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Kirsten Dunst Calls ‘Spider-Man’ Pay Disparity ‘Extreme’: ‘Who’s on the Poster? Spider-Man and Me’

Dunst also revealed that she refused to get her teeth straightened in order to play Mary Jane Watson.

Kirsten Dunst and Tobey Maguire on the "Spider-Man 2" poster

Kirsten Dunst and Tobey Maguire on the “Spider-Man 2” poster

Columbia/courtesy Everett Collection

Kirsten Dunst became an international star with her role as Mary Jane Watson in Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” trilogy, but she had already carved out a career for herself prior to the comic book tentpole thanks to roles in hit films such as “Interview with a Vampire,” “Little Women,” and “Jumanji.” However, her success couldn’t get her equal pay to Spider-Man himself, Tobey Maguire. Not that Dunst expected it at first, considering Maguire was playing the eponymous hero. But by the time Dunst’s face was being jointly used with Maguire’s to market “Spider-Man 2,” something about the pay disparity felt off.

“The pay disparity between me and Spider-Man was very extreme,” Dunst recently told The Independent. “I didn’t even think about it. I was just like, ‘Oh yeah, Tobey [Maguire] is playing Spider-Man.’ But you know who was on the cover of the second ‘Spider-Man’ poster? [She flashes a grin and points at her chest] Spider-Man and me.”

Dunst also hinted at conversations with the “Spider-Man” team over straightening her crooked teeth, something she refused.  “I was like, ‘Mmmmm, no, I like my teeth,'” the actress said, noting her confidence at a young age came from working with Sofia Coppola on “The Virgin Suicides.”

“The fact that the coolest girl liked how I looked, that’s what preserved me,” Dunst said of Coppola. “She made me feel pretty. As a 16-year-old girl, you feel like crap about yourself, right? So to have my first experience of a more ‘sexy’ role be through her eyes gave me a confidence that helped me deal with a lot of other things.”

Had it not been for Coppola, Dunst isn’t sure her teeth would’ve remained crooked for long in Hollywood. “Who knows? I mean, I have a really good mom, too, but my mom is someone who might have been like, ‘Yeah, why not have straight teeth?'” the actress said. “I just remember her wanting to get a face lift or a boob job, those kinds of things. It never looked good. That kind of vanity… you’ve got to be really careful with that stuff. It made me reject it more, I guess.”

But as The Independent notes: “On the poster for ‘Spider-Man,’ Mary Jane’s teeth were magically straightened, and Dunst’s ‘snaggle fangs’ lived to see another day.”

Rumors have persisted for months that Dunst is reprising her role as Mary Jane in the upcoming Marvel tentpole “Spider Man: No Way Home,” but the actress has denied such a role. She did tell Variety, however, that she’s open to coming back to the comic book role, saying, “I would do it. Why not? That would be fun. I would never say no to something like that.”

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