Kirsten Dunst: ‘I’ve never been recognized in my industry, I always feel like nobody’

Kirsten Dunst seen in black and white dress at AOL Build

Kirsten Dunst has been famous since she was a little girl. She went from child star in Interview with a Vampire to teen star in The Virgin Suicides, Drop Dead Gorgeous and Bring It On to adult star in everything else. But does Kirsten get the respect she deserves? I’ve been pondering that for a while, honestly, especially following her great turn on Fargo a few years ago. That felt like a new chapter for Dunst – a chapter where she would do more television work and more character work. A chapter where – hopefully – she would be recognized as one of the best actresses of her generation. But she still doesn’t feel like she’s ever really been respected in Hollywood:

Kirsten Dunst has learned to take it all in stride when it comes to her career. During a recent interview with Sirius XM’s In-Depth With Larry Flick, Dunst, 37, revealed “I’ve never been recognized in my industry.”

“Well, remember when Marie Antoinette — y’all panned it? And now you all love it,” Dunst said of the 2006 film. “Remember Drop Dead Gorgeous? Panned. Now you all love it… It’s like interesting for me. I feel a lot of things I do people like later,” she revealed to Flick.

“I’ve never been nominated for anything. Maybe like, twice for a Golden Globe when I was little and one for Fargo. I always feel like nobody— I don’t know, maybe they just think I’m the girl from Bring It On,” she told Flick. In 1996, Dunst was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Claudia in Interview with a Vampire. The actress has also starred in memorable films like Hidden Figures, Virgin Suicides, Spider-Man and The Beguiled.

“I am so chill. Maybe I don’t play the game enough? But then I do, I mean, I do everything I’m supposed to. It’s not like I’m rude or like, not doing publicity or anything,” she continued. Dunst later shared, “I know that all you have is your work at the end of the day. And that’s all people really care about. I’m intelligent enough to know that and have perspective,” Dunst told Flick. However, she admitted, “It’d be nice to be recognized by your peers.”

[From People]

“I am so chill. Maybe I don’t play the game enough?” I could see that. She is rather chill, and for years (in her 20s, mostly), she seemed kind of anti-Hollywood, anti-establishment, and not really looking to do those kinds of awards-baity movies anyway. Plus, Kirsten is a great comedic actress and comedy actresses rarely get that kind of respect too. Incidentally, I’ve watched Marie Antoinette a few times over the past month and I understand why it got panned – Kirsten is fine in it, but lord, Sofia Coppola just wants to make movies about women and girls who just float around and do nothing.

Kirsten Dunst looks stunning at AOL Build

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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56 Responses to “Kirsten Dunst: ‘I’ve never been recognized in my industry, I always feel like nobody’”

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  1. Maria says:

    Aww :-( She won the Cannes prize for Melancholia though!

    • Maude says:

      She was spectacular in Melancholia. Legit one of the most haunting movies I have ever watched. It just sticks with you and you can’t shake the dread.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      Melancholia is the best work she’s ever done. Hands down. And that’s not a knock on her it’s a compliment. That movie is amazing and so haunting and she captures depression so perfectly.

    • lucy2 says:

      She did win that, and a few ensemble awards for Hidden Figures, and was nominated for her work on Fargo.
      But I get her point – she’s often overlooked, and yeah, I think it’s because she’s fairly quiet outside of her work, picks roles she likes rather than Oscar bait, and doesn’t play the game.

      She’s GREAT in her new show and probably has the Emmy and Golden Globes locked down.

    • Yvette says:

      I wish Kirsten had better self-esteem. She is a beautiful woman and an incredible actress.

      • GirlMonday says:

        I didn’t get that this was about her self-esteem. Wanting to be recognized for your craft doesn’t necessarily mean you feel poorly about yourself. To me, in fact, it implies the opposite: you think highly of your work and want others to see what you see. I don’t think a man, with the same kind of body of work, would have his self-esteem questioned for saying something similar. $0.02out

  2. Sarah says:

    Coming from anyone else, this kind of comment would make me roll my eyes but she has a point. She is famous and works steadily but even with her Cannes prize, she does not get the same recognition other actresses her age or even younger do. Like, is she really less talented than Emma Stone or J-Law, who are both younger and have already won an Oscar?

    • Maria says:

      I heard Kirsten campaigned kinda hard for the role in Silver Linings Playbook. I would have much rather seen her.

      • Dani says:

        I did not know this. I HATE SLP. I hate Jennifer in it. It just doesn’t fit for me, something about that movie makes me angry. I would have loved to see Kristen in it.

      • Harryg says:

        I hated Silver Linings so much it made me enraged. Stupid awful movie.
        Dunst was really good in Eternal Sunshine.

      • Dani says:

        Harryg – I’m sooo glad I’m not the only one. My husband loved it and always watches it if it’s on and it drives me crazy. I hate it so much even I don’t understand the hatred anymore lol

      • Jess says:

        Oh man! Now I really really want to see KD in that role! She would have been perfection!! I just couldn’t buy J-Law as a widow… It just didn’t work …

    • pineapplecan says:

      Her filmography blows almost everyone’s out of the water. She is incredible and I do think there’s this thing where she’s been around so long, and she doesn’t do GIVE ME AN OSCAR NOW films, that she gets overlooked.

    • SK2 says:

      I really prefer her over Emma Stoneband Jennifer Lawrence.
      Wimbledon is my favourite rom-com ever, not a genre I’m overly fond of but it’s a great film

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        Wimbledon! That movie is great. But I mostly love it for Paul Bettany because he’s yummy and charming and sexy.

    • hogtowngooner says:

      Emma Stone is fine but soooo overrated. Dunst can act circles around her.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Dunst is a cut above JLaw and Emma Stone – she is a great actress who’s work is varied and interesting. I really want to see ‘On Becoming God in Central Florida’

      My fave movies of hers are:
      - The Virgin Suicides
      - Drop Dead Gorgeous
      - Bring It On (don’t hate me for that)

      But I will watch anything she is in really.

  3. tealily says:

    I feel like if anyone else said this I’d be up and arms and point out that all of the things she mentions are, in fact, recognition. But because it’s Kirsten Dunst, I’m just inclined to agree with her. Even at the height of her fame, she’s always kind of felt like an underdog. I’m not sure what it is, but I think she’s right!

    Also, I love her, but a friend of mine once said that she has a face like a rotting pumpkin and I just can’t unsee it. (I think she’s beautiful though!)

    • Lilah casting says:

      She should have more recognition than some one like Scarlett but superficial beautiful and hype wins most of the time, she is not ugly and is way more talented the pumpkin comment is interesting and I could see it too

  4. Diana says:

    She is amazing on screen and should get more accolades! One of the most underrated actors of our time.

  5. Case says:

    I think she’s overlooked because she does films she genuinely WANTS to do, versus Oscar bait. Many of which are excellent films and excellent performances, but still, she’s not try-hard whatsoever. It’s like Hollywood doesn’t want to accept her as a grown woman  — they still think of her younger self doing teen movies and Spider-Man.

    It’s definitely weird. I think she’s better than J. Law, who is crazy overrated as an actress most of the time.

  6. Nicegirl says:

    SHe is such a great actress. Said it before and I’ll say it again. I LOVE ME SOME KIKI 💕💕😉🤦‍♀️🖖🏽💕💕❤️

  7. Goldie says:

    I understand what she means. It’s interesting to compare her career to Natalie Portman’s They’re about the same age and were both child actors who became famous for playing “mature” characters when they were tweens: Kirsten in Interview with the Vampire, and Natalie in The Professional. And while both actresses have had long, successful careers, Natalie has an Oscar, 3 noms and generally seems to be more respected, even though Kirsten is just as talented, if not more so.

    OTOH, you have someone like Christina Ricci, another former child actress of their generation, and her career seems to have really faded in comparison to Kirsten’s. So you gotta put it in perspective.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      Yeah it’s interesting when you compare her to Natalie because they both became famous actresses while they were still kids. And both starred in major franchises as well. It’s interesting. Because they are both talented. But I think the thing that set Natalie apart is the Hollywood and the media really set her up as a great beauty- even when she was still a kid. Which is disturbing when you think about it. That was never the case with Kirsten. Or Christina Ricci for that matter.

    • Dee Kay says:

      I cannot stand Natalie Portman 99% of the time (I loved her in Black Swan though), and it outrages me that Portman is recognized as a great actress while Dunst is not. Dunst is BY FAR the better actress. KD has inhabited every role to the max, she has a certain mode of delivery, yes, but she tunes it so that her speech and style “fit” the character, she adapts her toolbox to the character’s world, her thoughts, her backstory, her relationships. So even though she’s recognizable in every role, she’s also pretty fluid and pretty range-y — she has breadth. Now that she’s in her 40s, she’s an outstanding character actress, everyone should see her in On Becoming a God in Central Florida, she’s amazing.

      Whereas Portman…I just…there’s just nothing…there. Flat, boring, nervous in front of the camera, no sense of character, very limited range, I never see the character, only her. Except in Black Swan, that was her one great exception, I think it’s b/c the character was so close to who she actually is — a beautiful but untalented performer who should be in the chorus but for some reason got pushed up to the front to become the star.

      • Indiansummer says:

        Subscribe everything you said, that’s exactly how I see kirsten vs natalie, who, like you, I don’t think is a very good actress. Just one minor thing: kirsten is not in her 40s, she’s 37!

      • Dee Kay says:

        oh whoops!! thanks for the correction!!! sorry, Ms. Dunst!!

  8. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Kirsten has never seems anti-Hollywood or anti-establishment to me. She has starred in major Hollywood studio films. I think the issue is maybe because she started so young in the industry and maybe people don’t see her as an “auteur” as they do others. Which is of course BS but we all know Hollywood lacks imagination. But I have always seen her as a fantastic actress dating back to when she blew Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise off the screen at 12 years- old in Interview with The Vampire.

  9. raser1 says:

    I think it (unfairly) comes down to her personal brand. Think of the women are recognized in the industry. I would consider her a peer in age and career of Keira Knightly and Natalie Portman, more than Emma Stone or Jennifer Lawrence. She’s in the weird middle ground of older millennial/young gen ex so she’s not as accessible to as many people. And she has that cute midwestern vibe, she’s “real person pretty” but not Hollywood beautiful, like, Dior isn’t going to ask her to do a campaign. And she wouldn’t be believable in weighty period drama, which is why Marie Antoinette was such a good fit for her. She didn’t have to do the requisite “this is a serious role so all actors must have a British accent regardless of the actual setting”. I think these women have to do a “serious” period drama or two before they are taken seriously, which is ridiculous, and even more ridiculous for Kirsten because she did that when she was a child in Interview with a Vampire. She just can’t win.

    • Alyse says:

      Slight rebuttal re: Dior won’t cast her, as Kirsten is well loved in fashion circles, esp with Miu Miu & Rodarte (She was also face of Bvlgari, CK and others). One of the OG ‘fashion girls’ but with definite talent on top :)

  10. Dani says:

    Don’t forget Elizabethtown! One of my faves she’s in. She’s great and so underrated. I will watch her in anything.

  11. Luna says:

    She was great in Virgin Suicides. Truly

  12. DiegoInSF says:

    I love her, she’s one of my favorite actresses. I couldn’t get through Melancholia but might give it another chance. She was fantastic in Fargo and I’m loving On Becoming A God in Central Florida. I hope she gets all the Emmys and GGs for it.

  13. Constance says:

    I have always loved her! On a superficial level, she makes me feel better about my thin lips. Although I didn’t like Meloncholia, her performance was wonderful. It is a movie that sticks with you.

  14. Lena says:

    She never irritated me before but when she complains about never getting nominated when she was nominated for golden globes and won a Cannes prize as well as good reviews for a lot of her work I can’t with her anymore. A lot of very talented actresses don’t have that much.

  15. manta says:

    I understand her sentiment but is she really surprised by that? I mean, she’s been in this industry for so long that she’s witnessed many of her peers, equally talented, on the same trajectory.
    I just watched Mona Lisa Smile the other day, and caught myself thinking that Marcia Gay Harden had an amazing body of work but didn’t get an Oscar before what 42-43. Juliet Stevenson was terrific too, but not largely recognized. In her age bracket, Maggie Gyllenhaal has an interresting, diverse filmography but not adored by the industry the same way Portman or Johansson are.
    “I know that all you have is your work at the end of the day. And that’s all people really care about.” Stick to that, it’s true,even if it can be hard when others get all the accolades.
    And since everyone is throwing there some favorite, for me it was Crazy/Beautiful and Dick.

    • Dee Kay says:

      Crazy/Beautiful was so great. Maybe the best movie about interracial and interclass relationships and I don’t say that lightly. I grew up in LA so that movie really hit me in the gut. And Dunst was fabulous in it, the scene where she realizes she just crashed a quinceañera wearing white girl beach shorts and feels ashamed and embarrassed for maybe the first time in her life is phenomenal.

    • stormsmama says:

      DICK is SO GREAT!!!!! A must see!!!

  16. Savannah says:

    She’s being influenced by how hyped actors are. Just do you work, we recognize you and love you for being the actress you are!
    You don’t need an award to be freaking awesome. You need self respect and chill.

  17. deezee says:

    I love Kiki. She has been in many of my favourite movies and she has been believable in each of them. I agree with her evaluation of her career. She is often overlooked but consistently performs well. Her new show is great. I hope she gets some love for it come nomination time.

  18. Roo says:

    She was so incredibly good in Fargo. I can’t stress that enough. Love her!

  19. Yes Doubtful says:

    I’ve never thought of her as a award-worthy actress TBH. Honestly though, she’s pretty lucky to still be working. Especially with being a child star and lacking “Hollywood looks” or a tabloid life.

    • PleaseAndThankYou says:

      This is a really stupid comment. Try turning on “On Becoming A God In Central Florida” – and as for her looks, Hollywood seems to disagree.

  20. Marianne says:

    I honestly thought she had been nominated for a SAG for Fargo…but no…that was just the Golden Globes…

  21. Adrien says:

    Bring it On is one of the most rewatchable movies ever made. If you are in a classic movie, you are already a legend.

  22. phlyfiremama says:

    After she crapped all over Spiderman I totally lost interest in her. This “poor little me” bs is entirely self inflicted.

  23. SM says:

    Got to love her for this. In the industry where everyone is playing the game of: “oscar for me? Oh I am not paying attention to any of this I do this for the art blah blah” it is out of ordinary and yet so honest to say that you actually would find that kind of recognition important. And yet she just keeps doing work that is focused on stories and art of storytelling rather than going after some Oscar bait unlike those who often just pretend they don’t care.

  24. Alexis says:

    I just adore her. And the poster above is correct. Who do you remember the most from ‘Interview with a Vampire’?…. Kirsten. Her body of work is out of this world. She may be going through a phase right now that she doesn’t feel appreciated. That’s warranted.