Photo: REX USA/Nils Jorgensen/Rex.
Kirsten Dunst has had her fair share of dramatic roles over the past few years, with starring turns in The Two Faces of January (out September 26), Melancholia, and The Virgin Suicides. But, don't get the wrong idea about the star — she's not all doom and gloom. In real life, Dunst loves freestyle rapping, cat videos, and raunchy female comedies. And, during a press appearance last week in New York, she and Viggo Mortensen, who is her costar in the lush new adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's thriller, January, charmed reporters with their laid-back, friendly chemistry.
Mortensen, an elegant man who speaks multiple languages, writes poetry, owns an independent publishing company, and has a child with the godmother of the Los Angeles punk scene, Exene Cervenka, told us that the pair were pretty "dorky" on set.
"We had a lot of fun, and that doesn't always happen — [that] you end up making a really interesting, original movie, and you're also laughing and making jokes and having fun a little bit, and seeing beautiful places. Those things don't often go together. Usually when you have a great time and you're just fartin' around a lot."
Before he could finish his thought, Dunst cracked up. "Fartin' around!" she laughed. "It's old lady talk! You know, you're just farting around!"
Mortensen put on the voice of a cranky old lady. "Come on, kids! Stop farting around! That's enough!"
Of course, the actors are anything but farting around when it comes to their characters. Dunst, who dipped into L'Avventura and other cool films to get into character, also worked with writer/director Hossein Amini (Drive) on developing Colette into a more robust character than originally written by Highsmith. "I was like, 'It's all about the boys!'" she said in a fake girly voice.
Dunst admitted that it was difficult developing the character. "That was probably the hardest thing for me: making her as full as possible, when she could have easily just been a throwaway kind of role, if portrayed differently," Dunst said. "I know when I watch movies and it's always about boys — and there's no interesting female character — I don't really end up liking the movie that much."
Of course, while that wasn't the case with January, Dunst is open to doing more female-centric comedies like the acerbic, hilarious Bachelorette.
"There's one comedy — it's basically like a straight-up stoner girl comedy — and it's really funny and I'm debating [it]. I might do it, but I don't know," she said. "I love doing [comedies] — and I don't think there's enough of good female ones — and I love working with women. You don't even get to do that very often, so that was part of the reason why I did Bachelorette. I loved Lizzy [Caplan] from Party Down, and now obviously she's so successful with Masters of Sex, and I've always been a fan of Isla [Fisher], and I just wanted to have fun [with] girls my age who are also actresses. You hardly ever get to work with other women, and that's really so nice; it's such a different thing. You're not playing the love interest, you know what I mean? You don't have to do that stuff, and it's fun to just change it up," she enthused.
Dunst, who tweeted some colorful emoji to Apple in response to her photos being leaked in that whole iCloud-hacking kerfuffle, doesn't mince words when it comes to being a woman in Hollywood — especially when it comes to paparazzi. Mortensen said he got his share of pap attention around the time of The Lord of the Rings, but they eventually gave up.
"There's pictures of me carrying my dog inside the vet's office — stuff like that. Or, coming out of 7-Eleven at three in the morning with a doughnut in your mouth…I think eventually they just got bored."
Dunst thinks the paparazzi are worse to women. Even in the relatively chill San Fernando Valley, which she describes "as low-key as you can get for living in LA," the paps circle like vultures. Their favorite spot is a local gym, where they snap pics of models and actresses leaving after their workouts.
"Every day, they just get you walking out, sweaty, dripping with sweat. It never gets old. I'm like, how do they keep selling this dumb picture of me in workout gear? And, I don't look that different. There's no story to be made of it; I wear the same thing, pretty much."
Luckily, there are always cats and cat videos to take the edge off. Dunst, who chatted about her kitty's taste for human food with Whoopi Goldberg on The View the day before, revealed her favorite down-time activity on set was feeding the stray cats in Athens and Crete.
"I was feeding stray cats in between set-ups and stuff," she said. "There are so many stray cats in Greece! They're everywhere, and all over the monuments. So, me and the producer Robyn [Slovo], we'd just go and get [food]. All the craft service was going to feed cats."