• Golden Globe Awards

Nominee Profile 2022: Kirsten Dunst, “The Power of the Dog”

With a movie career that began at age 6, when she was cast in Woody Allen’s New York Stories, Kirsten Dunst began clocking up an array of Golden Globe nominations. By age 12, her first nod. There she was as vampire-in-training in the 1994 hit Interview with the Vampire. Her co-stars were Golden Globe winners Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt.
Other worthy nominations followed. On TV she earned a Best Actress nomination for Fargo. In 2019 she got another Best Actress nomination for work in On Becoming A God in Central Florida. Her performance in The Power of the Dog brought her a fourth nomination, this time for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture.
At age 39, Dunst can look back on an impressive and eclectic career that boasts such films as Little Women (1994) and Jumanji (1995). She earned the title ‘indie queen’ for The Virgin Suicides, and Dick (1999). Soon after, she starred in blockbusters Spider-Man and sequels Spider-Man 2, and 3.
Growing up literally in front of the camera, Dunst is now the mother of two young sons with Jesse Plemons, her Fargo and The Power of the Dog co-star.    
Audiences have watched her mature into a serious actress in the likes of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Marie Antoinette (2006), Melancholia (2011), On the Road (2012), and The Beguiled (2017).
Her role as Rose Gordon in The Power of the Dog has garnered rave reviews. She is presented as a struggling widow living in less-than-ideal circumstances, a role Dunst made more substantial than the original character in Thomas Savage’s 1967 western novel. Keen to maintain a level of authenticity in her antagonistic relationship with Benedict Cumberbatch’s character, it served Dunst well to keep away from him on set. 
“Benedict and I didn’t talk to each other on set at all. We almost felt guilty if we said hello,” she recalls, speaking from the Venice Film Festival earlier this year. “We kept our distance.  And as a lot of my scenes aren’t even with him, I had to create my demons and figure that out for myself. Also, I feel like Rose was representing all the pain inside him in a way, too. It was a relatable pain of isolation, of being gaslit by someone.”
Director Jane Campion, nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Director, said: “As a woman, I was really interested in amplifying Rose’s role as much as I could within the context of her being a woman in 1925, which is different from today. But I didn’t want to make her a heroine, either.”
Born in New Jersey, Dunst’s modeling career began at age 3. The adorable blonde signed with Ford Models and Elite. Right away she got to do some television commercials. Next stop: Los Angeles, where she relocated with her mother and younger brother when she was 9 years old. “Growing up as an actress makes you an easy target in school. I never wanted to be singled out but it’s easy to be made fun of for doing movies or commercials. So, being on the school bus when I was younger, I learned to roll with the flow.”
Dunst has managed to straddle all genres of filmmaking and is one of the rare child actors to transform into adulthood in the public eye with her priorities intact. She has done so while adhering to a simple philosophy that has worked well for her. “It’s easy. I choose what I love no matter how much money I make.”