By EW Staff
June 29, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT


AGES Dunst 19; Maguire 26 WHY THEM? Maguire reigns as the melancholy prince of art-house cinema, riding a streak of classy collaborations with all-world auteurs: Ang Lee (The Ice Storm), Lasse Hallstrom (The Cider House Rules), and Curtis Hanson (Wonder Boys). Dunst has achieved the impossible: Since her film debut at 6 in New York Stories, and her breakout role as a goldilocked bloodsucker in Interview With the Vampire, right through The Virgin Suicides, the surprise hit Bring It on, and this summer’s crazy/beautiful, she’s grown up in Hollywood with innocence and talent intact. Together they’ll embody wall crawler Peter Parker and his sassy, sexy love interest Mary Jane Watson in Sam Raimi’s highly anticipated Spider-Man (May 3, 2002). ‘Nuff said. TOBEY MAGUIRE’S SECRET POWER ”He’s not fake. He doesn’t know how to be fake,” says Raimi. ”With Tobey, you’ve got to be careful how you use that close-up, because he’s got a lot coming out. The more still he is, the more powerful he becomes.” Maguire — who edged out Heath Ledger and Chris O’Donnell for Spidey — says of his understated style: ”My favorite actors growing up were Robert De Niro and Robert Duvall. I want to explore more extroverted characters, but it doesn’t come naturally.” To get in superhero shape, Maguire took up gymnastics, martial arts, and weight training. ”I was real hungry, but I loved it. To have all these people at my disposal for different kinds of training was unbelievable!” KIRSTEN DUNST’S SECRET IDENTITY ”There’s Kiki [Dunst’s nickname] and there’s Kirsten,” says crazy/beautiful director John Stockwell. ”Kiki is this cute girl who likes to shop and talk about boys. Kirsten is the by-any-means-necessary girl: If she wants something, she goes and gets it.” As in beating out Alicia Witt and Kate Hudson for Spider-Man. ”I was like, You will never act again if you can’t nail this audition,” says Dunst. ”I knew it would help me in another direction…. After Bring It On, people saw me as perky. I just wanted to kill it. I never want to be pigeonholed.” Her boozy delinquent in crazy/beautiful goes a long way toward solving that problem. MAGUIRE ON DUNST ”She’s adorable. She’s supertalented. She’s a sweetheart.” DUNST ON MAGUIRE ”Oh my God. He is probably the best young actor, period.” SO, THE INEVITABLE QUESTION… ”We’re just good friends,” Maguire says of dating rumors. Raimi prefers to keep us guessing: Spider-Man’s ”love story has come to life. They’re either great actors, which they are, or maybe they’re really in love.” Dunst laughs: ”We’re really great actors.” ULTIMATE AMBITIONS Dunst (who dreams of acting for Boys Don’t Cry director Kimberly Peirce) answers with typical volubility: ”To be a director, producer, writer. And just make wonderful movies.” Maguire gives it considerable thought, then wonders if he sounds too corny. Oh, what the hell: ”To be at peace with myself and be a loving human being. If I could make someone’s day a little better, then I get to go to bed with peace.” Spoken like a true superhero.