Sixteen years later, Kirsten Dunst still isn’t comfortable “making out” onscreen.
The “Power of the Dog” Oscar frontrunner reunited with “Marie Antoinette” co-star Jamie Dornan during Variety’s Actors on Actors roundtable to revisit the 2006 film, as Dunst revealed that she was “nervous” throughout production.
“And all our stuff was like making out, and I’m not comfortable with that,” Dunst recalled to Dornan. “It’s never comfortable, ever.”
Dunst, who turned 22 during production at the time, added, “I think my first time I even showed my breasts was with [director] Sofia [Coppola]. She never used the take, and I don’t even think you were there. I felt overwhelmed too.”
Dornan called Dunst’s candid reflection a surprise, saying, “You handled it well. I thought you were in control of everything.”
Of course, filming romantic scenes for Dunst’s latest film, “The Power of the Dog,” proved to be a different experience given Dunst’s onscreen love interest is her real-life husband, Jesse Plemons.
“We fell in love as creative friends first,” Dunst previously told IndieWire of working with Plemons. “We had a creative connection that bonded us. There was a lot of freedom whenever we did scenes together. It’s like a magic, magical feeling.”
Dunst continued, “Jesse and I talked about directing together because we trust each other. We’re a good balance with each other.”
As she did on “Marie Antoinette,” Dunst collaborated with a female director, Jane Campion, for “The Power of the Dog.”
“Surprisingly, Jane is a very good actress,” Dunst said. “Whenever we were in rehearsal, she acted so well. And sometimes behind the camera, when I wasn’t onscreen I’d watch her, and she’d mouth the lines — almost like a little stage mother-y. It’s so sweet, though; she’s so into it. I’m sure she writes her script a little like that. She must.”
Looking back further on her decades-long career, Dunst raved over working on Lars von Trier’s “Melancholia,” calling it “the best time” during production.
“It was the coziest set and so free. And I was playing someone who was depressed,” Dunst joked. “And we were all in the zone together. And I feel like in Europe — we shot in Sweden — people are just more free. I think I like that European mentality when it comes to filmmaking. It seems like anything goes.”