Kirsten Dunst on whether she’s slept with a director: ‘I don’t give off that vibe’

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Kirsten Dunst is still promoting The Two Faces of January, and I really, really wish Viggo Mortensen was the one doing interviews on behalf of the film, mostly because Kiki is either full of nonsense about traditional gender roles or she’s giving the interview equivalent of watching paint dry. The worst part is that Kiki appears on this special “Summer Issue” edition of W Magazine at the behest of her friend, mentor and first major art-house director, Sofia Coppola. Coppola loves Kiki. Kiki acts like she’s barely tolerating Sofia’s questions. I did have a few moments of “O RLY?” with Kiki, especially when she talks about how she takes her time to find the right roles, like she’s Sandra Bullock or something. You can read the full W Magazine piece here and here are some highlights:

Kiki on maintaining mystique: “I limit the number of films I do and take my time choosing projects.”

Working with a director she didn’t like: “I have, and it takes all the fun out of what you do. You just get through it instead of having a meaningful experience.”

Whether a director has ever “pounced” on her: “No [laughs]. I don’t give off that vibe. I think that you court that stuff, and to me it’s crossing a boundary that would hinder the trust in your working relationship.”

Kiki’s best advice: “I’m good at trusting my instincts, and I think it’s important to listen to that. My mom would always tell me, ‘Trust your gut.’”

Her favorite movie stars from another era: “River Phoenix and Paul Newman.”

Her favorite age: “My favorite age is now. I love my friendships, and I know I have fun things to look forward to. Hardest age was 27; I had to figure out how to navigate differently through life.”

Making bio-pics, playing real people: “I would love to play Jean Harlow! It’s hard to make those kinds of films, but I’m open to suggestions; it just has to be the right one.”

What she would do besides acting: “I love interior design—maybe I’d do that, but if I did an interior, I’d want to live in it. I would stick to a creative job.”

The red carpet, working with a stylist: “I have to say it’s the last thing I want to think about. If you have someone who understands how to just make you look like yourself, then you’ve found someone great. I remember a time when it was more fun and not every little thing was critiqued.”

Nudity on film: “I don’t mind it if it feels appropriate for the film, but it’s never not nerve-racking.”

[From W Magazine]

To me, the stuff about being “pounced on” by directors could be taken a few ways, and Sofia wasn’t very explicit in her questioning. But it does seem like Kiki is saying that if a director employs the casting couch for actresses, it’s the woman’s fault because she was asking for it. Which falls into line with her thoughts on traditional gender roles and all of that. So, yeah, she probably meant it that way.

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Photos courtesy of Juergen Teller/W Magazine.

 

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135 Responses to “Kirsten Dunst on whether she’s slept with a director: ‘I don’t give off that vibe’”

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  1. Lindy79 says:

    Wow…so in a situation where one person with all the power is abusing that to take advantage of someone, the fault is on the person with no power?

    Maybe I’m reaching but that’s what it reads like. Does she also think the models who were abused by Terry Richardson were asking for it?

    its fuckwittery like this that allows it to continue and have the accusers shamed and afraid to come forward.

    Shut the hell up snaggletooth!

    • jinni says:

      I’m reading that too. The whole statement subtly screams victim blaming.

      As if some people give off a pheromone that makes them more susceptible to being preyed on. So that means it’s the fault of the preyed upon for being that way and not the predator for violating them because it’s not the predator’s fault that the victim looks like “easy pickings”.

      Wtf Kiki?

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      I had a totally different take. I thought she was saying that some actresses “leave a light on” or make it known that it’s available. I thought that’s what she was implying by saying “courting it”.

      Full disclosure: I’m a fan of her so I could be giving her too much credit.

      • BangersandMash says:

        me and you alike!

        I thought I was a weirdo because I thought she was saying that if your court with a director who pounces onto you, or you send off the “vibe” of wanting to be courted, then it will potentially harm your professional relationship!! Which made perfect sense to me. I thought she was saying, she comes into a professional environment and acts accordingly and doesn’t send of vibes of wanting to be pursued.

      • Sea Dragon says:

        That was my impression as well and I’m not a fan. :-)

      • Mrs. Darcy says:

        I’m willing to cut her some slight slack too, of course it is a dirty business full of creeps, but there is a choice involved in many of the situations imo, and a lot of times the casting couch backfires once the woman loses her youth (cough Weinstein). It would have been more gracious of her to admit she has been perhaps luckier than most, and unique in maybe not running into the pressure as she had a successful career as a child and it transitioned into adulthood (obv, pitfalls there too, but still). It would be amazing if an actress who has actually dealt with it, fallen into/been pressured into it would come out and talk about it. The fact that Coppola, a female director, is asking this question deserves a bit more honest discussion of what really goes on.

      • don't kill me i'm french says:

        Same feeling……some actresses or actors are okay to sleep with the director without problem

      • What? says:

        It was a slightly insensitive, blunt answer to the question which made me laugh.
        My impression: the subtext of the question was referring to the Kristen Stewart mess that fouled up K. Dunst’s (and her man’s) On The Road premiere, turning it into a circus with all the attention on Stewart. I read it as a dig on Stewart and actresses that needed to compensate for a shortage of talent.
        I don’t think Dunst was even thinking of the predator type directors. I love how Dunst is often a little grouchy and not afraid to throw SHADE.

      • Isadora says:

        I read it that way too. And I’m quite neutral with her – not a fan, but I don’t mind her either.

      • Dawn says:

        I am a fan of her as well and I too think she was saying that some actresses are open to it. But I also am of the mindset that word no is always available to everyone and I do understand that some don’t use the word NO because they would rather work. I think that the true victims of a power play are those who are under age and whose parents or agents will not let them say no. But that is just my opinion.

      • Algernon says:

        I think it’s a combination of both. I work for a commercial production company and we use a lot of the same casting offices as major studios and the stories the casting directors tell range from harrowing, clear abuses of power that lead to command rape to silly attempts at seduction by actors and actresses of no talent who know they have no other way to get ahead. I think the truth lies in the middle. Some people do, sadly, get pressured/taken advantage of, while others “leave the light on” as someone said above, but the vast majority never have any experiences like that, one way or the other. It probably used to happen a lot more, but these days the risk of a lawsuit is way too high.

      • mercy says:

        That’s probably the case in some situations, but I’m sure there have been many others where a director or someone in a position of power wanted or expected that ‘light’ to be on even when it wasn’t. Powerful men often have an extreme sense of entitlement and can easily misinterpret or twist a young woman’s friendly demeanor and desire to accommodate their superior on a professional level into something it’s not. Her failure to acknowledge that is a slap in the face towards all women who have been subjected to unwanted advances from these creeps. She completely let’s these guys off the hook. Says a lot about her as a person, and I am a fan of some of her work.

        Agree with Artemis 1000‰.

      • Artemis says:

        If that was the case then it’s still the men who are to blame because it implies that a woman feels the need to make it known she would be open to it to start/maintain a career in Hollywood. If men would only cast women based on talent and hard work then women don’t/wouldn’t have to use sex to further their career. The problem with this phenomenon lies entirely on men, they have the power and abuse it all the time; it doesn’t even guarantee a job. The question is: who benefits most of this situation? It sure as hell ain’t the women.

        Furthermore, I highly doubt that an actress who isn’t open for this type of ‘casting’ would be exempt from being hit on or threatened as enough actresses who declined have spoken about this in the past (Sarandon, Theron, McCarthy, Delpy, PALTROW – who is respected Hollywood offspring, Mirren, Fox, Argento and many more) Monroe said Hollywood was an ‘overcrowded brothel’. The casting couch is something that can’t be courted as it’s at best expected and at worst demanded from women. Read up about it before we take dimwit KD on her word please!

        And we don’t even talk about men like Bryan Singer and other (gay) powerplayers openly abusing and employing underage boys and girls (e.g. Renfro, Haim and Feldman) which leads to them leading a messed up adult life. This happens every time yet we’re still so quick to suggest that people want to do this willingly. Considering the age and status of most people that are subjected to casting couch, I doubt that any of them are willingly offering their bodies to skeevy men.

        For KD who was a child actor herself (and had to kiss a grown man as a child on screen) and battling with addiction and self-esteem issues, it’s gross and incredible naive and stupid to even imply that casting abuse can be ‘courted’.

      • Ag-UK says:

        +1 I got that impression as well. I like her and also she keeps to herself maybe because she grew up in the business.

      • Original Tessa says:

        Artemis… of course it can be courted. Saying it can’t is more naïve than the naiveté you’re placing on Kirsten. You don’t think there are actresses or actors out there that know they can get ahead if they put out, and do it? Don’t you think a veteran actress like Kirsten Dunst knows this? I’m sure it happens all the time.

      • Artemis says:

        @Original Tessa:

        No it’s not. I’m unwilling to believe that the majority rather sleeps with skeevy directors rather than rely on a good audition. Anybody will try to get ahead based on their skills first because that’s what builds reputation.

        Aspiring actors are often naive about how Hollywood casting (and Bollywood and Europe) works. I don’t think they go in and think sex will do the job. No, that’s what they learn along the way, that the industry is one big cesspool of fuckery. And if the casting couch was a way to further a career, then more actors would be famous don’t you think? The casting couch isn’t a way to further ones career, it’s a way for rich people to have sex. To exert their power without being afraid of being exposed. Fact is, you don’t know if you can get ahead so to think that actors will prefer sex over hard work (which I’m sure after a few times they would realise) is a weak and lazy assumption that has its roots in victim-blaming and shaming.

        Besides, you’re missing the point. Directors expect and/or demand sex regardless of actors ‘courting’. There are countless respected actors who said no, were uncomfortable and left. Actors who were left traumatised after discovering what had happened. How easy it is to get sucked in because you think it’s ‘normal’. And THAT is the issue. Being asked when you’re not supposed to be asked. Being asked in itself is sexual harassment. If you don’t understand that, then you have no business discussing what happens when they do say ‘yes’ because you’re unwilling to understand the power imbalance and dynamics that is at hand. Which is ALWAYS negative for actors.

      • Lark says:

        @What!
        I’m not talking about gossip but that one particular situation, but at the time Kristen Stewart wasn’t caught screwing someone like Soderbergh before a movie happened. She was caught after the movie premiered a first time director of commercials of a cheesy blockbuster while she was the highest paid actress at the time. There was a power imbalance, and it was in her favor. She did a shitty, terrible thing but sleeping with a first time director with no power (the producers had it in that case) of a movie that required fame and not even acting ability several months after a movie wrapped is not a casting couch situation.

        I agree with Original Kitten, in that she’s saying some people are fine sleeping around be it a casting couch situation or just that they want to sleep around with people involved in the film. I think it may have been a reference to Lars Von Trier, who has had rumors surrounding him and she was trying to say “no, I never went there” but it was still kind of an asshole comment….especially with the Bryan Singer case floating around.

      • kimber says:

        That’s how I read it too.

      • Liberty says:

        I got the same thing out of comments, Original Kitten. I don’t think she was victim shaming.

      • Pepsi Presents...Coke says:

        That’s how I read it.

    • Hiddles forever says:

      It screams victim blaming attitude from all perspectives…

      Wtf, another Richardson’s supporter out of the closet?

      *shakes head*

    • Godwina says:

      Reading it the same way. Perpetuating rape culture–it’s for *everyone*.

  2. Lilacflowers says:

    So, Kirsten, women who are sexually harassed in the workplace give off a vibe that they are asking for it? Do rape victims give off that vibe too? Clearly, you either live in an alternative universe or have been very sheltered throughout your privileged life. Do some research, like sit in the back of some EEOC hearings, before you make such ridiculous comments again.

  3. GiGi says:

    I don’t think she’s saying blame the victim in the casting couch situation. I think what she’s saying is that some actors are more than willing to open wide for a director and that’s well known. What she’s saying is that she isn’t. To me that’s a completely different thing than talking about sexual crimes/abuse/violence.

    I think most people would acknowledge, on a basic level, that when you’re out in the world, you can definitely put off a “leave me alone” vibe or a “hey, I’m open” vibe and that *most* people will kind of get that. Obviously there are the creeps who don’t or the predetors, etc. I’m just talking about “normal” people.

    ETA – Ok, I just reread her direct comments… by saying “you court that stuff” does leave it a little victim-blamy, doesn’t it? That feels gross… if she’s said, “Some people are into that, I’m not” that would be better.

    • Katren says:

      yeah that’s what I got too… Some people are just dramatic I guess

    • Kim1 says:

      I agree , in college I knew a few students who slept with teachers and they gave off a vibe that they would do whatever is necessary to get over.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        It’s true that some women use sex to get what they want, but many women who are sexually harassed are innocent victims. Your attitude helps predators get away with their behavior by suggesting that anyone who is sexually harassed, or “pounced on,” was asking for it. We need to support victims of sexual predators, not blame them.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I respectfully disagree. By saying that “I think you court that stuff,” she is implying that a person who is “pounced on” by a director is asking for it, and that it never happened to her because she doesn’t want it. That is blaming the victim. It’s harmful and hurtful to anyone who has been sexually harassed.

      • GiGi says:

        Yeah – I agree… see my ETA comment. I had skimmed originally, but rereading her phrasing – she’s either an idiot, insensitive, or poorly spoken. Obviously one can “court” the attention of others, but the way she says it is yucky.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Oh, sorry, GiGi, didn’t see your edit. Thanks

      • Artemis says:

        @Goodnames:
        I find it interesting that everybody is talking about women having to behave in a certain way to NOT be asked to have sex with men. Like why??? Being too nice is putting yourself out there and being extremely distant and bitchy is a-okay? What is this vibe people are speaking off because imo, people who just do their job (watching, analysing auditions and casting) should not be looking for sex. They should not detect a vibe of ‘this girl wants to have sex’ because newsflash: they’re not there for sex. Clearly those people have hidden agendas and the women should not be blamed. It wouldn’t matter what kind of vibe the girl would give off, she would be asked for sex if the casting director or others are looking for it.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        @Artemis
        I agree. Why is it always the woman’s responsibility when the person of higher rank and power has no business asking for sex in the first place? And I know from personal experience that many men think “hello” means “I am dying to have sex with you.” And many men in that situation couldn’t care less what the woman wants because they see her as a thing, not a fellow human being, and that’s why they abuse their power to get what they want instead of having a normal relationship with someone with equal power.

      • Artemis says:

        @Goodnames:

        This!

        We’re talking about rich powerful people here. Why are they expecting sex from young aspiring actors in the first place? Why do we question women’s behaviour in general like we don’t know that men don’t need a lot to get a ‘sex’ vibe of us? Are people being deliberately obtuse or is victim-blaming easier than challenging predatory behaviour? Sexual harassment and rape comes from a power issue (like you point out) not from the victim’s behavior. This is basic knowledge.

        I don’t know how many times men touched me without my permission or tried to kiss me 10min into a date and I’m a person who ‘suffers’ from BRF (Bitchy Resting Face). Obviously I’m called a bitch when I pull away/cuss them out but the damage was already done. Men very quickly expect sexual behaviour regardless of the vibe women send off. I’m sure I’m not the only woman on this site who has experienced this so it continues to baffle me whenever mature women here don’t think twice about blaming the victim.

        Pretending that the majority of the victims were ‘offering’ themselves is turning a blind eye to the issue imo. But hey, once we have an abuse post they can all go and pretend to give a crap right? :/

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        @Artemis
        It baffles me, too, and I find it very discouraging. I don’t understand the disconnect. How people can be concerned when abuse is documented, and then tun around and agree with someone who says they have never been sexually harassed because they “don’t give off that vibe.” In other words, they didn’t “ask for it.” We haven’t come very far. It makes me sad.

        I wonder if part of it is about control? If we believe that our “vibe” can stop someone from harassing or assaulting us, we can believe we have control over random acts? So, in our fear and need for a sense of control, or because we find the sense of helplessness so uncomfortable, we turn on people who have actually suffered these random acts and say it must have been their own fault. They must have somehow signaled that they were open to it, or wanted it. That would never happen to me, because I give off a “vibe.” Right. Good luck with that.

      • Shannon1972 says:

        @GoodNames and @Artemis,
        I think you both bring up very good points. I haven’t read to the bottom of the comments, but what I have read up until this point has left me scratching my head. Where is the outrage of the Dylan Farrow posts? Are we letting this slide because we aren’t talking about a specific case of abuse? I think that no matter which way you spin her comment, it does make her seem like she’s saying she’s “above” the casting couch culture in Hollywood. It’s ridiculously smug…she doesn’t give off that “vibe”? She had an incredibly lucky break as a child actor, and it is a well known fact that it is much easier to break into acting as a child than it is for a teen or adult. Perhaps the “vibe” she is referring to is “I’ve got to eat, please hire me” desperation, which is twisted into “I’ve got to eat, so that means I will do anything” by the person with casting power.

        I do think that the tendency to let her slide on this one could come from a place of control. No one likes to believe that these things still happen in this supposedly enlightened day and age, let alone that it could happen to them. The casting couch is such a vague term that could imply almost anything from unwanted sexual advances to unwanted sexual encounters. Few will talk about it openly, and I give Corey Feldman huge props for coming forward with his experience. His book was harrowing, and I was left almost grieving for the young boys that Feldman and Haim were, and what they could have been. This is not an exclusively female issue, as we are seeing now with Brian Singer. The same comments that dogged the Dylan Farrow situation are dogging this one. It’s much easier to blame the victim than deal with a wealthy, powerful abuser. Perhaps I’m missing the context of her comment, but taken alone, it is incredibly naive.

    • Lindy79 says:

      I think there is an element of people who have no issue in making themselves available, the issue is she hasn’t clarified between that and the ones who are desperate and will do anything to place their trust in someone who has the power in a situation. In fact she’s done the opposite, she’s lumping everyone into one bucket of “they court it”

      Katren, it doesn’t make us dramatic for having a different opinion.

      • Dani2 says:

        @Lindy I agree, and what’s more, she said, “I think you court that stuff”. Not every single person who’s had a director come on to them had expressed interest or willingness to do that kind of thing. In Hollywood, there definitely are people who sleep around for roles (I read an interview a few years ago in which Naomi Watts admitted to doing that, very brave of her imo, she didn’t have to mention it) but not everyone does.

      • I Choose Me says:

        I read the article as well as the comments and I agree with this view the most.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      Sexual harassment in the workplace is rarely violent and is a different crime than sexual assault; it is a form of discrimination. What is being described is sexual harassment, not sexual assault.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      Yeah, this is how I took it too.

    • mercy says:

      With some men, simply being friendly and wanting to please them on a professional level is twisted into being ready and willing to accommodate all of their *ahem* needs. I learned this the hard way, but I refuse to stop being friendly just because some men are pervs.

    • Godwina says:

      I super duper agree with your last paragraph.

  4. Dani2 says:

    This reminds me of that Serena quote about the Steubenville rape victim who “shouldn’t have put herself in that position”. It always makes me sad to see women saying such insensitive bull. I usually love Kirsten but she comes off as a real insensitive a-hole.

  5. ldub says:

    so you don’t give off the “hoe” vibe? funny, i’ve always gotten that from you kiki.

  6. poppy says:

    her comment does sound blame-y. you don’t have to give off a vibe for someone else to try and pounce on you. :roll:
    to be nice, she looks sooooo much better since she fixed her teeth,

  7. Corrie says:

    I didn’t take it that way. First off, she said I give off a NO vibe, not actresses. Before people overreact. But, what she’s saying is her no vibe means, I’m not in any way going there, so back off. Director/actor relationship isn’t just authorative but creative. And actors/actresses in trying to relent to the character are willing to cross appropriate lines, she says that’s not her. And honestly, doesn’t give off a NO vibe, she does lol. Unlike Kristen Stewart, who spoke on a similar topic about how she has relationships with adult male directors, an really crossed the line. And that was in feb before the incident. She’s referring to opening up in capon neck with her director. Kikis like, NO, I’m not going there. Both child actors. Different strokes.

    • Laura says:

      “Unlike Kristen Stewart, who spoke on a similar topic about how she has relationships with adult male directors, an really crossed the line. And that was in feb before the incident.”

      What are you talking about? Where is this quote? Maybe Kirsten misspoke and that’s not what she meant, but this really sounds like victim blaming. And I don’t think it had anything to do with Kristen Stewart.

    • tracy says:

      What are you talking about? Kristen has never said she has relationships with her directors. Kristen just turned 24, and made most of her movies as a child. If she did have relationship with them, it would have been child molestation. Kiki needs to understand, that with out Kristen, On The Road, would have gotten zero attention. As for Kristen sleeping with the director to get Snow White, silly to even suggest it. Women, who have to use sex to get a job are desperate. If she was desperate to work, and had to use sex to get it, then why was Kristen Stewart paid 10 million dollars and given part of the profits? Kiki’s drinking and partying ruined her career. Stop try to imply it was because you did not sleep around.

  8. d b says:

    I like ol’ Kiki, so sue me! And I think she does try to choose roles within a narrow range, because her trajectory is definitely more indie/art house than say Sandra Bullock, who is mainstream. I think Kiki would be fun as Harlow, they both were/are good at “common” lol. It’s funny how statements can be read different ways — I took the casting couch thing as, I don’t sex for roles so don’t even try it, and that that is her “advice”. Barring kids, who can’t give meaningful consent, no actor is “forced” to f*** for a role.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      But the question wasn’t about whether she is offering herself, it was whether directors make those advances, which is very different. And the latter, under federal and many state laws constitutes illegal sexual harassment. I like the roles she has chosen in recent years and think she is an interesting actress but statements like these cause me to question her as a person. I think she has been extremely sheltered.

      • db says:

        I don’t think either of them meant to get into a disquisition on harassment in the workplace and Kiki’s response doesn’t really bother me. Her reply suggests she’s not desperate enough, or maybe competitive enough, to allow a director to pounce on her. Does that throw the responsibility onto the actor? Meh. I guess. Still doesn’t bother me, because this is coming from someone who hasn’t had to deal with the issue. That’s been *her* experience, that’s all. Doesn’t make her the fount of all evil ;)

      • Lilacflowers says:

        The employee’s desperation or competitiveness are irrelevant to whether or not the employer crosses the line. If the employer makes an unwanted advance, then it is, by law, sexual harassment. The employer, not the employee, is the one who is responsible. To claim that some employees court that behavior is to blame the victim. As I said, yes, she has her own experiences but she comes across as very sheltered.

  9. Arie says:

    I think you guys are over analyzing it. I think she meant some actors or actresses would have no problem going that way. Like Gigi say, they’re ‘open’.
    Perhaps it was the way she phrased it.

  10. lucy2 says:

    She didn’t get her start as an adult, she was a child actor and already established by the time she got to the age where directors are looking for that, so it’s possible she’s never had that experience. And I’m sure there are some actors/actresses who make it clear that they’re willing for a role.
    HOWEVER – to only look at it from that perspective is to ignore all the other circumstances where people are taken advantage of by those in a position of power who know how to manipulate them. To imply that everyone who’s had that happen to them was basically asking for it is a terrible and irresponsible thing to say. I find it hard to believe in all her years of showbiz she never heard of it happening, so instead of victim blaming, she should be grateful she was never put in that position.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      She also has worked with women directors frequently during the adult part of her career.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      I agree but she wasn’t asked “what do you think about the casting couch situation in Hollywood?” If she had been then maybe she would have gone into more depth. Who knows how the question was asked of her but here it just says “on whether a director has ever ‘pounced’ on her”.

      Sometimes the overanalyzing of celeb quotes exhausts me–and I get that that’s what we do around here, but it seems celebs just can’t answer completely perfectly enough for everyone to be satisfied. I mean, they’re not politicians, they’re just people who play pretend for a living.

      • mimif says:

        Yeah ITA with everything you wrote. Re: the 2nd paragraph, If my words were analyzed on a global scale every day, I’d most likely be in jail.
        Oh, and I totally caught your hangover, thanks. ;)

      • S says:

        Completely agree! I think I said something similar to this about a story a year or so ago that everyone was getting up in arms about…

        We read quotes that were said in the quick context of a conversation. So many people get so angry and take offense to quick comments that maybe weren’t worded perfectly, or didn’t encompass every.single.situation. that the reader feels should have been covered. We have the benefit of reading and re-reading these quotes in and out of context for text and sub-text. Sometimes a quote is just a quote.

        I took this conversation as being-
        Q:”Have you had to deal with directors trying to get in your pants or try things with you?”
        A: “No. I’m all business and they know when I’m working to not even try it. Some people don’t work that way, but that’s me.”

      • Artemis says:

        Most people are assholes. Actors are too and sadly they are allowed a platform (which they love even though they pretend not to) and are asked question that they can’t or won’t grasp because of the environment they grew up/live in.

        There are plenty of actors who are media trained, naturally intelligent or just an ‘honest’ nice person (celebs who are called boring) and they don’t say inoffensive crap or they at least try to contemplate their answers because they know it will be read or watched by millions of people. People like Dunst (who is horrible to people, especially waiting staff, legendary tales) and ScarJo should really not be asked questions that ask for a deeper understanding of how and why certain things work in Hollywood and society in general. They have zero empathy and interest. Narrow is the mind.

      • mercy says:

        She wasn’t asked and still managed to make comments that implied women who have been pounced on give off a vibe, or court that kind of attention.

        I agree that sometimes trivial or offhand remarks are taken too seriously, or out of context, and provoke an inordinate amount of outrage, but it was pretty obvious what she was implying here. I don’t believe one has to be a rocket scientist or professional diplomat to avoid making comments like that. She’s been a public figure for a long time and has had awhile to sort this media thing out.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        @mercy-I very much disagree that it was “obvious” what she was implying. If it was, then there wouldn’t be so many differing interpretations of what she said.

        I think it’s also a bit unfair to assume that we all know exactly what she was saying here, when we’re not in her head.
        It’s the difference between phrasing things as absolutes (“It’s obvious…”) and phrasing things as an opinion (“I think what she was saying is..”).

        Some people are just clumsy–not every person on the planet is adept at articulating exactly what they mean. In fact, most aren’t.

        @Artemis-I realize that I might be in the minority here but I don’t need my actors to be media-savvy or “trained” in the fine art of interviewing. Just make a good damn movie, play a convincing character and sure, provide me with some entertaining off-the-cuff remarks.
        Then again, I don’t look to celebs to be some paragon of virtue or someone to idolize on any level, so there’s that.

      • Artemis says:

        @OKitt:

        I certainly don’t look up to actors (see how I find them to be assholes that are allowed a platform). However IF they do have a platform and they are discussing societal or political issues or the business of showbusiness then I would actually prefer a modicum of preparedness, articulateness and most of all something deeper than easy (judgmental) soundbites. I don’t think that’s too much too ask especially with sensitive topics like the casting couch which is plain abuse.

        Also she wasn’t interviewed by a stranger and a lot of interviews for magazines are vetted by PR people. If you look at the comments then you see it goes deeper than gossip. It’s how people perceive female sexuality and behaviours.

        Celebs don’t have to be the paragon of virtue (hahahaha) but if they talk about issues that extend beyond the work they’re promoting, then expect debates to be opened.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        I have no problem with the debate that’s going on here—I actually find it quite interesting–it’s the source material that I question. It just strikes me as reactionary at times to jump all over a celeb who makes a two-sentence response to a question that’s really rather vague in the first place.

        Don’t get me wrong-I enjoy impassioned responses, but ultimately I prefer the ‘connect-the-dots approach’ and a well-structured argument versus a huge leap based on subtext, assumptions, and hunches.

        Anyway, I’m not trying to stop the discussion-I’m simply giving my own take on it. Rant on, celebitches, rant on…

      • mercy says:

        I’m taking her words at face value. I don’t know how else to take “I think you court that kind of stuff” and I haven’t seen anyone explain it in a way that gives it a different meaning.

        Maybe she intended something like “I haven’t, but I’ve always maintained a professional demeanor and made it clear I was only interested in the work.” But I’m going with what she said, not trying to get in her head and interpret what she meant to say. Maybe I should, but maybe should give a little more thought before speaking on some issues, too.

        I don’t put her on a pedestal, but she has been given a platform. She doesn’t have to morph into some programmed PC slickster, but a little more senisitivity wouldn’t hurt.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        @mercy-Fair enough. If we both agree that by “courting” she meant “inviting” then I think we both just have different opinions.
        I actually DO think there are women in the industry that take advantage of the casting couch. I don’t think they’re awful people either-I think they’re taking a mutually beneficial relationship and using it for career gain. I don’t really see that as terrible behavior, given how competitive the industry is. And forgive me if this has already been brought up on this thread (didn’t have time to read all the comments) but I don’t think this behavior is exclusive to women.

        So to (annoyingly) pose a hypothetical, if a male director (casting agent?) casts a female actress in a lead role because she’s willing to sleep with him and the movie ends up flopping terribly because of her lack of name recognition or lack of talent, who’s the real sucker in that scenario? She still gets her paycheck and the exposure..not sure what he gets except for one night.

        I hope I don’t sound misogynistic. I certainly didn’t intend to…I’m just not convinced that every woman is inherently a victim just because she was born with the XX chromosome. In fact, I’m going to take it even further and say that I think that stance in damaging and disempowering.

      • mercy says:

        Well, here is where context comes into play. Since she was answering a question about director’s “pouncing,” I think it was fair to take her reponse as some people “invite” that kind of attention, especially after the “vibe” comment. But “pursue” or similar words work as well. I’m sure there are men and women who court, pursue, or invite that kind of attention, for all the reasons you gave, and have said as much.

        What I took issue with was the implication that this kind of thing only happens to those who court, pursue, or invite it. I think we can all agree that’s not the case. So why only focus on those who do? It strikes me as a very superior and insensitive remark. I can only imagine what the reaction would have been had someone like the GOOPster made a comment like that. There’s my hypothetical contribution to the discussion. ;)

    • mercy says:

      THIS. It sounds like she’s too wrapped up in her own little world to realise that her experience is not everyone’s experience. She wants to believe she’s superior and has control over everything, when she should really be thanking her lucky stars that it hasn’t happened to her. I know too many women who have been subjected to unwanted advances who didn’t court that kind of attention or put out that vibe.

  11. mimif says:

    Unfortunately, there a quite a lot of child actors who are put in uncompromising positions as well. Hollywood is so disgusting…

  12. grace says:

    I actually think she’s only referring to the situations in which actors are willing to to anything and everything for a role and are explicitly transmitting this to whomever calls the shots, thus the “give off that vibe” comment.

    And, by the way, she’s a far better actress than Sandra Bullock!

  13. LL says:

    She’s being showing herself lately with these comments and her ‘traditional’ comments. These comments sound like she’s blaming the woman instead the predatory men on these movies sets.

    The best comment she should have said would be ‘No’ instead she opened herself to being criticized (rightful so I might add).

  14. FLORC says:

    Anyone listen to Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me?
    Shirley Jones talked about her personal experience with the casting couch.
    To sum it up Rogers or Hammerstein (can’t remember which) made a pass on the couch at her and tried to make her feel if she didn’t go along she lost the part. She quickly said she had a fiance (which she didn’t). And a story why she had no ring. He backed off because they absolutely wanted her, an unknown at the time, for the role.
    The ending feeling for the story was you need to stick to your convictions.

    Even if women give off that vibe purposely or feel they need to for a role it’s a 2 way street. As long as the man isn’t making the woman feel like she needs to do this to get hired.

    Of course, there are women who do go into casting situations hoping for that couch experience. Right, Olivia Munn?

  15. Kiddo says:

    Is she trying for that vibe now with the Uncle Terry understudy photos?

    Interview for photo assignment work:

    Boss: Do you know how to adjust a flash? Do you consider composition?
    Photog: No, I just leave the flash at the highest power, and no I just take random shots, just like my drunk cousin does with a throw away camera.
    Boss: You’re hired!

  16. starbuck says:

    I am in the minority here but I think she’s got a point. And I’ll hand it to her for speaking her opinion about it and give it some credence because she was a child actor and has been in the business a long time. The director is your boss and when you cross the lines in that relationship and blur them, you can put yourself in a compromising position. Is it fair? Probably not. Unlike others, she sounds like she understands her responsibility in the actor/director relationship and has a mature perspective on it. She’s done many films and worked with many directors and actresses. She sounds like she’s talking from experience.

    • dagdag says:

      @starbuck

      Agreed, she sounds like she knows the business she`s in and and learned not to be easily intimidated or manipulated and how to say no. Also, training and trusting your instincts is always good.

    • mercy says:

      She had a big advantage starting so young and becoming famous as a child. It gave her more clout and power than your average young actor. I see people comparing her comments to KStew, but KStew is not the norm, either. In that case, I can believe she was courting the attention of the (older, married) creep. But there are many others who don’t give off those vibes and are still looked at as prey by pervs with power.

    • Artemis says:

      Nope. A director should not ask for sex in the first place. Period. If he asks for it then he was looking for it in the first place. That’s sexual harassment. That director puts the actor in a compromising situation. Of course he/she could say no, the fact is that he/she shouldn’t be asked in the first place! The director has a responsibility too. He should just do his job without making moves on his employees and probably forcing them to do it because actors are afraid they might lose their job (which is always a potential problem in the fickle world of Hollywood).

      Maybe you should read Thandie Newton’s horrible casting couch story. How she was confused because it was such a professional environment and she was starting her career. How years after her audition she discovered it was passed along other powerplayers as some softcore tape. The powerlessness in her story is heartbreaking and she didn’t even have physical contact with the director. I wish people would actually read about actor’s experiences instead of happily blaming the victim and not understanding the power dynamics in auditions.

      • dagdag says:

        @Artemis

        Nobody here is happily blaming a victim and it seems that people who reply certainly understand the power dynamics not only in auditions but in life altogether.

        You write a lot of could, should, shouldn´t, probably etc. We do not live in Utopia and pitying a victim does not really help a victim. Especially since many victims, and I refer here precisely to auditions, accept their role or actively participate.

        If one can not set boundaries, one is subject to abuse. Again, I refer to the subject we are discussing.

      • Artemis says:

        @dagdag:

        Acknowledging power dynamics doesn’t say anything about understanding them. People acknowledge that rape is bad but that doesn’t stop people from talking about what the victim did. There is a disconnect with what people are willing to understand and change.

        I do not pity a victim. I empathise which is something completely different. As a human being, I have come in contact with plenty of abuse stories (male and female) of all sorts, I’m sorry that having a heart to love and brains to think makes me wish we could live in a better, kinder world.

        Blaming the victim and ignorantly suggesting that there are a lot of willing participants is also NOT helping a victim fyi. There are a lot of people who sell sex as a job but the number of people who do it first choice, voluntarily, happily is abysmal. Selling sex is rarely a joyous occasion, I don’t know why actors would be the ones to enjoy it since they rarely reap any benefits and destroy their reputation in the process. Heck, actors with limited talent get accused all the time of doing the casting couch and it’s considered a shameful thing so why it would be there to-go-to move to start a career is beyond me. Maybe you could explain it to me?

        Your last paragraph is cringeworthy. Abuse is abuse; talking about the victim’s boundaries is completely dismissing the responsibility of the perpetrator. I gave a list upthread and Thandie Newton’s account here yet you have nothing to add that hasn’t been said for ages. Saying ‘no’ doesn’t mean you set boundaries, it means somebody else already crossed them and the harassment already happened.

        Please do share how you feel about underage kids who are subjected to this type of abuse? I’m sure you can split hairs about this type of abuse in this subject too :)

      • dagdag says:

        @Artemis

        You ask me to please share my hair splitting feelings? You are not honest, are you?

    • Lilacflowers says:

      When an employer makes an advance on an employee, the employer is the one who crossed the line. It is an abuse of power and it the advance is unwanted, it is an illegal abuse of power. And, even if not unwanted, if it bestows benefits on the employee that are not available to similarly situated employees, it creates “a hostile work environment” for those other employees and, in many states, that is illegal as well.

  17. smee says:

    I always thought she was a mediocre actor at best, but now that I know she’s shaming moron, I can totally dismiss her.

  18. Miss M says:

    Horrible choice of words. Even if she was referring that ONLY in the acting world the ones “giving off vibes” are sexually assaulted, etc. Sexual assault is sexual assault. Try to be funny when the topic allows, Kiki.

  19. Francesca says:

    Seriously, what is it about turning 27? It really does seem to be the suckiest for a lot of people, self included!

  20. BendyWindy says:

    Sleeping with a director =/= sexual harrassment or assault. Can it? Yes. Does it always? No. Sometimes two consenting adults just want to screw each other, with mutually beneficial results.

  21. Beday says:

    Yeah, Bring It On was a really meaningful and deep movie, Kirsten. Full of mystery.

  22. Karen says:

    I wish we could all just discount and ignore what most actors/actresses have to say. They have a platform to share their thoughts and opinions, but they’re often ignorant people with damaging things to say. Sigh.

    It’s bad timing for her, considering the X-men director scenario currently unfolding. She may have meant her comment to be harmless but things will surely hit the fan.

  23. Shiksa Goddess says:

    I saw her on Celebrity Jeopardy when she was around 14 or so. She just stood there and didn’t answer any questions. Seems like intelligence was never her bag.

  24. pleaseicu says:

    It comes across as victim-blamey IMO because the question was about if a director had ever pounced on her.

    She could’ve easily just said no, and moved on or no, she was lucky that she’d never experienced anything like that in her career or that she’d heard stories about it happening but it’d never happened to her.

    Instead she continued on and turned it around and made it about the people who’ve been pounced on giving off vibes and somehow courting it.

  25. itsetsyou says:

    Now this made me wonder: so who do you think HAS done it with their director? What actress gives off ‘that vibe’?

    I have no idea if Dunst has or hasn’t but it makes me wonder who is can she be talking about when she says ‘the vibe’?

  26. Elizabeth Rose says:

    I actually think this makes perfect sense. Having auditioned for film and television, it is blatantly obvious which women are literally happy and willing to do whatever it takes to get the role. Women absolutely use their sex appeal in the industry to get ahead and believe me, they know what they are getting into and hence there is no way in my mind that they could claim the victim.

  27. Lark says:

    I thought this was probably a reference to Lars Von Trier, who is rumored to be like Fincher/Mara in that he likes to have a weird Svengali type of relationship with his actresses. Basically, in that he’s not into casting couch type of relationships (sometimes two consenting adults are just sleeping around because they are attracted to one another) but Von Trier is rumored to like to sleep with the women, have relationships with them, and try and “change” them into people he wants them to be with…..and since she worked with him on Melanacholia she was like “no, I never went there and was into his weird Svengali type of stuff but some people are open to it”

    At the same time, I could be totally off and over analyzing the eff out of it and she could just be an asshole. She was an established child actress so she probably never had to deal with anything horrible, but way to be victim blamey of her. Sure, some actors or actresses sleep around because they a) want to or b) want to sleep up the ladder. But it doesn’t stop the fact that any “director” pouncing on someone is an asshole taking advantage of a position of power most of the time. Thandie Newton has a horrible, horrible story as someone above mentioned of being taken advantage of when she was a teenager.

  28. jammypants says:

    I’m not offended by her answers. I’m offended the publication asked a seasoned actor like her such stupid questions.

  29. Kelly says:

    Apparently, everyone with the variation of the name Kristen/Kirsten is insufferable.

  30. Emily C. says:

    It’s victim-blaming and completely gross. Also: she’s dating a Scientologist. And Scientology preaches that anything bad that happens to you is your own fault.

    She’s just thoroughly stupid and disgusting.

  31. Godwina says:

    I will never in my life understand what Sofia sees in Kiki.

  32. dread pirate cuervo says:

    I think she’s talking about actors who are willing as opposed to situations where it’s forced. I think I understand what she’s saying as I myself generally project a “get the f*ck away from me” vibe with people I don’t know well.

  33. eva k says:

    That’s really reaching. So now everything she says is going to mis-read as “anti-women” because she shared her personal opinion about preferring traditional gender roles in her own relationships?? Interesting.

  34. Ravensdaughter says:

    Besides, WE WANT VIGGO!!!!