Well, Spider-Man is back in the headlines and it's official: Kirsten Dunst will be back for another turn as Peter Parker's main squeeze, Mary Jane. Now this might sound odd, but I feel like I've spent a lot of time defending Kirsten Dunst over the years. Not to the population at large mind you, but when you have those discussions with friends or family or maybe even the occasional reader out there about the actors you like or dislike, Dunst always shoots to the top of the Yuck, I So Hate Her list. That's why, today, I'm here to ask the big question of all you haters out there: What did Kirsten Dunst ever do to you?
Do a quick search on the internet for Dunst and stories pop up about stints in rehab (and it didn't help that her name worked so well with drunk), body snark on a level that would make a mean girl blush, and just about every unflattering comment you can think of -- for goodness sake, some of the sleazier wags out there thought the proof of Jake Gyllenhaal's homosexuality was the fact that he was dating her. But today I will come out of the closet and proclaim: My name is Jessica and I like Kirsten Dunst.
After the jump: find out why, and my picks for her top five films...
I've always thought Dunst has been one of the few actresses who can be equally charming or heartbreaking depending on the role. She takes on characters that aren't an easy sell for sympathy; a bloodsucking tween, a corn-fed beauty queen, or soon-to-be beheaded monarch, and she scores each time. Not to mention, it isn't easy playing a seduction scene at the age of 11 with Brad Pitt, but she did it. I like Dunst because it's nice to see an actress who has some life behind the eyes, and isn't willing to play up the 'skank factor' just to earn some flattering ink from journalists.
But, I won't be wasting too much time feeling bad for Ms. Dunst; she already has three more films in production, and sooner or later the tabloids will find a new target. But I guess I will always defend her because there are just too many actresses out there that manage to earn praise for doing relatively little onscreen other than look hot and meanwhile Dunst tries to, you know, actually act, and she gets nothing but grief. It's a funny world, isn't it?
Dunst's Top Five (according to me):
1. Interview with The Vampire
2. Marie Antoinette
3. Drop Dead Gorgeous
4. The Virgin Suicides
As an added bonus (and as proof of the merits of Ms. Dunst), here is one of her many awesome moments from 1994's Interview with The Vampire -- and keep in mind the girl is only 11 years old. Not too shabby, right?