It’s been two years since we’ve seen Kirsten Dunst on the big screen.
“I haven’t had a film come out in a while, but I feel like that’s a good thing,” says the actress who has been working since age 8 — and who, in 2008, spent about a month at Cirque Lodge treatment center for depression. “I needed to take a break. I moved to New York. I was living a normal life, and I think it’s important to keep that balance — otherwise, there’s no time for yourself and figuring things out in your 20s, like you do.”
Last week, she re-emerged in “All Good Things,” a haunting indie inspired by the bizarre true story of New York real estate heir Robert Durst, whose wife, Kathie, went missing in 1982 and was never found. Durst was the lead suspect in her murder.
For her raw performance as the sweet, lively Kathie — who goes from having a fairy-tale romance to realizing she is married to a monster — Dunst is receiving tons of buzz and praise.
“I’ve never been so vulnerable in a film before,” she says. “I feel like I showed myself the most.”
And that intimate experience seems to have reaffirmed her love for acting. She’s even back in the studio. Next up, she’ll star in Lars von Trier’s “Melancholia,” followed by Juan Diego Solanas’ “Upside Down” and Walter Salles’ “On the Road,” based on Jack Kerouac’s classic.
“I’m so stoked to have these great projects,” says Dunst. Only, this time around, the 28-year-old Hollywood veteran is doing it on her own terms. “I’m willing to wait until something I’m really gung-ho for. Hey, if it takes six months to find the next film, I’ll wait. I’m not just going to do a movie to do a movie.”
Why the break?
“I needed some perspective on [Hollywood],
and I needed to move,” says Dunst. “It gets overwhelming. Everyday,
paparazzi are parked outside my mom’s house. They follow us, and they
don’t even use the pictures they’re so boring. But they still follow me.
So I needed to just do my own thing.”
What kind of research did you do for the role?
“[Director] Andrew [Jarecki] put together a documentary of interviews with all the people that were willing to talk to him, neighbors, etc. so that really helped us get a feel for what it was like — but it was so haunting in the beginning, to hear about the songs she listened to when she was going through a hard time.”
Did you talk to her family?
“I talked to her brother and went to dinner at their house, and I talked to who would have been her niece as well. I didn’t want [to portray Kathie] as a victim, because she was a really smart woman. I wanted her choices to come out of a need for survival even though it was a difficult situation.”
What do you believe really happened?
“Well first of all, it’s a fact that [Robert Durst] chopped up a body and got off on self-defense, which I don’t know how anyone could get off on self-defense when you’ve chopped up a body and thrown it in [the] water. In terms of Kathie's disappearance, why wouldn’t the family be looking for their daughter-in-law? Why would he tell his father, ‘now it’s time to get every cop in New York, let's find her.’ They had all the money in the world, and that was his wife. Of course that’s what would have happened if he didn’t kill her.”