but,” as if most sweatpants are designed to NOT be comfortable. I’m not sure, but I think it beats out Diaz’s come-hither pube view. Point: Dunst!

          It’s a total shut out! Kirsten Dunst is our winner on Who Said It Worst?

          Vivian Kane is very confused by this new Cameron Diaz. Is she kind of great now? Is that what’s happening?


          Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

          (September 22, 2014 - 6:24 pm)

          Kirsten Dunst Deserves Backlash Over Obnoxious Gender Comments:

          It’s been a while since actress Kirsten Dunst has been in the headlines, but I’m guessing she’s going to get quite a bit of attention for the recent comments she made to Harper’s Bazaar UK. It turns out that Dunst is quite the traditionalist when it comes to gender roles, which wouldn’t necessary be such a controversial thing to admit — if she hadn’t taken things a step too far by implying that everyone needs “a man to be a man and a woman to be a woman.”

          Oh dear. I’m not saying a politically correct s***storm is for sure coming her way, but … well, let’s just say I hope Dunst also embraces that other traditional belief: there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

          Here are a few of the thoughts on gender and femininity that Dunst covers in the May issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK:

          I feel like the feminine has been a little undervalued. We all have to get our own jobs and make our own money, but staying at home, nurturing, being the mother, cooking — it’s a valuable thing my mom created.

          Okay, that’s not too bad. I’m not sure I totally understand the point she’s making — that if women’s feminine qualities weren’t so undervalued, we could all stay home nurturing instead of having careers? That preparing food and caring for children is “feminine”? — but I can understand the perspective that she has great admiration for what her mother did.

          Unfortunately, she didn’t stop there.

          And sometimes, you need your knight in shining armor. I’m sorry. You need a man to be a man and a woman to be a woman. That’s why relationships work.

          Ummmm …

          Look, there’s no law against believing that adhering to traditional gender roles is what makes your own relationship work. This is America, land of the free, and Kirsten Dunst has every right in the world to feel that way and also maybe to engage in a little fairy tale fantasy sexy time as per Cosmo’s instructions: You’re the virginal princess, and he’s the prince charming trying to rescue you from the evil queen.

          But you don’t really get to make blanket statements like “that’s why relationships work” without a raft of outrage floating your way. Which relationships? The same sex ones? The transgender ones? The ones where Dad stays home with the kids? The ones involving a strong independent woman who doesn’t rely on a knight in shining armor to make her happy?

          There are lots of reasons why Kirsten Dunst’s words are going to be offensive to people, and really, she should have known that. In fact, I’m pretty sure she knew exactly how she sounded, because that’s the only reason to slip in a non-apology halfway through.


    (August 26, 2014 - 11:24 am)

    i feel her career wll be back on track


    (August 27, 2014 - 12:21 am)

    more cute bubbly roles like elizbethtown might do the trick i know the movie bombed but i enjoyed her in the roles her and bloom have potential hey lebeau this year reese keaton and costner all might get oscar noms if they do that would mean wonders 3 people on the website with noms

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (September 5, 2014 - 1:46 am)

    9 Actresses Who Were Supposed To Make It Big But Didn’t:

    1. Kirsten Dunst

    Kirsten Dunst is another actress who looked like she was headed for big things. She secured some coveted roles in a number of critically acclaimed films including “Interview with the Vampire,” “Little Women,” “The Virgin Suicides” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” Surprisingly, the only Golden Globe nomination she has ever received was from her role in “Interview with the Vampire,” which was back in 1995. Her accolades since then haven’t been nearly as impressive.

      Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

      (September 22, 2014 - 6:13 pm)

      Kirsten Dunst’s Career So Far:

      Child stars are a part of Hollywood lore, with audiences across the ages watching them grow up on screen to varying degrees of success; from Shirley Temple and Judy Garland to Jodie Foster and Natalie Portman.

      However, there are few who have managed to redefine themselves as convincingly as Kirsten Dunst. Launched to fame as a disturbing child vampire, we have seen her dominate the teen market, as a blockbuster darling, an iconic indie muse, a French queen and most recently a Hitchcockian leading lady in The Two Faces Of January (released on DVD, Blu-Ray, and VOD on 15th September).

      We take a look at some of the highlights of her career so far:

      • Interview with the Vampire (1994)

      Due to its strikingly disturbing nature, the role which launched her career is still one of her most memorable performances, even twenty years on.

      Playing the cherubic, sausage-curled Claudia in Interview with the Vampire, an 11-year-old Dunst held her own opposite Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt as the blood-thirsty woman trapped in a young girl’s body, earning her the MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance and a Golden Globe nomination.

      The film also controversially featured a scene in which Dunst shared her first on-screen kiss with Pitt, who was eighteen years her senior.

      • Little Women (1994)

      In a role that utilized the adult qualities she brought to the screen in Interview with the Vampire, Dunst proved her acting talents went far beyond her 12 years when she starred alongside Winona Ryder, Clare Danes, and Susan Sarandon in Gillian Armstrong’s Little Women.

      Merging the innocence of a young girl in love with the harsh realities that can come with life, Dunst was commended for her performance, winning the Young Artist Award and recognized at the Boston Film Festival that same year.

      • Jumanji (1995)

      Following on from her success the previous year, 1995 saw Dunst star alongside the late, great Robin Williams in the adaptation of the children’s fantasy adventure book, Jumanji.

      Dunst, who played one of the main protagonists, Judy Shepherd, turned out a performance that seemed closer to her own age, reacting at first with hysteria and later with heroics as the madness stampedes, scuttles and slithers around her.

      Yes there is adventure but there is also something truly magical about the friendship between Judy, her brother Peter, and Alan (Williams), united by their eternal search for childhood innocence lost too soon.

      • The Virgin Suicides (1999)

      A string of portfolio-building support roles followed as Dunst grew into a young woman, including her performance as provocative teen Lux Lisbon in Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides; a film which she later credited as the turning point in her personal life.

      Noting that it was the first time a director wanted her to draw on her sexuality, ‘to [be] the object of desire’ was a whole new experience for her as an actor.

      • Bring It On (2000)

      Playing a high-school student newly appointed as head cheerleader, Dunst ironically managed to demonstrate her maturity as an actress, portraying the character with equal parts girlish charm, naiveté, and smart woman.

      With the film going on to become a cult classic, Bring It On was, without doubt, a risk that paid off.

      • Spider-Man trilogy (2002, 2004, 2007)

      Riding on a wave of critical acclaim from her performance in Crazy Beautiful, 2002 saw Kirsten take on the iconic comic book role of Mary Jane Watson, the titular web-slinger’s love interest, in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man.

      Raimi initially wanted to cast actress Alicia Witt, but when Dunst learned that Tobey Maguire had been cast as the superhero she decided to audition, winning the role just one month before shooting.

      For Dunst, one of the key aesthetic challenges to becoming Mary Jane was achieving the character’s famous red-headed look. In the trilogy’s first two installments hair for which she attained this with the help of multiple wigs, before finally giving in for the third film and dying her hair completely.

      It may be partly due to the fact that many fans still consider Dunst the original Mary Jane that the character has yet to appear in the Amazing Spider-Man reboots, which instead feature first reserve Gwen Stacey as Peter Parker’s other half.

      It remains to be seen if and how a new actress would play Mary Jane, now over 10 years after her first big screen incarnation.

      • Marie-Antoinette (2006)

      The sweeping costumes, fabulous jewelry, and gravity-defying hair almost took on a life of their own in this film which saw Dunst reunite with director Sofia Coppola.

      These were daunting shoes to fill since the story of the notorious 18th century Queen of France is known by so many. Though Coppola herself admitted taking some liberties with the historical aspects of the story, the unashamed lavishness of the film cannot be denied.

      The film quite rightly won an Academy Award for best Costume Design, and gave Dunst the chance to tackle one of her biggest acting challenges to date by delivering a shining performance, all without losing her head.

      • Melancholia (2011)

      Interview With The Vampire, The Virgin Suicides and Crazy Beautiful all clearly demonstrated that Dunst is not afraid of making eyebrow-raising acting choices.

      Further proof of her range as an actress is shown through her portrayal of manic-depressive Justine in Lars von Triers’ Melancholia, which has become her most critically successful to date.

      The film’s powerful imagery alongside Dunst’s impeccable performance (earning her the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival) is masterful.

      At once serene, troubled and fierce, Dunst invokes a 21st century Ophelia, with a deep yet quiet despair exquisitely simmering beneath the surface.

      • The Two Faces of January (2014)

      Set against the backdrop of 1960s Greece, Dunst’s latest role perfectly demonstrates how far she has come as an actress over the past two decades.

      In an industry where so many young stars have failed to break out of early-career typecasting, Dunst continues to surprise many with her film choices. In Hossein Amini’s directorial debut, Dunst as Colette MacFarland is scintillating.

      At times cool and aloof, at others burning hot, there is something truly unexpected about Colette in every turn, raising more questions than answers about who she really is and the motives behind her actions. A masterfully intelligent performance.

      Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

      (June 1, 2015 - 1:47 am)

      Future of Movie Stars: Who Will Shine? Who Will Fade Away?


      I do think Reese Witherspoon is the only one I can think of from that era of the late 1990’s/early 2000’s who did teen movies who was able to make the jump into A-list leading lady. Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johannsson, and Keira Knightley were teenagers but they were never really Teen Queens, either. They tended to do more grown-up type movies, similar to what Jennifer Lawrence is doing right now- she still plays teenagers but she’s also playing a lot of mature, grown-up themes rather than stuff like American Pie or She’s All That.

      Kirsten Dunst, oddly enough, did SO many teenaged movies but the only one that really hit was Bring It On, and she never really capitalized on the success of that and then being in the Spiderman franchise. Neither did Tobey Maguire, but Tobey really doesn’t seem like a guy who ever really wanted to be Tom Hanks.

      I honestly think Kirsten Dunst got burned out- she worked SO much as a child and a teenager, and you can see that she had a big slow down during the second half of the 2000’s. I mean, the woman’s only 33 and she has like 71 IMDB credits.

        Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

        (October 15, 2015 - 11:14 pm)


        Kirsten Dunst was a fellow child actress with Portman. She’s two years younger but she was already kissing Brad Pitt in Interview With a Vampire the same year Portman was in The Professional. Only one episode has aired but I’m already enjoying Dunst in the new season of Fargo the series on FX. She’s great with the Minnesota accent, which she had done way back in Drop Dead Gorgeous in 1999.

        Yest. 6:33 am

        I have generally mixed feelings on Kirsten Dunst — partly because child stars invariably say stupid shit at some point in their teens, partly because my tween self seethed with envy over her kissing Brad Pitt, and partly because her Mary Jane was one of the worst things about the Spider-Man series (which IMHO had a multitude of bad things to pick from) — but Drop Dead Gorgeous was so f***ing funny I just cannot really hate her. And she seems to be in a really good personal/professional place, considering I know nothing about her except that she’s now starring in Fargo, so good on her.

        (Also, Bring It On is the best.)

        Yest. 11:29 am

        Kirsten Dunst, I think, just had straight burnout. Check out her IMDB page- she worked a LOT as a child and a teenager, for about a ten-year period from the early 90’s to the early 2000’s. Then she had a slow down after the Spider-Man movies were done, and I don’t really blame her.

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (September 29, 2014 - 5:04 pm)

    Please Allow Kirsten Dunst To Demonstrate How Shallow We Are As A Society:

    Kirsten Dunst, in partnership with Vs Magazine, has released this short film or commercial or whatever it’s supposed to be called Aspirational, which seems to be trying to make a point about our selfie-obsessed society in which “likes” outweigh human interaction. I’m just not sure exactly what that point is. Of course Kirsten Dunst was the ideal person to approach for a video like this, being the knower of what’s best for people kind of person that she is.

    Which is not to say there’s not a point to be made here. The two young women in the video, who spot Dunst and rush out to take selfies with her like she’s an animal in the zoo, represent some of the most awful people in our society right now. But unfortunately that message gets somewhat muddied in a “woe is me” kind of way, as if it’s Kirsten Dunst who alone suffers the infinite sadness of the existential struggle she contends with on a daily basis. Oh it’s real, you guys.

    “Do you want to talk or anything? I mean you can ask me a question, or are you curious about anything?” Show of hands, who thinks Kirsten Dunst says this to people who stop and ask to take pictures with her? Yep, not buying it either.

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (December 10, 2014 - 3:59 pm)

    “Fargo” Season 2 will premiere next fall starring Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons:

    FX announced that Season 2 won’t kick off until next fall, with another 10-episode run. “Friday Night Lights” alum Plemons and Dunst will play a married couple. He’s a butcher’s assistant and she’s a beautician with dreams of living in the big city.


      (December 10, 2014 - 4:09 pm)

      The first season of Fargo was really good. Can’t wait to see Dunst in season 2!

        Craig Hansen

        (December 10, 2014 - 4:26 pm)

        Considering the 1996 film Fargo is a beloved classic I really went into the Fargo television miniseries with trepidation. I had my doubts going in. I wound up loving the series immediately, a worthy successor/companion piece to the great film. A Season 2 is very good news to my ears, if I have to wait another year for it that’s fine with me. I’m sure Dunst will be great in this, and after having seen Jesse Plemons in Breaking Bad I think he’s an inspired casting choice for Fargo. Hearing a Season 2 is on the way just made my day!


          (December 10, 2014 - 4:40 pm)

          I approached the Fargo TV series with the same trepidation. I was more than pleasantly surprised. It was a fantastic show. I feel like it went unnoticed. More people should be watching it. I knew season 2 was in the works, but I didn’t expect a WTHH subject to be included in the cast. This is really a perfect move for Dunst. TV is where it’s at.

        Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

        (July 10, 2015 - 1:05 am)

        Kirsten Dunst Looks Distressed In One Of These New ‘Fargo’ Season 2 Teasers:

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (June 18, 2015 - 12:48 am)

    9 Actresses Who Are In Desperate Need Of A Career Comeback:

    By Fame 10 Staff on June 15, 2015 1:24 pm

    Kirsten Dunst

    Kirsten Dunst is another child star who seemed to successfully transition to adult roles. She’s had roles in smaller, off beat films like “The Virgin Suicides,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “Marie Antoinette” and big blockbusters like the “Spider-Man” franchise.

    Since Dunst spent time in rehab back in 2008, she’s been really low-key. She’s continued to act, but her career is lacking the momentum that it once had. Since she really does shine in those smaller, off-beat films, we think she needs to lock one down fast and make that comeback we’ve all been waiting for.

    Sarah Michelle Gellar

    Since her role in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Sarah Michelle has been looking for her next big role. She tried movies, but that hasn’t really worked out, and she’s also tried to go back to television, but nothing has really stuck.

    We think that Gellar has what it takes to carry a television show, but she needs another good opportunity like the one she had in “Buffy.”


    (June 19, 2015 - 4:44 pm)

    Nostalgia Critic: Small Soldiers

    Dumb things come in small packages.

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (August 6, 2015 - 9:56 am)

    Kirsten Dunst speaks out about the “unfair” and “really ridiculous” expectations of actors http://peoplem.ag/9ncnXsK


      (August 6, 2015 - 10:15 am)

      Here’s her exact quote:

      “What people expect of an actor is totally ridiculous. It’s unfair that an artist is expected to speak really well in public and have skin tough enough to withstand sometimes really hurtful criticism, but also, in order to do the job, be really sensitive and in touch with their feelings.”

      I don’t disagree. With the rise of social media, the spotlight burns brighter than it used to. We talked about some of the crazy things Alicia Silverstone said in the 90’s. Today, those would be all over Twitter and FB. But back then they went unnoticed by anyone who didn’t have a subscription to a movie magazine. And not People or Us. You really needed to read a publication that wasn’t afraid to show celebs in a negative light.

      Today, everything is worldwide in an instant. That’s gotta be rough. But it’s the price of fame so while I don’t disagree with her I’m also not all that sympathetic.


        (August 6, 2015 - 11:21 am)

        I am pretty sympathetic when this is coming from someone who I believe loves the work of acting more than the life of fame. If being famous appears to be a performer’s focus then my sympathy goes down.

        This is why many actors just go out of their way to simply ignore everything outside of their own world. Of course then they get accused of being “out of touch.” If they’re doing a good enough job of keeping themselves separate, maybe they don’t hear that either.


          (August 6, 2015 - 11:35 am)

          Specific to Dunst, she had some problems and took some lumps in the press. There were rumors of substance abuse, depression and rehab. She got into the business at a young age and had no idea what she was getting into. She appears to have gotten her house in order so to speak and has been doing some really interesting work in movies most people have never seen. As a result, most people are still stuck on her as the girl they didn’t like in Spider-man. (I seem to recall some very uncharitable soul questioning whether or not she was good looking enough to play Mary Jane! gasp And yes, that gasp pun was intentional. 😉 )

          On the sympathy meter, I’m fairly sympathetic to Dunst. Although these comments are just going to feed the machine she’s complaining about. She should stick to comments about her work when talking to the press. Don’t give them ammo. Their going to latch on to the one thing she says that can present her in a negative light and that’s going to be the headline. She should know that by now.

          Can’t wait for Fargo season 2. Season one was one of the best shows on TV last year and a lot of folks missed it. I hope the second season is as good.


        (August 6, 2015 - 6:10 pm)

        I think she’s right on the money as well, but that’s just how it is in today’s society. People as a whole are under more scrutiny than ever due to the explosion of social networking and the public’s overall sensitivity to pretty much anything.


    (August 6, 2015 - 12:43 pm)

    maybe she can still do a comeback. I think launching on to another comic book series would do the trick.i pictured her on magret robbies role in suicide squad.


      (August 6, 2015 - 12:47 pm)

      I think Fargo is exactly what she needs to be doing. For her sake, I wouldn’t want to see her take on any more super heroes.

      Margot Robbie is 25. Dunst is 33. Considering super hero movies these days involving signing away your life 10 years at a time, Dunst has outgrown these jobs.


    (August 6, 2015 - 1:01 pm)

    I still think rebooting the spider-man series may have affected her career. POst spiderman 3 none of her films made money and have been under the radar. You mentioned earlier in the page about zelwegger if you her agent you get her a job in hbo show or sitcom.That would be right up dunst alley. She not bad in fargo i enjoyed her in light stuff like elzibethtown. A sitcom would be perfect to capitalize on dunst comic abilities. She has charm she bring to roles. Tv is no longer considered a low point for actors. No one think less of spacey for doing house of cards which given success is better for him then his post american beauty films .


      (August 6, 2015 - 1:09 pm)

      You scared me there for a second. I thought maybe I had missed the first episode of season 2. Check it out when it’s on. The first season was fantastic. It should allow Dunst to shine like few other projects. I expect she will fare better on this show than she would in any movie.


    (August 6, 2015 - 1:20 pm)

    I was only one in theater for elizbethtown. However in my opinion she has great comic timing. I watched few episode of sitcom mom I thought it was ok not great but anna faris was lacking . Kirsten dunst could fit roles like that. She has this cutsey bubbly charm and still is youthful looking too.


      (August 6, 2015 - 1:27 pm)

      I like Dunst probably better than most people from the sound of things. She can be funny. Check out the under-rated Bridesmaids. It wasn’t cute and bubbly but it was funny.

      Sadly, I think 33 is old by rom com standards. I like her darker output of the last few years. And Fargo is a great job for anyone who can get it. She really couldn’t do any better than that.


        (August 6, 2015 - 2:11 pm)

        do you mean Bachelorette?


          (August 6, 2015 - 2:16 pm)

          Yes, yes I do. Thanks for the catch.


    (August 6, 2015 - 1:32 pm)

    Brides maid good movie. 33 isnt that old especailly if she was plaiyng a mom. The actress who played lilly in how i met your mother was only 2 years younger then dunst is now when the sitcom started shelly long 33 when she first did cheers. tina fey 36 when she did 30rock. but dunst dark stuff is good and fargo dosent damage her career


      (August 6, 2015 - 6:19 pm)

      Yeah, I really liked “Melancholia”; I got the impression that the film was personal for her.

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (August 7, 2015 - 2:31 pm)

    13 Things You Didn’t Know About The Making Of “Bring It On”:

    Marley Shelton was originally cast as Torrance Shipman.

    When Reed came aboard as director, one actor was already attached to the project: Marley Shelton, who had previously starred in Pleasantville and Never Been Kissed.

    “The first thing I did when I got the movie, after flying back to L.A., [was go] to a dinner with one of the producers and an actress they had offered the role of Torrance to: Marley Shelton,” he said. “Marley Shelton is a terrific actress and we had dinner and talked about the tone of the movie. The script obviously needed work, but we were going to do rewrites, so we talked about what we wanted to do with the character and all the stuff. I walked away from that dinner thinking, I really love Marley Shelton. She’s really terrific. She looks like a cheerleader to me. She’ll be great.”

    But there was a hitch: Shelton was deciding between two films, Bring It On and Sugar and Spice, a 2001 crime comedy about a group of cheerleaders who rob banks in order to support a pregnant member of the squad. Shelton ended up choosing the latter and Reed began the search for his new leading lady.

    “We started talking about who we could get to play Torrance and I immediately said Kirsten Dunst,” the director recalled. “I loved Kirsten Dunst and she looked the part and is such a tremendous actor.”

    But the producers had already spoken to Dunst and she had passed. Reed, however, believed the script’s revisions offered a new take on the role and they reached out once more. “Kirsten was making a movie, I think in the Czech Republic, and we sent her the new draft of the script once we had it,” he said. “I got on the phone with her and she liked the changes — I talked more about what we were going to change — and she agreed to do the movie. Once we got her, everything else really fell into place.”

    Dunst cried when the movie opened at the top spot at the box office.

    Bring It On opened in theaters on Aug. 25, 2000, and, given the film’s under-the-radar production, there was very little hype. ” I remember we opened opposite The Art of War with Wesley Snipes, and Wesley Snipes was really big at that time so it was always like, Is there a chance we can come into second to Art of War or is it going to be a total disaster?” Reed said.

    In reality, Bring It On defied the odds and opened at No. 1, making $22 million its first weekend and staying atop the box office in week two, adding another $15 million to its tally. The unexpected turn of events caught everyone off guard — particularly its star.

    “On opening night, we drove from theater to theater in this big van and people were in the theaters and they were laughing,” Reed said. “And then we went up to Universal City Walk for dinner when the numbers started coming in. At a certain point, we knew it was going to open at No. 1 and I remember Kirsten, little 17-year-old Kirsten, in tears, saying, ‘I’m going to have a No. 1 movie?!?!’ She was so thrilled. It was so sweet. It was pretty much an unbelievable experience.”

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (August 17, 2015 - 6:29 am)

    Kirsten Dunst may take on directing gig:

    Kirsten Dunst is ready to step behind the camera to direct.

    “I might be doing that next year,” she says in the new Gotham magazine.

    “We’re in the rewrite phase [of the script] and we have an actress. It’s almost all together, but I can’t fully talk about it yet.”

    Dunst, who was a child actress in movies like “Interview With the Vampire,” says she didn’t miss out on being a regular kid: “My mom always sent me to normal school, so I never missed out on the prom or field trips or any of that stuff.”

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (October 5, 2015 - 1:15 pm)

    Kirsten Dunst Slams Hollywood Blockbusters: ‘Creative People are Blossoming on Television’:

    Kirsten Dunst is no stranger to big-budget studio movies, having starred in Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” trilogy, among countless other films — but her next major role is on the small screen, where she’ll star in season two of FX’s “Fargo.”

    In a recent interview with the UK’s Guardian newspaper, Dunst admits that she’s become a little disillusioned with the film industry. “People don’t go to the cinema unless it’s an event any more,” she says. “So the movie industry is in a weird place, for sure, and the creative people are blossoming on television.”

    Her theory for that shift is that “there are just too many movies being made, I think. So many of them get lost. Too many cooks in the kitchen – the studio’s editing it, the producers are editing it, the director’s editing, too. But everyone has their hand in it, so whose movie is it at the end of the day?” Dunst thinks this leads to “homogenized” films, where creativity takes a backseat to the money being thrown at the screen.

    “People don’t need all the money they’re using. That’s the other thing: when you have too much time, too much money, the creative starts to slip away,” she notes.

    But TV isn’t a downgrade, Dunst says — in many ways, it’s more challenging. “Doing a television show is much, much harder work than film, because you’re doing 10 pages a day. You don’t get that many takes. And my character does not stop talking.”

    “Fargo” season two premieres Monday, Oct. 12 on FX.

      Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

      (October 5, 2015 - 4:58 pm)

      Kirsten Dunst Thinks TV Is Way Better Than Film:

      Kirsten Dunst just joined the growing chorus of folks who say that, when it comes to creativity, TV now trounces the movies.

      In an interview with The Guardian — pegged to the imminent premiere of Season 2 of FX’s “Fargo,” in which Dunst stars — the actress said that “the movie industry is in a weird place, for sure, and the creative people are blossoming on television.”

      Dunst blames two factors above all for the sad state of affairs on the big screen: too much money and “too many cooks in the kitchen.”

      “The studio’s editing it, the producers are editing it, the director’s editing, too,” Dunst said. “But everyone has their hand in it, so whose movie is it at the end of the day?”

      Dunst contrasts the virtually unlimited time and resources of modern blockbuster movies with the constraints of TV, where you have to make every minute on set count. The limitations of the latter make shooting TV “much, much harder work than film,” she explained, but also end up fostering more creativity.

      Dunst knows whereof she speaks, at least when it comes to movies. She’s been starring in feature films since she was 8 years old, and was Tobey Maguire’s co-star in the “Spider-Man” movies that arguably kicked off the current craze for superhero films.

      On the other hand, some of the same trends that have tainted blockbuster movies (at least in the eyes of critics like Dunst) are starting to find their way onto the small screens. There are more superhero series than ever. And the sensational success of “The Walking Dead” and “Game of Thrones” has encouraged networks to invest more money in special effects and complicated action sequences.

      To be sure, quirkier fare (including “Fargo,” but also shows like “Transparent,” “Jane the Virgin” and “Catastrophe”) still thrives on TV. But some industry watchers now say there are too many shows on TV, and that the industry is primed for a shakeout. If and when that happens, will the creativity Dunst praises be able to survive?


    (October 5, 2015 - 10:59 pm)

    Tv is no longer considered low point in actors career. Back then going from movie to tv ment actors career is stalling now its jsut as big as movie especially with impact of netflix.


    (October 5, 2015 - 11:12 pm)

    Tv is expanding almost as big as films why would they do it . Networks want to capitlize on a successful outlet and make money. I think dunst bubly personality works better in sitcom shes funny got good comic timing. Similar to a role in sitcom mom. Look what sitcom 30 rock did for alec baldwin a failed potental a lister it catippaltyed him back in lime light it leads to bigger role like blue jasmine mission impossable 5 and still alice


    (October 5, 2015 - 11:17 pm)

    A sitcom role might do it for dunst. We all cna agree baldwin career is on fire not a list but getting great roles.

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (October 11, 2015 - 5:08 am)

    The Cast of ‘Bring It On’ Reunites 15 Years Later, Recalls Getting Arrested in Mexico:

      Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

      (October 14, 2015 - 5:42 pm)

      Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku and Gabrielle Union on whether Bring It On would be a hit today:

      It has been 15 years since the Clovers and the Toros first faced off, and since then, Bring It On has gone on to become a cheerleading classic. But when Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Gabrielle Union, and Jesse Bradford reunited for EW’s 25th anniversary issue, we asked them if they thought Bring It On would have been as big of a hit if it was made in 2015.

      “I think it would be even more edgy, even like the overall themes,” Union said. “I don’t want to say nothing’s changed, but not a lot’s changed in terms of our overall themes. I think it’d be super relevant — as relevant today as it was 15 years ago.”

      “You have Pitch Perfect and stuff like that,” Dunst added. “I think it would.”

      But although Bring It On would probably still be big if it was made today, a few moments might have ended up on the cutting room floor. Watch the video above to find out which scene the cast members think wouldn’t fly in 2015.

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (October 13, 2015 - 1:58 am)

    Kirsten Dunst Tells @JimmyKimmel How She Gained Weight for @FargoFX: ‘A Lot of Pizza’ http://goo.gl/UuCqr7


    (November 1, 2015 - 1:55 am)

    I just watched Kirsten Dunst in The Two Faces of January tonight, a very good thriller adapted from the Patricia Highsmith novel of the same title. It came out last year and is a very nice addition to her filmography. Don’;t expect a Hollywood style action film, though–this one is in the style of European directors like Claude Chabrol.

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (November 17, 2015 - 4:03 pm)

    Kirsten Dunst on Fargo and the Possibility of an Interview With a Vampire Reunion Tour


    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (December 12, 2015 - 3:30 am)

    Last time @kirstendunst was on the show, Jimmy gave her a Christmas sweater! #FallonTonight


    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (December 12, 2015 - 3:32 am)

    Jimmy and Kirsten Dunst team up against Will Smith and The Roots’ Tariq (Black Thought) for a game of Catchphrase.


    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (December 17, 2015 - 3:40 pm)

    Jimmy Kimmel’s latest Mean Tweets features Sean Penn, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Key & Peele

    Elizabeth Banks, Daniel Radcliffe, Colin Farrell, Kirsten Dunst, Matthew Perry, Michael B. Jordan and Julianna Margulies are also part of Celebrities Read Mean Tweets #9.

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (March 17, 2016 - 5:20 pm)

    Cast Of Bring It On: How Much Are They Worth Now?


    Kirsten Dunst

    Estimated Net Worth: $25 Million. Kirsten Dunst got an early start in her career when at the age of six she played a small role in Woody Allen’s Oedipus Wrecks. From there, it was on to critical acclaim, earning herself a Golden Globe nomination at the age of 11 in Interview with a Vampire. The lead role as Torrance in Bring It On provided Dunst with the exposure she needed to transition into big-budget films, and after its release she earned the role of Mary-Jane in the Spider-Man franchise. This role elevated her to the A-list and she’s enjoyed consistent roles in acclaimed flicks like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Marie Antoinette, and Melancholia. In 2015 she landed the role of Peggy Blumquist in the highly celebrated television series Fargo, and this year we’ll catch her in the films Woodshock and Midnight Special. Kirsten’s successful career has earned her a huge fortune of an estimated $25 million!

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (April 13, 2016 - 1:06 am)

    Kirsten Dunst and Garrett Hedlund split after four years together


      Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

      (July 21, 2016 - 3:27 am)

      Blind Items Revealed #4


      June 8, 2016

      This B list mostly movie actor is hating life right now. First, his big budget starring chance bombed big time earlier this year. Even though he is a really good actor, he just can’t break through to that A list level. Also, his friends keep telling him things they kept secret from him while he was dating this former A list mostly movie actress. He knew about her drinking, but apparently she cheated on him all of the time and everyone knew but him.

      Garrett Hedlund/Kirsten Dunst

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (May 16, 2016 - 6:27 pm)

    Where Are They Now? The Cast Of Interview With The Vampire


    Claudia (Kirsten Dunst)

    The child-star of Interview With The Vampire was the angelic young vamp Claudia – turned too young by Louis and Lestat (largely for Lestat to prove a point), she spends decades trapped in a child’s body, loving Louis as much as she hates him. She came to an unhappy end at the hands of a cadre of Parisian vampires who could not accept the age at which she was turned, but Dunst’s career is (thankfully) a much happier story than Claudia’s!

    Interview was one of her first films, but since then she’s gone on to find fame – most notably as Mary Jane Watson in the Spider-Man franchise. Most recently, she’s been in TV series Fargo, starred in Melancholia, and has three films currently in the pipeline (Woodshock, The Beguiled, and Hidden Figures). She’s also spent some time behind the camera as a director.

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (May 20, 2016 - 3:16 am)

    Big Head Much? Jennifer Lawrence Thinks FOX Should Be Terrified If They Don’t Renew Her X-Men Contract


    I hope this comes back to bite her in the scaly ass. Didn’t Kristen Dunst have a very steep fall from grace after having made some equally over-confident remarks about being asked back to the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man franchise?


      (May 20, 2016 - 8:47 am)

      Here’s what Lawrence said:

      Fassbender and McAvoy and I were all talking. Like, ‘Will you come back?’ ‘I dunno.’ ‘I’ll come back, if you come back.’ Fox should be terrified because the deal we made was like if one of us doesn’t come back, none of us are.

      I would love to come back. I love the fans and I love the character. But then you realize how important your year is, like how important three months out of your year is. I don’t know. I shouldn’t be that honest.

      So, pretty much not anything like what the headline says. God, I hate clickbait. She thinks Fox should be worried because the three main leads have made an informal pact only to return together or not at all. Basically, this is a negotiation ploy. Nothing to see here. Move along.


        (May 21, 2016 - 3:42 am)

        I’ve seen this in sports recently; three people decide they want to work together and create a super-team (in this case The X-Men) and the organization (in this case FOX) obliges them. I think that’s FAN-tastic (the same cannot be said of clickbait though, a practice that has the buoyancy of a smelly and wet summer dishrag).

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (May 20, 2016 - 3:20 am)

    Kirsten Dunst, Jennifer Lopez, Kerry Washington and more discuss TV nudity http://bit.ly/1OC7aBv

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (May 26, 2016 - 4:13 am)



    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (May 26, 2016 - 4:15 am)



    Dunst has always been an interesting actress, pretty enough to be constantly cast as the girl next door but with a soft onscreen presence that’s never overpowering yet always compelling. It’s that last part that makes her so interesting. Dunst is able to play meek and sweet pinnacles of femininity, but underneath that often glam exterior, there’s a calculated intensity that makes her characters feel … off. Take her role as Torrance in Bring It On. Torrance is our protagonist, though she’d likely be the villain in every other teen movie — the peppy, high-achieving cheerleader. In fact, even in this movie, she slips into role of well-meaning villain more than once. However, what’s interesting isn’t how Dunst portrays Torrance’s dueling desires to lead her team to victory and do the right thing. It’s Dunst’s mania. Torrance is so high energy and is characterized by such an intense brand of intelligent ditziness, she almost immediately becomes more of a caricature of how cheerleaders are portrayed than a believable character. It’s not just an enlightening portrayal; it’s an unsettling one.

    Dunst’s film career is filled with dimensional interpretations of traditionally feminine characters like Torrance. Perhaps unsurprisingly because she’s a great director, Dunst has done some of her best genre-bending work with Sofia Coppola. Through Coppola and Dunst, The Virgin Suicides’ Lux wasn’t merely a repressed and promiscuous girl. She was a sad source of never-ending mystery, the most accessible point the boys had to the confusing world of girlhood. Marie Antoinette wasn’t a self-absorbed and all-powerful ruler. She was a confused and lonely girl. Likewise, Interview with a Vampire’s Claudia wasn’t a helpless child; she was a powerful seductress. Even Dunst most mainstream role as Mary Jane Watson in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man was laced with nuance, especially in Spider-Man 2. Mary Jane wasn’t just the doting girlfriend. She had aspirations of fame, and she was visibly jealous of her boyfriend’s, Peter Parker, growing fame.
    In all of these examples, Dunst tackles a traditionally feminine film trope — the high school seductress, the helpless child, the ruling bitch, the devoted girlfriend — and saturates it with dimension. It’s through these nuanced portrayals that Dunst showcases how flat and frankly boring our traditional roles for women typically are. Essentially, Dunst has been exposing the sexism of Hollywood by giving every role her all and forcing us to pay attention.

    Nowhere is Dunst’s brand of genre-bending feminism more clear than in Season Two of FX’s critically acclaimed drama, Fargo. Dunst should be nominated for all the awards for her portrayal of Peggy Blumquist, which is saying a lot for a series that is jam-packed with amazing actors and actresses performing at their A-games. At first glance, Peggy is the mousy, prim, and seemingly devoted housewife that we’ve seen in oh-so-many movies and shows. However, soon after seeing her reaction to a hit and run, it becomes apparent that Peggy is more than June Cleaver with a dark streak. She’s manipulative, aspirational to a fault, and completely uncaring about consequences as long as she gets her way. Peggy isn’t a loyal housewife. Peggy is a conniving villain who is scheming, not for the sake of any man, but to make her own life better. Beneath her pretty curls, rosy smile, and sleek jackets, Peggy is terrifying and formidable, and so is Dunst.

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (May 27, 2016 - 2:48 am)

    Making her InStyle UK cover debut Kirsten Dunst talks rejection, wedding plans and trying to remain “normal” in Hollywood…


    Mary Ann

    (June 7, 2016 - 11:26 pm)

    So what the HELL did happen to Kirsten Dunst…what a way to end an article?????


      (June 8, 2016 - 7:33 am)

      I sometimes get this kind of feedback and I must admit to being confused by it. The article covers step by step the progression of Dunst’s career. It doesn’t quite come up to present day, but the then-current ending of the article is still applicable. She got pushed into acting at a young age, achieved a great deal of success, struggled with personal issues and backed out of the spotlight. Dunst continues working in lower-profile projects but has popped up in some pretty mainstream stuff like season 2 of Fargo.

      What specifically were you looking for that wasn’t included in the article?

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (June 23, 2016 - 12:38 am)

    Why Elizabeth Banks Wasn’t Spidey’s Mary Jane


    Movies JUN 22, 2016

    Believe it: the ageless actress was told she was “too old” to play Spider-Man’s girlfriend.

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (July 23, 2016 - 1:37 am)

    Blind Item #10


    This former A list mostly movie actress who has been acting since she was a kid is getting a chance to direct

    . She also has to get tested for booze multiple times each week as part of her deal.

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (August 13, 2016 - 3:31 am)

    Kirsten Dunst reminds the internet that her Suicide movie was here first



    (September 20, 2016 - 1:30 pm)

    I think she has the career she wanted. Much like jason patric she went down indie path

      Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

      (November 17, 2016 - 2:19 am)

      The key difference between Jason Patric and Kirsten Dunst is that Kirsten had her own blockbuster movie franchise under her belt w/ “Spider-Man”. Honestly, outside of maybe, “The Lost Boys” can you name a Jason Patric movie right off the top of your head, that was a remote “hit”? And outside of “Spider-Man”, Kirsten had “Interview with the Vampire”, “Jumanji”, and “Bring it On” under her belt.

      With Jason Patric, he always struck me as an actor who never really reached his “peak” (if that makes sense). “Speed 2” could’ve been his big breakthrough as an A-list leading man, but it just wasn’t in the cards. Plus, I don’t think that Patric was that ambitious enough to reach that particular goal in the first place.

      Kirsten Dunst simply had too much personal baggage and probably got bored with making the type of movies that the studios and general public wanted her to make or wanted to see.

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (September 21, 2016 - 11:56 am)

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (October 17, 2016 - 2:30 am)

    Celebrities who treat waiters like trash


    Kirsten Dunst

    Getty Images
    Fox News reports that Kirsten Dunst doesn’t tip at all, with one restaurant manager noting, “Kirsten Dunst came through and ran up a $233 bill and left without even the smallest gratuity.” Another Dunst server told Bitter Waitress, “She smelled badly. She wasn’t even coherent. The guy she was with had to order for her.”

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (November 17, 2016 - 2:20 am)

    This bawdy comedy started as a play and became a terrific movie


    Bachelorette (2012)

    Leslye Headland, writer-director of Bachelorette and Sleeping With Other People, has worked as a playwright longer than she has been directing feature films; a stage version of Bachelorette predated the film, and her recent play The Layover had an off-Broadway run earlier this year. But despite the zingy talkiness of both her movies, they don’t immediately or obviously register as the work of a stage writer—not the way, say, Aaron Sorkin’s screenplays remain unmistakably theatrical even when they’re conceived and executed as films.

    Once its origins are revealed, it’s easy to see how Bachelorette could have started on the stage. The action is confined mostly to a single night, as high school friends Regan (Kirsten Dunst), Gena (Lizzy Caplan), and Katie (Isla Fisher) reunite as bridesmaids in the wedding of Becky (Rebel Wilson), the kind of old friend they’ve all kept in some touch with, but talk about extensively behind her back. Regan, the maid of honor, is the most put-together of the trio, which is to say she is the meanest. As Regan attempts to acquit herself as a good friend to Becky while radiating unhappiness, Gena struggles with a drug problem, and ditzy Katie struggles with her lack of filter. All of these struggles are exacerbated when a terrible fate befalls Becky’s wedding dress and the bridesmaids rush to fix their mistake. Like Bridesmaids, this movie could be sold as a distaff version of The Hangover if not for the fact that it’s actually well-written and very funny.

    While the movie version of Bachelorette makes good use of some New York location shooting, several major sequences unfold in more confined spaces of various hotel rooms. But like Sleeping With Other People, this movie looks great—much more so than many of the conventional romantic comedies for which it serves as a more acidic, foulmouthed counterpart. A bride preparation scene that might have involved door-slamming farce on stage, for example, becomes an exercise in momentum and tension on screen. Headland also seems to possess an innate sense of when to hold her shots. The best demonstration comes in a scene between Caplan and Adam Scott, playing former high school flames. As Scott’s character plays an old mixtape featuring “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles),” the camera stays fixed on the two actors for a full minute and a half, making their eventual, inevitable clinch (and a switch to a non-diegetic soundtrack blast of the Proclaimers tune) emotionally satisfying.

    Headland does such a great job utilizing performers who have been ill-served by other projects that it feels like she’s writing and directing specifically to show off Caplan (in one of her best roles), Fisher, James Marsden, and even sitcom staples like Kyle Bornheimer and Hayes MacArthur. It’s possible that the originators of these roles in the stage version of Bachleorette were just as good. But the movie, under-seen as it was during its initial release, is a great production of its own.


    (January 5, 2017 - 9:19 am)

    I have never understood the “Dunst is plain” argument. I have always found her attractive. Like anyone else, a lot depends on how she’s lit, made up, etc. But sometimes I find her quite stunning.


      (January 6, 2017 - 12:51 am)

      I know I wouldn’t classify her as plain, and since she was a child actor, people could see how over time her facial features developed.


    (January 5, 2017 - 12:14 pm)

    her spiderman co star franco career is perfect candate for the blog. His career was on fire then he all of sudden went to b movie . Which is strange he did not have flops to bring him there it was his own will.

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (January 8, 2017 - 1:59 am)

    Kirsten Dunst To Star In AMC Dark Comedy Series From George Clooney and “The Lobster” Director


    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (January 9, 2017 - 1:28 am)

    Kirsten Dunst in Hidden Figures


    So I just went to see Hidden Figures; truly an amazing MUST SEE movie….

    Please explain to me what rapid aging cream Kirsten Dunst has been bathing in? How you go from looking like Mary Jane Watson to Gwyneth Paltrow in 10 years? I know they age like spoiled milk, but damn Gina!!! I legit had to look up the cast to make sure it was her. This bish is only 3 years older than Janelle, 12 years younger than Taraji and Octavia. Kirsten, fix yo life

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (January 10, 2017 - 9:47 pm)

    She said yes! Kirsten Dunst ‘gets engaged to Jesse Plemons over Golden Globes weekend’



    (January 10, 2017 - 11:53 pm)

    dunst is currently in a number 1 movie hidden


      (January 11, 2017 - 8:39 am)

      She is, but the only reason I know that is that you told me. I don’t think the movie’s success has much of an impact on her short of reminding people she is still working (which already happened with Fargo).


    (January 11, 2017 - 12:34 pm)

    appearing in a hit movie regardless of size the part is good for any actors.Appearing in a hit beats starring in a flop.THERE are actors who have been character actors most of their career like freeman duvall and sam l Jackson are you saying the hits they appeared in had no impact on their career cause they where not star in them


      (January 11, 2017 - 12:49 pm)

      Here’s the thing, right or wrong, the star gets the credit or the blame for the box office. The supporting cast rarely impacts ticket sales – especially when we’re talking about an actress who isn’t in the film’s marketing materials. The studio guys know that almost no tickets were sold to Hidden Figures based on Dunst’s involvement.

      That doesn’t mean it can’t help her. The movie will be seen by casting agents which serves as a reminder that she is available. She may get some more work out of this, but it will likely be in similar supporting roles. Unless people are coming out of Hidden Figures talking about how amazing Dunst was (which I have yet to hear), this isn’t going to be a big game changer even if the movie is huge.

      You brought up Morgan Freeman and Samuel L Jackson, so let me draw a comparison here. They both had supporting roles in movies that weren’t all that big. While Street Smart was a flop that set back Christopher Reeve’s career, the buzz Freeman got helped raise his profile. It didn’t make him a leading man, but people took notice. Jackson had a small role in Jungle Fever, but it was the part everyone was talking about after the credits rolled.

      Dunst is in a very different position. She was an A-list leading lady in her 20’s. Now, she’s a supporting actress in her thirties. She’ll still get work, but nothing is likely to restore her status as an A-list movie star. Hidden Figures being a critically acclaimed hit will benefit writer/director Theodore Melfi first and foremost. I rarely see the movie mentioned without his name attached. The three leads will certainly get some kind of boost – especially if they get awards attention. But it’s diminishing returns from there. There’s not a lot left by the time you get to Costner or Dunst.


        (January 11, 2017 - 7:42 pm)

        Great explanation on the similarities between Sam Jack & Morgan Freeman’s big breaks (it’s so true, that’s how it went down) and the different between what’s currently going on with Kirsten Dunst. I’m going to take a guess and say Dunst took the part because she was interested in the role and liked the material, and doesn’t really care if she’s in more or less in demand. I mean, c’mon, she’s been there, done that, and has it all in a scrapbook. I think she’s doing it for the art. However, she’s been getting a lot of love on this site the last few days, as posts have become pretty Dunst-sy; nothing wrong in that.


          (January 11, 2017 - 11:54 pm)

          She paid her dues while most of us were learning to ride a bike. I don’t blame her for stepping out of the spotlight. It sounds like that wasn’t a healthy place for her to be. The last few years, she’s been involved with some really interesting projects. The work has to be more rewarding than Spider-Man’s girlfriend even if the paychecks are smaller. I would wager Dunst is happier now than she was when she was on all the magazine covers.


            (January 12, 2017 - 12:04 am)

            I agree that she is likely happier now with things than a decade ago, and probably feels more in control and fulfilled with the state of her career too.
            Here something: in about 2004, I was watching the YES Network show “Center Stage”, and the guest was tennis legend Chris Evert. When interviewer Michael Kay asked her who her favorite actor/actress was, she said Kirsten Dunst. My reaction was that I was a little surprised that she chose someone so young, but then not too surprised that it was Kirsten Dunst, if that makes any sense.


    (January 11, 2017 - 1:00 pm)

    i do not think dunst was ever a list that would imply she was bankable at one point . \Her only leading hit was bring it on. All her other hits like interview with vampire ,eternal even the Spider-Man series was supporting roles. But do you think hidden will contunie doing well in box office or do u think it will drop


      (January 11, 2017 - 1:12 pm)

      Dunst was considered A-list during her Spider-man hey day. Whether or not she was a box office draw is another matter.

      I think Hidden Figures will do very well. Critics and audiences seem to like it a lot. It’s got buzz. I think it will hold on very well.


        (January 11, 2017 - 2:04 pm)

        Dunst was definitely a big deal from about 2003-06. She was getting paired as a romantic lead with other actors who were “up and coming” at the time, such as Paul Bettany in Wimbledon and Orlando Bloom in Elizabethtown. Then she was the lead in Marie Antoinette.

        Now of course, she didn’t maintain that status, which is a major part of her WTHH story. But she was pretty big back then.

          Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

          (January 22, 2018 - 1:30 am)

          8 Child Stars Who Came Back From Rock Bottom (And 7 Who Never Did)



          For this young actress, it wasn’t substance abuse that caused her star to plummet, but depression. Kirsten Caroline Dunst gained worldwide recognition for her work in Interview with the Vampire when she was twelve years old. Her success continued with films such as The Virgin Suicides and she saw her career skyrocket when she landed the role of Mary Jane Watson in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy.

          In 2008, amid rumors of suspected substance abuse, Dunst checked herself into a treatment center for depression. She diagnosed the cause as “totally ridiculous expectations people put on actors.” Following treatment, Dunst threw herself back into her work, gaining acclaim for her performance in Lars von Trier’s Melancholia – a film about depression. In 2015, she was praised for her work in Fargo.

          Dunst appears to be in good spirits these days and shows no signs of slowing down. She’s even planning to direct an adaptation of The Bell Jar.


    (January 11, 2017 - 1:23 pm)

    the Spider-Man movies may have created big buzz for her but not sure I would called her a list she was not even lead in those flicks just a damsel in stress.i think hidden may even gain best picture nom


      (January 11, 2017 - 1:33 pm)

      I wouldn’t bet against a Best Picture nom.

      Damsel in distress roles are leading roles. Look at the poster for Spider-man 2. That’s a lead.

      If playing the superhero’s girlfriend doesn’t count as a leading role, there are very few leading roles for actresses in summer movies.


    (January 11, 2017 - 10:54 pm)

    here the thing the Spider-Man movies where not this cause of her.i can guarantee you no one bought a ticket for tobey or Kirsten. they bought it to watch Spider-Man movie. Margret kiddor and emma stone also played love interest in Superhero n movies does that mean they where a list no. yes she may been a big deal but does not mean she was a list, she was flavour of the month a teen sensation her pr team tried to sell. being a list going hand and hand with box office power. with she never had. Rachel mcadams was a big deal after notebook she was every where just like dunst but neither where ever a list. a list is not having your mug on magzines is drawing audience to flicks on your name alone


      (January 11, 2017 - 11:15 pm)

      Not exactly.

      The A-list is a measure of power. A-listers get sent scripts first. B-listers get them after the A-list passed on them. When an A-lister expresses interest in a project, it gets funded. A-listers can throw their weight around. They can demand rewrites. They have the biggest trailers. You get the picture.

      Being a box office draw is not a requirement for being A-list. If it were, no one would be A-list anymore. There are very few if any reliable box office draws left. But even back when there were, what actually gives an actor power is the perception that they might be a box office draw. Convince the studios that you can make them money and you will wield the power of the A-list even if most people are just buying tickets cause they like Spidey.

      Dunst and Maguire were both temporarily A-list. Maybe they shouldn’t have been. Arguably their box office appeal was overrated. But that doesn’t change the fact that they were in demand.

      Margot Kidder – different story.


    (January 11, 2017 - 11:30 pm)

    magurie did not make a whole a lot of films after Spider-Man . I saw an artice where you wrote a list actors bring people in on their name a lone


      (January 11, 2017 - 11:50 pm)

      Ideally, that is the case. But sometimes an actor or actress can skate by on the A-list for a while on the belief that their name on the marquee sells tickets. Even if it isn’t true, the perception that it is gives them power. And power is what the A-list is really about. If it turns out you’re not really a box office draw, your time on the A-list will be brief. But you still got there even if it didn’t last very long.

      One last thing. Obviously this is all highly subjective. Just like determing whether a movie was a hit, a flop or something in between. There’s no formula. It’s not a science.

      When I say someone was or wasn’t A-list, that’s my opinion. I try to present a good case for why I classify them the way I do. There’s room for debate and we may not agree because our definitions of what it means to be A-list may differ.

      All I can do is call em like I see em. I say, Dunst was A-list. But she’s not now and never will be again. I don’t even think that’s her goal.


    (January 12, 2017 - 12:27 am)

    she went the indie route after Spider-Man 3 so she did films she wanted. not every actor wants to be a big star, look at patric he mainly did indies after his first big hit,


    (January 22, 2017 - 9:13 pm)

    hidden made 84 mill already and it will defintly reach 100 mill mark next week so Kirsten has attached to herself to her first hit since Spider-Man 3


      (January 23, 2017 - 12:30 am)

      Like Costner, being a part of this film turned out to be a good decision for her. I guess sometimes you suffer for your art, other times you are rewarded.


    (January 23, 2017 - 12:43 am)

    it wont make her bankable but it will get people to notice her again . its the last of hers or kevin I thought would be a hit


      (January 23, 2017 - 12:50 am)

      Yeah, it’s positive recognition, and something both performers can be proud of without all the weight or stressers of headlining a film as they did in the past.


    (January 23, 2017 - 1:15 am)

    its benefit of supporting role they don’t get flack if it flops cause they are not headlining it. of course if you think about it its not like dunst really dipped under Spider-Man 3 she chose to go the indie route and make films that are fulfilling artistically but not commercial appealing . so she had the career she wanted. Spider-Man 3 was a hit and I am sure she could have made more high profile films but she wanted to challenge herself . but its great she attached herself to a hit . the movie killed 2 birds with one stone helped kevin and dunst career


      (January 23, 2017 - 2:03 am)

      I agree, especially with the 2 birds with 1 stone bit. Like they say, they are no small parts…


    (January 23, 2017 - 2:07 am)

    dusnt part seems small but from what I heard kevin part is rather big


      (January 23, 2017 - 2:19 am)

      I think Costner’s role is similar to what was asked out of Ed Harris in “Apollo 13”, so I’d say that’s not bad.


    (January 24, 2017 - 10:52 am)

    hidden scored best picture nom good for dunst career

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (March 10, 2017 - 3:07 am)

    Redoing Film Series


    Post by The DSR Escape Plan on Mar 7, 2017 at 9:17pm

    I wrote this about the Raimi/Maguire Spider-Man series a few years ago. I still think it’d be better than what we got:

    I felt like they could have broken Spider-Man 3 into 3 separate movies.

    Spider-Man 3: Harry acts like he’s Peter’s friend, but uses his wealth to bribe Sandman into doing his bidding, trying to destroy Spider-Man. Spidey wins with the help of the alien symbiote that becomes his new costume. Debut Eddie Brock as a minor character in the Bugle scenes here. Keep Gwen Stacy and have Peter and MJ drift apart over the course of the film (Kirsten Dunst seemed tired of playing the character anyway).

    Spider-Man 4: Frustrated, Harry becomes the new Green Goblin and goes after Spidey himself. Meanwhile, the symbiote gives Peter an unpleasant attitude (preferably without the dancing), he costs Eddie Brock his job (hopefully Brock doesn’t actually deserve to lose his job for photoshopping pictures and making up stuff in this version of things) and when Spider-Man goes too far beating the hell out of a burglar or somebody, he ditches the symbiote in the church bell tower. Spidey beats Harry, and the end credits stinger is the symbiote finding Brock in the church.

    Spider-Man 5: Spider-Man vs. Venom. Have Venom kill Gwen for dramatic effect. Spidey defeats Venom and sends him to jail. If Dunst wants to come back, have MJ and Pete reunite. Otherwise, Peter ends up with the hottest chick in the film series: Betty Brant. End credits stinger sees Brock in prison, Cletus Kasady wheeled in Hannibal Lecter-style.

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (March 29, 2017 - 4:03 pm)

    Almost 20 Years Later, ‘Dick’ Still Holds Up



      (March 30, 2017 - 6:38 am)

      Yeah, I totally love “Dick”. Dan Hedaya, he sells me the Dick Nixon.

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (April 6, 2017 - 8:02 pm)

    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

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (May 11, 2017 - 6:26 pm)

    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.

      Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

      (May 17, 2017 - 2:30 pm)

      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.”

        Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

        (May 31, 2017 - 9:13 pm)

        ‘They’re just milking that cow for money!’ Kirsten Dunst slams new Spider Man reboot… as she reveals ‘it’s time to have babies and chill’ in candid interview


          Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

          (June 9, 2017 - 5:11 am)

          And of course Spider-Man is a huge cash cow. I don’t entirely understand Kirsten’s point. The last time that I checked, the Spider-Man film franchise is the ninth highest grossing franchise (having collectively, grossed $3.9 billion thus far) in movie history:

          And on that end, Spider-Man has pretty much been Columbia/Sony’s biggest tent-pole franchise for the past 15 or so years. If you’re in the business to make as maximum of a profit as possible, how stupid would you be to try to exploit that as best as possible. Kirsten Dunst acts as if she personally owns a part of Spider-Man or it’s utterly blasphemous that anything further should or could be done with that particular universe.

        Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

        (June 1, 2017 - 9:01 pm)

        Kirsten Dunst Criticizes Latest Spider-Man Reboot


          Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

          (June 6, 2017 - 8:28 pm)


          Of course it’s about money. Where did she think this was? It’s Hollywood. That’s what they do.

          Also, she obviously has no concept about IPs and the agreement Sony has with Marvel. If there’s not a now movie in some form of production within about 6/7 years, rights revert back to Marvel free and clear.

          Spider-Man is the most recognized and highest selling merchandise out there. Neither Marvel nor Sony will keep him out the zeitgeist.

          Also, while I did enjoy Tobey Maguire. Kirsten was terrible in those movies. I am so happy with Tom Holland and with Marvel’s involvement with Spider-Man. It’s the first teenager playing a teenager. That’s refreshing.

          Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

          (June 9, 2017 - 5:04 am)

          Kirsten to me, sounds short-sighted and needlessly bitter. Let’s put it this way, her complaining about the latest Spider-Man reboot would kind of like be like Kate Bosworth (Lois Lane in “Superman Returns”) complaining about “Man of Steel” with Amy Adams as Lois coming out less than seven years later.

          My point is that superhero properties are always going to be reinvented for better or worse. It isn’t like the Spider-Man comics themselves hasn’t stylistically or creatively evolved during the 50 odd years of their existence.


            (June 9, 2017 - 5:35 am)

            I guess she felt the need to weigh in, but there’s just no way the Spider-Man franchise would just stop with the films she participated in.

          Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

          (July 31, 2017 - 9:29 pm)

          Tom Holland Responds to Kirsten Dunst’s Spider-Man Reboot Criticisms


    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (June 1, 2017 - 8:48 pm)

    It’s Time To Find Out How Many Kirsten Dunst Movies You Have Seen


    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (June 17, 2017 - 8:37 pm)

    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!!!


      Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

      (June 30, 2017 - 8:39 pm)

      Re: For Sofia Coppola, black women are NOT women JUST black.


      I’ve always side-eyed her weird obsession with Nazi blonde white women.

        Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

        (August 22, 2017 - 7:28 pm)

        15 “Great” Movies That Are Incredibly Boring



        Lost in Translation is one of the most unlikely box office hits of all-time. Shot over the course of 27 days, Sofia Coppola’s movie about a washed up actor working in Japan and the young woman he falls in love ended up garnering almost $120 million at the box office off of a $4 million budget. Critics loved the film, but few felt it would find the audience that it did.

        Years later, it’s easy to wake up from the film’s dreamlike qualities and start asking yourself what it is about this movie that’s really so compelling. The answer has to do with the subdued performances of Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray, as well as Coppola’s creative direction. You have to be willing to fall in love with this little slice of Tokyo that the film portrays if you’re going to be able to get through the movie’s almost nonexistent plot and lack of traditional dramatic moments. Others have criticized the movie for its almost comedic portrayal of the Japanese, which isn’t a completely unfair criticism.

      Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

      (July 3, 2017 - 9:14 pm)

      25 Celebrities Who Were Body Shamed for a Role


      Kirsten Dunst for The Beguiled

      The actress is beautiful and has been able to work in Hollywood for quite some time now. But that doesn’t mean she hasn’t been body shamed for a role. In an interview with Variety, she revealed director Sofia Coppola told her to lose weight for her role in The Beguiled.

      “It’s so much harder when you’re 35 and hate working out,” she said, so Kirsten Dunst told Coppola she wouldn’t do it. Dunst said the director was “very understanding” about her refusal. “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.’”

      Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

      (August 22, 2017 - 7:20 pm)

      Sofia Coppola followed Kirsten Dunst from girlhood to womanhood


      For a long time, it seemed as if Kirsten Dunst might be hell-bent on becoming America’s sweetheart at any applicable age. In her younger days, she appeared as the girl hero of two different movies, Jumanji and Small Soldiers, that were essentially about toys coming to life and wreaking adorable havoc on picturesque towns. She has also played bubbly teenagers (Bring It On, Dick, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Get Over It), the beloved crush of Spider-Man, and the original Manic Pixie Dream Girl, among others, usually falling somewhere on a spectrum between cheerleader type and girl next door.

      Yet there has long been a river of melancholy rushing below Dunst’s shiny, oft-blond exterior—an unarticulated sadness that creeps in past her warm, sometimes heavy-lidded smiles. It was there in her first attention-grabbing movie role, as the vampire doomed to eternal childhood in Interview With The Vampire, just as it’s there in the otherwise stock part of the unfriendly white lady standing in Octavia Spencer’s way in the recent Hidden Figures. Some movies use this quality better than others, but there’s hardly a filmmaker who uses it as well as Sofia Coppola.

      Although they’ve collaborated on three movies (four counting her quick cameo-as-self in The Bling Ring), Dunst and Coppola work together infrequently enough for their collaborations to feel like check-ins. It’s particularly noticeable with Dunst because she has had the fascinating (and presumably sometimes terrifying) experience of growing up on movie screens. Her first movie with Coppola was The Virgin Suicides, which was playing in U.S. theaters the same summer Dunst appeared in the ebullient cheerleading comedy Bring It On.

      In Suicides, Dunst plays Lux Lisbon, one of five Lisbon daughters who fascinate the neighborhood boys, who are onscreen characters but are most clearly represented by the disembodied voice of narrator Giovanni Ribisi. Theoretically, Lux is part of an unknowable gaggle, but she emerges almost immediately from the pack—the first shot of the movie is of Dunst alone in the frame, finishing up a popsicle in front of a suburban backdrop. Coppola’s first movie has her recognizable dreamy-melancholy vibe, but it’s more stylistically playful than her other films, so it occasionally cuts away to fantasy close-ups of Lux, subtly matched by one-shots of Dunst in the “real” world that separate her from her older and younger siblings.

      Even when the Lisbon girls are shown walking into a room together, Coppola’s camera zeroes in on Dunst. Some of this focus is clearly for plot reasons (and may be even more clear in the Jeffrey Eugenides source material, unread by me), as Lux is the sister who is romanced and then cruelly abandoned, post-sex, on a football field by jocky Trip Fontaine (Josh Hartnett). With the Lisbon girls headed for the same fate, Dunst’s casting as Lux is key; she becomes a sort of figurehead for all five sisters. Given that, she has to convey a lot—especially considering the story isn’t really told from her point of view.

      Lux’s interactions with the neighborhood boys have the same mischievous light hassling, a kind of pretend insouciance, that Dunst shows in her kid-movie and teen-movie parts. When her all-night tryst with Trip (and his subsequent abandonment) leads to the Lisbons’ strict parents placing their kids on lockdown, Dunst—playing a character who’s just 14—shows off a hardened, more resolved version of her flirtiness as she invites the neighborhood boys in for what turns out to be the discovery of the Lisbon sisters’ lifeless bodies. Dunst would have shot Suicides before Bring It On, and if the movies don’t have much in common, there is a kind of desperate determination to Torrance Shipman that doesn’t feel worlds away from Lux Lisbon’s eerily confident taking of her own life, sitting in a garage, breathing in exhaust, dangling a cigarette outside a car window.

      By the time Coppola and Dunst reteamed for Marie Antoinette, Dunst had graduated to adult roles, a rite of passage depicted by her literally graduating high school in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, and also falling in love with a radioactive nerd over the course of that movie and its sequel. (This may seem like a bizarre way to make the transition into young adulthood, but Dunst got off lucky; plenty of female stars after her have been forced to graduate and re-graduate high school repeatedly in movies, like super-seniors who keep failing.) Yet when Marie Antoinette begins, she’s playing the title character at the exact same age as Lux Lisbon: Marie is 14 when she is married off to the man who would become Louis XVI (Jason Schwartzman).

      During the events of the film, she ages about two decades, though it doesn’t always register as such because Coppola lets the events of her life run together, sometimes jumping years in a single unannounced cut. It’s one of many strategies the film employs to make the world of Marie Antoinette feel both tactile and disposable. Coppola displays the enormous wealth and royal glitz on hand, but doesn’t linger on it. Indeed, one of the movie’s highlights is a montage of clothes, shoes, desserts, and champagne that wouldn’t look out of place in a merry teen comedy. The difference, though, once again lies in Dunst’s ability to convey desperation beneath frivolity—her Marie Antoinette revels in drinks and up-dos and gambling because she’s trying to latch onto something joyful. It’s a superficial façade as a defense mechanism.

      That façade is visible straight away, as Coppola again gives her star the very first shot: Dunst’s version of the queen is seen lounging in a chair, swiping at the frosting of an elaborate cake, and looking at the camera, betraying little of the loss she registers as her story begins in earnest moments later, capturing her as a fidgety teenager. In both luxurious repose and in aimless ennui, so much of Dunst’s performance in this film is nonverbal. Marie is rarely shown in extensive conversation with anyone (least of all her lock-obsessed husband), and when she does speak, Dunst doesn’t use an Austrian accent, a gambit that pays off with extra vulnerability. This version of Marie Antoinette has little in the way of regal bearing, and despite her supposed position of power, is not encouraged to speak her mind.

      It’s easy to see why Coppola’s intrigue-light version of palace intrigue drew mixed responses during its initial 2006 release, but with Dunst’s help, she turned Marie Antoinette into, among other things, a study of arrested girlhood. Even as queen in waiting, Marie doesn’t have much control over her fate, and as her teenage years turn into her 20s, she remains stuck. She has some room to wriggle, by spending money on lavish parties or keeping company with amusing friends, and later in the film, she’s able to express herself, to some degree, through motherhood. But even that modest emotional allowance is tied up in the duty to provide an heir to the country that eventually turns on her.

      It would be a stretch to say that The Beguiled rejoins Dunst in middle age; she’s still well within her 30s, and despite the 11-year gap between the films, The Beguiled picks up with her character approximately the same age as she is at the end of Marie Antoinette. But The Beguiled also places her alongside several younger actors, in a time period where 35 was not nearly so youthful as it is today. So while every major female character in the movie is at some point infatuated with Colin Farrell’s Corporal McBurney, Dunst’s Edwina, in all her unsmiling dutifulness, has the strongest emotional impact. Nicole Kidman, playing the head of the Southern girls’ school where Union soldier McBurney lays low, commands some degree of power, even as she fights her improper attraction to this man, while Elle Fanning gets many of the movie’s surprising number of laughs with her youthful petulance. Edwina is stuck in the middle, neither spitfire ingénue nor steely woman in charge.

      Coppola seems aware that Edwina warrants some extra attention; Dunst isn’t the only recipient of close-ups in the movie, but it does often feel like Coppola’s camera gets in tighter on her face in a film that otherwise uses plenty of multiple-character tableaux. She’s the character who has the most invested in believing McBurney’s opportunistic flirtations and intimations. She’s also the only one who doesn’t conspire to get rid of him—expecting, as she does, that they will run away together.

      It’s a heartbreaker of a performance, and one of several areas where the new film improves upon the 1971 version directed by Don Siegel. That movie had something of a hallucinatory hothouse atmosphere, while Coppola’s re-adaptation manages to be both funnier and sadder. There’s a weight to seeing Dunst—Mary Jane Parker, Torrance Shipman, absurd screenwriter’s fantasy from Elizabethtown—with her slyness stripped away and her smile weakened or vanished when forced to, say, cover up her dinner dress with a shawl. Edwina has clearly given up hope that she can either work or charm her way into a better, more fulfilling life, which makes McBurney’s suggestion that they run away together a cruelty disguised as a kindness.

      Coppola isn’t the only filmmaker to tap into the sadness that’s accumulated behind Dunst’s eyes as she’s matured. Dunst gave a terrific performance in Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia, playing a woman whose deep depression leaves her perversely prepared for the literal end of the world, and assayed a less consuming but still palpable sense of ennui on season two of Fargo. But there’s something distinct about Coppola’s treatment of her, maybe because she can see her star’s glamorous side so clearly, even if it does sometimes serve as a façade.

      Coppola has been painted, for better and for worse, as an expert chronicler of White Lady Malaise. If she does lean into that role by, say, jettisoning a slave character from The Beguiled on the grounds that she didn’t think herself qualified to tell that story (however tangentially), her focus is far from the narrowest in Hollywood, as evidenced by just how few female directors there are, nevermind how even fewer get to make a movie with The Beguiled’s three-quarters female majority in its principal cast. She turns out to be the perfect director to check in on a star over the course of 15 years, because her work is unusually attuned to the subtleties of life’s disappointments (which is strange because, as we’ve been informed countless times, her standing as the daughter of Francis Ford Coppola inoculates her against any human feeling beyond luxuriating in her enormous wine fortune and collection of Apocalypse Now memorabilia).

      This is perhaps clearest with Marie Antoinette, who Coppola turns into a sympathetic figure not by trumpeting or recontextualizing her accomplishments, but by observing a version of her behavior in her situation with empathy, recognizing both the decadence and the beauty of a palace lifestyle. Plenty of starlets—and at least one famous director’s daughter—have been scorned for appearing pampered, unsympathetic, and out of touch. It’s a charge that seems to stick more firmly to women, and all three of these Coppola movies take the time to consider femininity in a male-dominated world.

      Coppola’s ability to examine this material is an especially good match with Dunst, who can appear aloof, even in lighter fair. Think of how the emotional side of the sweetly goofy Watergate story Dick belongs to Michelle Williams, hilariously besotted with Richard M. Nixon, while Dunst’s character has a certain emotional distance by comparison. When Coppola catches Dunst in close-up (or even a well-framed medium shot), she’s pushing past a natural sense of remove.

      This tension between remove and intimacy exists in all of Dunst’s characters for Coppola. Lux laments her parents’ strictness but toys with the mysterious allure it gives her. Marie Antoinette is cut off from anything resembling an average life, but also sometimes cut off from life, period. Edwina tamps down her emotions but gives herself over to McBurney with heedless passion. In Coppola’s hands, this series of contradictions is a young woman’s dilemma: living in the world, but not always permitted to be a part of it.

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (August 17, 2017 - 7:47 pm)

    Kirsten Dunst: I struggle to get roles in Hollywood


    Thirty-five-year-old Kirsten Dunst has spoken out about the difficulties women in Hollywood face when trying to get work throughout their thirties. The actress, who recently appeared in a supporting role in Hidden Figures, chatted with Nylon magazine about the lack of roles available for women in her age bracket (which is CRAZY) and the impact of that:

    “You’re almost better off being older,” she told the mag, explaining that “good” roles for women are few and far between and when they do appear, they are given out to the actress who are of the moment.

    Once you reach your thirties in Hollywood, you’re no longer able to play “the young girl who’s just, like, beautiful and things are happening to her” and so, opportunities dry up, Dunst explained.

    The actress, who has been working since age three, revealed that to add to the difficulties of finding roles as a woman, social media influence is now a factor in getting work in the biz:

    “You can get jobs based on your Instagram following these days. That’s insane. But that’s why I have it now,” she told Marie Claire in a recent interview.

    “As a man, you could get away with not having it. As a woman in this industry, I think you gotta do it now, she continued.

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (September 20, 2017 - 8:39 pm)

    Kirsten Dunst Accidentally Got Stoned Out of Her Mind on Some ‘Strong Sh*t’ While Filming Her New Movie


    Kirsten Dunst’s trippy stoner-chic movie Woodshock, made with the Rodarte sisters, is at least in part cinema verité. On Jimmy Kimmel Live, Dunst talked about how she accidentally smoked a joint that had been mixed in with the pot-free joints made for the movie, and got extremely high without realizing it. “We’re talking about Humboldt weed,” Dunst explained (the movie was shot in Northern California). “I don’t smoke full joints. This is, like, strong shit.” Hey, better to have that accident happen here than on the set of something like Requiem for a Dream.

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (October 13, 2017 - 9:54 pm)

    ‘He was like Jabba the Hutt’: Actress warned co-stars Mila Kunis and Kirsten Dunst about Weinstein after ‘he made her kiss “his peeling lips” and forced her to fly on his jet after taking her luggage’


    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (December 13, 2017 - 8:09 pm)

    Kirsten Dunst and Fargo co-star Jesse Plemons are expecting their first child


    Dunst and Plemons, who played a married couple on the second season of Fargo, are planning to wed in Austin in the spring.

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (March 2, 2018 - 3:16 am)

    I wonder if Kirsten Dunst was in the long run, sort of hampered by her appearance? Kirsten is one of those actress who can be attractive (especially during the “Bring It On”-“Spider-Man” era) but in a slightly odd way. In other words, she isn’t really a girl next door type (or any decidedly “mainstream” looking) of ingenue. So maybe it makes sense that she would gravitate towards filmmakers like Sofia Coppola. Filmmakers who are very into aesthetics, knows how to film her so she looks her best, and who wants to make kind of weird artsy movies.

    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (April 21, 2018 - 9:49 pm)

    How The Virgin Suicides Brought Sofia Coppola and Kirsten Dunst Together


    Terrence Clay (@TMC1982)

    (June 27, 2018 - 1:06 am)

    YouTube gets Kirsten Dunst to star in a 1990s-set dark comedy from producer George Clooney


    In her first regular TV series role since Fargo in 2015, Dunst will star in YouTube Premium’s On Becoming A God In Central Florida, a 10-episode one-hour dark comedy series that she will also executive produce. Previously in development at AMC, On Becoming A God is set near Orlando in the early 1990s. According to Deadline, it “centers on Krystal Gill (Dunst), a minimum-wage-earning water park employee who will eventually scheme her way up the ranks of Founders American Merchandise: the cultish, flag waving, multi-billion dollar pyramid scheme that drove her family to ruin.” Clooney will serve as executive producer with his producing partner Grant Heslov.

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