Kirsten Dunst has been acting for almost as long as she’s been alive, and over the course of her career, she’s amassed an impressive and eclectic resume — from swinging through New York with Spider-Man to showing off her Minnesotan accent on Fargo. Now, she’s reteaming with longtime collaborator Sofia Coppola for The Beguiled, a dark and gorgeous Southern gothic tale of a male Civil War soldier recovering from an injury at a women’s boarding school.
Dunst plays Edwina Dabney, a lonely teacher at the school who finds herself drawn to the handsome soldier (played by Colin Farrell). It’s another fascinating, complicated role for Dunst in a long line of fascinating, complicated roles, and when EW caught up with Dunst at The Beguiled’s premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, she reflected on how the projects she picks have changed over the years.
“It’s funny because starting out with Interview with a Vampire, it’s such a crazy role for a young person,” she says. “I always felt like I did whatever I wanted to see in film, so I feel like people grew up with me because I chose things that were of my peers and what they would want to see — because that’s what I would want to see and would want to be in. But now, I like character actress roles. I like really weird, fun characters. There’s more to do, and for me, it’s all about finding what I want to do and not repeating myself.”
The Beguiled also continues Dunst’s long partnership with Coppola, as she previously starred in The Virgin Suicides and Marie Antoinette — but The Beguiled was her favorite Coppola film to work on yet.
“This is the film where I was like, ‘Oh, Sofia’s my good friend now,’” Dunst says. “I think [working on] Virgin Suicides, I looked up to her, and she was such a good example for me as a woman. And then [with] Marie Antoinette, I always held Sofia in such a high esteem — like looking at an older sister whose clothes you want to wear. And then on this film, I felt like, ‘Okay, now we’re very good friends.’”
The Beguiled will hit theaters on June 23.