Kirsten Dunst was desperately serious about getting silly again.
The 30-year-old actress got deep, dark and disturbed for her last film “Melancholia” – director Lars von Trier’s broody, sci-fi exploration of depression – and earned the Cannes Film Festival’s Best Actress Award for her risky performance. But after waiting for the end of the world, Dunst was in major mood-lightening mode.
Thus she embraced the raunchy, raucous comedy “Bachelorette,” joining Isla Fisher and Lizzie Caplan in a wild-pre-wedding romp. The film’s already caught the wave of the current “ladies can be just as crass as the guys” zeitgeist, reaching the top VOD spot on iTunes before it’s even hit theaters. Dunst tells NBC exclusively about returning to her comedy roots, her first trip to a strip club and her thoughts after seeing the most recent Spider-Man film.
Were you looking for something fun to do, especially as a palette-cleanser after 'Melancholia'?
"Bachelorette" Hollywood Premiere
After 'Melancholia,' I was like, 'I want to be in a comedy! I want to have fun! I do not want to delve deep into my soul.' So, I was looking for it, yeah, a comedy, and it's hard sometimes because I did a lot of comedies when I was younger, but nobody saw me as that. They didn't think of me as a comedy girl, so it wasn't that easy to find, and then this came along and it was perfect. I met with Leslye [Headland, the writer-director] and hit it off with her, and even though this was her first movie, I just felt the energy that she would be a good director. She's very strong and confident, and also very smart, so I wasn't worried.
You do have a ton of comedies to your credit. How did you drift away from it?
It was more when I was younger. Maybe because as you get older, the roles – mostly in the bigger comedies – are smaller parts for women, because it's usually a male comedy. So it's usually playing, like, just the girlfriend, which isn't fun.
When "Bridesmaids" came out last year, everyone acted as if we’d all just discovered that women could be rowdy and raunchy.
I watched "The First Wives Club" not that long ago and they were pretty dirty in that movie, you know what I mean? Then there has been "Sex and the City" and all of those movies, but our movie was made for really a little amount of money and very quickly, so you can't really compare the two. And I would say ours is much darker and raunchier, too. If you were going to compare it to one of those movies I would say that it does have a bit of that feeling of "The Hangover." And boys really like this movie, actually! My brother and his friend love this movie, like, loved it.
Do you think that women today have a raunchy side that in real life is sort of papered over and ignored?
I think some women do and some women don't. I would never do what Regan does – I would never get my best friend's wedding dress when I'm the maid of honor and do any of that stuff to her, ever. But I think that sometimes weddings and all of that stuff brings out the worst in people, and you see them at their worst together during this. I don't think that they're horrible people, necessarily. I think that they're just stuck and this event just brings out the worst in all of them.
Have you been at one of these bachelorette parties that have gotten a little wild?
Never. I don't know…I guess with my girlfriends, a lot of them haven't gotten married yet. No, I've never been to a Vegas thing. The first time I went to a strip club was in this movie when we were shooting at Scores. We were shooting outside at night, so it was active, and we actually ate dinner there because they have food and it wasn't bad. Some of the dancers were extras for us, and so they were in the movie.
What was the hardest thing for you to get through with a straight face in this movie?
I feel like when we were delirious, just at night – like, in the middle of the night, because we had a lot of night shoots on this movie, then it was hard to keep it together. Even just running and stopping would make us laugh. The dumbest things would make us laugh.
You've done the blockbuster-movie thing. Would you care to repeat that, or are you happy staying in a place where you focus on doing things that catch your interest?
I mean, the thing with blockbuster movies is that they don't make many that aren't superhero movies anymore. There're not many big movies that aren't superhero movies, and I did that – and so I wouldn't want to cast me: I'm Mary Jane. But I would do a big comedy or a drama. You have to find the one, the role. They have to want to cast you, too. It's a marriage of all those things.
Did you get curious and check out the new film, "Amazing Spider-Man"?
I did, yeah – I liked it! It was definitely a cooler [version]. Ours is dorkier, theirs is a little more adult.
Of your upcoming slate of films, what should we be getting excited about?
"On The Road" is coming out. I have a smaller part in that, but I'm proud to be a part of that movie. That was a great cast, and it's special whenever you're a part of a book that's so important and gets made into a film. And I'm looking forward to the next project I'm doing. It's called "Two Faces of January." It starts at the end of September and it's with Viggo Moretensen and Oscar Isaac. The book was written by Patricia Highsmith, who did "The Talented Mr. Ripley" – it takes place during the '60's in Greece. It feels like a film-film, like a Hitchcock-y kind of feeling.
And the writer-director is "Drive" screenwriter Hossein Amini in his first time behind the camera. Do you like working with somebody who's brand new, getting their feet wet?
I don't mind either way. Honestly, I'm drawn to the project and the person, and Hoss, the director and writer, is so good at storytelling, and he's hired amazing people. Part of being a director is putting together the best chemistry of people, in terms of your cast, and then just having the taste to pick whatever DP you choose, or hair and makeup or costumes. He's put together such a topnotch group that we would really have to suck to make it bad-bad. We would all have to be really bad actors.
"Bachelorette" is available on demand now and opens nationwide in theaters on September 7.