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Melancholia hasn’t just brought actress Kirsten Dunst critical acclaim, but also the coveted Best Actress Award at Cannes. In the conclusion of our interview, Kirsten discusses the experience of working with controversial director Lars Von Triers, how she unwinds from such a challenging role and her relationship with REM.

 

EXAMINER: When you work with a director that doesn’t do a lot of rehearsals, how does that affect your process?

KIRSTEN: Every film set is a totally different energy. You don’t know what everyone’s going to be like and you kind of have to work within what you’re given. Also, I do a lot of preparation before I start a movie. So, it gave me a lot of freedom actually. I appreciated it. Being on Lars’ set is the best film school in the world.

 

EXAMINER: Do you do a lot of research before you do a role?

KIRSTEN: Not research, but as I said it before, it’s almost like therapy between me and who I’m playing.

 

EXAMINER: With a role that’s so dark, is there a lightness when the cameras aren’t rolling?

KIRSTEN:  I was playing Angry Birds in my trailer (laughs). You’ve got to. You have to self-preserve. That’s part of it, too. You don’t have to sit there and be depressed to play depressed. Actually, you should be in a good place to play depressed, I think. We moved pretty swiftly, too, so there was definitely momentum. Lars has a great sense of humor, too. He’d yell out “Stop acting.” So, it was a very heavy thing and I’d have to prepare, but making a movie doesn’t have to be drudgery, just because of the subject matter. There was a lot of lightness, too.

EXAMINER: How was winning Best Actress at Cannes? There must be a chance for an Oscar, right?

KIRSTEN: That would be awesome (laughs). Winning Cannes was pretty spectacular. I’m very grateful. If I was nominated, I would be very grateful and honored. My family would be so happy and crying. It would be great, because my family really celebrates things.

 

EXAMINER: Have you picked a dress already? What would you wear?

KIRSTEN. I don’t want to jinx it (laughs).

 

EXAMINER: How do you recall the time here with the Golden Globes?

KIRSTEN: Well, I lost (laughs). I was a little kid crying, because I was a little girl (laughs) and people were saying “You’re going to win. You’re going to win.” I remember sitting at a table with the cast of “Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman” and my mom was like “Hide your face. Hide your face.” (laughs).

 

EXAMINER: Did you cry after?

KIRSTEN: Like literally, they didn’t say my name and I started sobbing (laughs).

 

EXAMINER: Are you going to cry now if you don’t win?

KIRSTEN: No, I’m at an age where I can hold it together now.

 

EXAMINER: Do you think this role will signal a new phase in your acting?

KIRSTEN: I don’t think about it that way. When you’re older, you have different opportunities, roles are different, and there’s more to do. When I found out I got this film, I was doing a film called “Upside down” and I was playing the ingenue. It was very “Love Story”, but it was such a beautiful and crazy world that this director Juan Solanas creates that I wanted to be a part of it. But I still play the girlfriend. That’s what a lot of the female roles are, but hopefully, it’ll be an interesting movie.

 

EXAMINER: Your 30th birthday is almost here. Do you think anything will change?

KIRSTEN: You know, I had such a fun party last year. It was my grandma’s 90th birthday and we have the same birthday. So, I  really threw a really nice party at my mom’s house. My friends, who are musicians, came and a band played. So many different people getting on stage and singing. One of my ideas was take over that place Deetjens in Big Sur, have my friends in it and put on a fun show at the Henry Miller Library.

 

EXAMINER: Do you see any change when you’re no longer in your twenties?

KIRSTEN: I hope not. When you get older, you feel better about yourself. You’re not worried what other people think about you, in general. You just get more comfortable in your skin.  I welcome thirty and I look young. I have a baby face (laughs).

 

EXAMINER: How do you feel about Hollywood with things like the Oscars or the Hollywood Walk of Fame, growing up around it?

KIRSTEN: I think it’s nice. It’s part of the industry and how we celebrate performances and people. It would be cool to have a star on Hollywood Bl.

 

EXAMINER: Did it seem weird having your character walking away from such a hunky guy?

KIRSTEN: I know, huh. She was pretty stupid (laughs). I’m a big “True Blood” fan. When I met Alex, I said “You’re my favorite vampire on True Blood.” He’s a really great actor. Actually,  he’s a really goofy guy in real life. He’s very sweet.  He’s very easy to work with and a really good actor.

 

EXAMINER: Did you notice any kind of dynamic working with his father?

KIRSTEN: Between the two of them, they’re like brothers. They talk like they’re friends about everything, so it feels like a very “bro” relationship between them both. But Stellan is the man. He’s such an incredible actor.  I love hanging out with him. Lars has a really good group that comes back every time. They are the best. Udo [Kier] and i went to dinner last night while everyone was watching the movie at AFI. I really had good relationships working with these people. We really got to know each other well. When you’re in the middle of nowhere, you really bond with everyone you’re working with.

 

EXAMINER: As a fan of True Blood, would you be interested in being on the show?

KIRSTEN: I’ve done the vampire thing. I don’t need to be on shows I like to watch (laughs).

 

EXAMINER: What do you think about Twilight?

KIRSTEN: I think those movies are funny. I love them. They’re awesome. They’re hilarious, too. There were lines like “You’re like my own personal brand of heroin.” That’s a line. I’m like, this is the best movie ever (laughs).

 

EXAMINER: What do you think about the new Spider-Man?

KIRSTEN: I love Andrew Garfield and I think  Emma Stone is cute, too. i think they’re going to be really cute in the movie. I think they’ll have good chemistry.

 

EXAMINER: Would you coming back in a cameo?

KIRSTEN: I’d love to. I had the idea that if Toby and I were extras and would just walked by in the background.

 

EXAMINER: How did you get in the REM video?

KIRSTEN: Michael, my bro, is my neighbor in New York. I’ve been an REM fan since I was a little girl. I would jump around to “Stand” in the mirror. I’ve known him throughout the years and he just casually asked me. I didn’t even known it was supposed to be their last video. He wanted to do it in the vein of an Andy Warhol screen test and I sat there. We did three different takes. One take he used, he sang a capella to me, so if I look embarrassed or I’m giggling, it’s because I’m so overwhelmed when he’s singing to me. It was really special.

 

EXAMINER: How did you pick the dress for the film?

KIRSTEN: We wanted a very traditional Barbie, very American wedding dress. But he’s never been to America. He’ll never fly here. He won’t get on a plane. Even at Cannes, he took his Winnebago, but he’ll go on a helicopter that his friend can fly. I said what if we took a boat with a helicopter on it? He doesn’t want to come over here. I know it. Udo [Kier] and I were joking last night that we are going to drug him and put him on a plane just to mess with him and put him in Time Square just to mess with him.

 

EXAMINER: How would you spend your last moments if the end was near?

KIRSTEN: I’ve been asked that question a lot, obviously. Me and my family would probably just eat a bunch of great food, cook a bunch, and drink delicious champagne. What are you going to do if it’s the end of the world? You better go out having fun instead of stressing about it.

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