INT: Kirsten Dunst

Kirsten Dunst is rapidly making comic book fans forget the name Lois Lane. As the spunky redhead Mary Jane Watson, Peter Parker’s longtime crush and favorite target of Spider-Man’s foes, she’s propelled herself to the top of the superhero babe list. But she’s much more than just a damsel in distress. In SPIDER-MAN 2, we delve deeper into Mary Jane’s relationship with Peter Parker / Spider-Man as things start to get a little more complicated. Plus, there’s a maniac with giant metal tentacles running around the city breaking things. Last week she stopped by Culver Studios in L.A. to talk to a few dozen members of the press about making Spider-Man 2. Beware, there are a few minor spoilers (the much talked-about nude scene, for example), so consider yourself warned.


How have you changed and how do you think Mary Jane has changed since the first movie?

Well, you know, it’s been two years since the last movie so of course, [as] anybody goes from 18 to 22, you change a lot. I’ve grown up, of course Mary Jane has grows up. I think that’s reflective in the movie and you see that she’s kind of very much more mature than Peter. He’s stayed, I think, kind of juvenile because he really doesn’t have any social life. The last movie, he kind of was the decision maker in “We can only be friends” and in this movie, she decides for them which I’m really happy about. She’s kind of the one pushing him to do things and it’s often the man in movies that often pushes the woman. “I love you, c’mon.” I remember seeing the first Shrek and even in that movie, the ogre has to convince her that she loves him! So I was really happy that…I just talked a lot with Sam about writing her to be a very strong, independent woman. She’s moved to New York so she’s changed a lot, like New York does.

We get to see Mary Jane do some acting in this film. Is she a good actress?

I don’t think so! (Laughs) When I saw that Oscar Wilde play, I was embarrassed. I wanted her to be a bad actress, because I didn’t want her to, you know, marry an astronaut and have this apartment in New York, and then she’s a successful actress and she’s on the cover of this perfume ad everywhere. It’s just a little ridiculous. I wanted Sam to have a line in there where an audience member whispers, “Isn’t she terrible?” or something like that. But I guess he cut it out.

Do you feel that the success of the first movie changed you dramatically?

Not personally. Now, I’m known worldwide I guess. I can finance movies – money, and production when you think of it that way. It’s changed a lot for me. Now, it’s not a question whether I can get whatever people to come see a movie that I’m in so that all helped me and I get paid more now too.

In terms of recognition, has that changed much from before you did “Spider-Man”?

Definitely. More people recognize me. I still have the red wig so…and I live in LA where everybody’s too cool to come up to you usually anyway. They talk about you behind your back and gossip about you in Los Angeles. But when I go to other places, I realize people know who I am because they are the ones who want autographs, take pictures, but living in LA, everybody’s kind of used to it. They’re just either talking about you behind your back more so than admiring or being an innocent fan.

What kind of conversations did you have with Jake Gyllenhaal when it looked like Tobey might have to step down?

That was really a complicated time, of course. I’m just so thankful that Tobey ended up doing the movie because he is Spider-Man and it wouldn’t have been good. I think Jake can do any movie because I think he’s one of the best young actors and he probably would’ve done an amazing job. But Tobey is Spider-Man so I’m just happy it all worked out and that he could do the stunts and worked it out.

Wouldn’t it have been weird to work with your boyfriend?

Of course. Yeah, it would have been weird. I mean, I would like to work with him and I’m happy it wasn’t this because I would rather do a more intimate movie with him where I could actually have many scenes with him. If we had done this, we could have never done another movie together probably. I would rather do something else with him than this movie.

Did you know that you were going to have another upside down kiss in this movie and did you try to outdo it?

Yeah, but we didn’t put pressure on ourselves. That was “the kiss” and you guys all saw the movie so you know she tries to recreate that somehow. I was so nervous to do that scene because I didn’t want her to come off as – I don’t know, she’s marrying this guy  -  I was afraid of how she would come off for doing that. When I saw the movie, I thought it was O.K. But you can’t top that kiss. We didn’t try and we have other things that are topped in this one. If tried to outdo that kiss, we’re just setting ourselves up for disaster anyway.

What are the advantages of reprising a character a second time?

I feel like all my relationships develop so much more on this one. I just felt more comfortable. Sam and I got to know each other better and I change a lot from how I was in the first movie and how I approached my work and my relationships with them. It just grew and I felt I could be more creative and open. He trusted me a lot and he knew my work so it just made it for a very comfortable shoot where you can say anything and everybody knows you. It made it nice just going to work and know who’s going to be there.

How is this different from any other jobs that you’ve had?

The only difference is with Spider-Man 2, you just wait around all day, like five hours on set. Just wait around for five hours. The one big change in Spider-Man 2 is that I got to have my own hair and make-up person, my own person doing my wardrobe, so I had a lot more perks in this one. That was fun to have a little posse cause I’ve never had that before.

Do you think you can go beyond doing a third movie?

3’s enough. Don’t wear out a good thing too much.

So you’re pretty determined that 3 will be it?

It will be it. I’m only contracted to 3 and I don’t see myself signing for a 4th or a 5th.


I just think three’s a good number. I think Mary Jane is a huge, important piece of this film. It’s all about the love story. How many movies can you really make about it before people get…you want to stop it before while it’s still great. You don’t want to keep going. Sam wants to move on too. His whole life has been this movie for so long now. You gotta refresh. You can’t do it too much, I think.

Do you want to see her killed off or what you rather see someone else take on the role?

I don’t think they should kill Mary Jane off. That would be pretty typical if they killed the girl at the end. It would actually be really interesting if Spider-Man died. Why doesn’t the superhero ever die? It would be so sad and beautiful. He’s so human too. I think if Mary Jane was alone and pregnant and he died, she could give birth to a spider baby and carry on the series with another young boy or something like that. I doubt Tobey would come back for a 4th or a 5th either.

How hard is it to concentrate on the emotional aspect of the film when you’re dangling on wires?

It’s so hard. Because it takes so long, it’s the hardest thing to just keep up your energy, and to be there, present, when you’re so tired just because you’ve just done nothing all day. What’s good is that Sam knows that the scenes are the most important thing and if they don’t work, then the whole movie doesn’t work, no matter how good the action scenes are. We took all the time we needed to get everything right, and the dialogue. Those scenes are the easiest for me, honestly. Those are the scenes that I like to do. It’s the scenes where I have to look at this piece of tape and look at this thing blow up and I get picked up and then I have to scream and I have to turn my head this way…it’s all these little details and I don’t like doing that kind of stuff so I would just try to nail it in one take or I always just try to nail any harness work right away because it’s not fun for me. I don’t like doing that stuff.

Was it nice then to go from something like Spider-Man to Wimbledon where you don’t have a lot of that stuff?

Well that was more physical than Spider-Man 2! Actually, romantic comedies are the hardest to do. It’s just hard to not dig into it too much and realize sometimes what you’re saying - don’t try to overanalyze and if the scene doesn’t work – I mean, it’s so much easier to make a dramatic scene I work. It’s just hard to be in that momentum of love everyday when sometimes, you’re in a horrible mood. It’s hard. It’s just hard, some of the words are hard sometimes to say. It’s an adorable movie. It’s just hard to keep those romantic scenes fresh and feeling great and fun on take 40. It’s hard to keep that freshness of flirting when you’re on take 20 and it’s a different person’s close-up and you’re still delivering these lines that are cute and this and that and have to be sexy or whatever. It’s  hard to keep pumping those things out and feeling in the moment with what you’re saying.

I heard something about not wanting to do as many stunts this time around and that you wanted your stunt double to step in. Can you talk a little more about that?

The first one, they could take advantage because I was so eager and I was like, “I’ll do it!” On this one, I was like, “When you really don’t have to use me, then please don’t.” Because it’s just things where my hair would cover my face anyway and I don’t really need to do and if Tobey’s not doing it, why do I have to do it? I did most everything but there are certain things that I just don’t have to do and on the last movie, I did so many things that weren’t even put in the movie so I didn’t let them take advantage of me like on the first one.

Are people advising you and Jake to not work together because Hollywood doesn’t like couples?

I was talking to Amy Pascal – she would do a movie with us together. People think it’s ridiculous and that it shouldn’t be questionable. And certain people are against it and everybody has a different point of view on it. I think we probably could do a small movie together. I wouldn’t be nervous about it. We’re actors and they treat us separately in the press. We’re in every magazine together basically right now because he has a movie coming out and I do so I think it’s great that they wouldn’t think twice about putting us together in a magazine because if we really were a spectacle, they be like “We can’t put Kirsten and Jake in the same magazine.” So I don’t think it’s really a problem.

Do you feel like at the end of every movie now, you have to look back on what you’ve learned?

You know what’s funny? Sometimes, three years from now, I realize why I did the movie and why this and this. When I read a script, I don’t even realize sometimes why I feel connected to this role or why I should play it until later on when I’ve discovered something else about my life or my relationship with someone or whatever. Sometimes, later it happens why I did the movie.

Do you have a perspective on Mary Jane because you have an ownership of this character on a deeper level?

When I read the first one, I just thought it was so emotional and there were real scenes in them. You never find big movies that have that center to it still. I thought it was a very small film in a big film still and I just fell in love with Spider-Man. The love story was the most important thing. I just really like the material and loved it when I read it.

Is it tiring playing the same character two or three times?

No. Because she grows. You can see that from the second movie. I’m completely different from the girl who’s being weighed down by her family and she’s moved to New York and it’s still painful. She’s moving on and she’s grown up a lot and I think you see that. I change, and my character’s going to change and I feel like it evolved and I don’t feel stuck at all in a character.

Did you like being a red-head?

I had a much nicer red in this movie. That’s another perk; I get the best wig maker to do my wig and all that stuff.

Questions? Comments? Manifestos? Send them to me at [email protected]. There isn’t any nude scene, by the way.  That was a joke.

Source: JoBlo.com



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