Kirsten Dunst: The Hollywood star who’s as grounded as girl next door

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Kirsten Dunst walks into the hotel suite where we’re meeting and makes a beeline for the balcony. “Oh, this hotel is so beautiful. And it’s so cosy, it makes you want to take a little nap,” says the 32-year-old in a girlish voice.

Despite working since she was just three, Dunst clearly isn’t world-weary or jaded when it comes to enjoying luxurious surroundings. And while she may have a bank account befitting a Hollywood star, she doesn’t treat herself to long-haul holidays often, either.

“I’m not someone who takes vacations,” she says, taking a seat. “I tend to take little trips on a whim in California [she lives in LA] to the Big Sur, Palm Springs or Santa Barbara.”

That said, she has her eye on one particular beach holiday. “I really want to go to this place in Jamaica called GoldenEye [Bond author Ian Fleming’s former home]. I’ve had friends who have gone and say it’s so nice.”

It’s also secluded, which means she can relax without the threat of being papped in a bikini.

“Oh my goodness, if was on the beach in somewhere like Miami, I would be wearing a summer dress. I wouldn’t want my body critiqued,” says Dunst, showing off her “classic” taste and slim figure today in a blue pencil skirt and pale pink cashmere jumper, her blonde hair resting on her shoulders in gentle waves.

“I don’t have a problem with my body, but they’re so mean,” she says, referring to the paparazzi.

“All they want are bad shots of you and if you sit like this [she sits forward slightly] 
you get rolls, everybody does.”

Dunst is great company – easy to talk to, bright, quizzical, un-showy. Not only has she always made a point of making bold film choices, like controversial film-maker Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia, which earned her the Best Actress Award at Cannes, but those who work with her allude to her intelligence and informed decisions.

Take Oscar Isaac, her co-star in the stylish suspense thriller The Two Faces Of January, who talks of the intricate notes she makes all over her script, and yet her performance appears “effortless”. And Hossein Amini, the Academy Award-nominated scriptwriter behind Drive and Snow White And The Huntsman, who welcomed the fact she scrapped some of his same The Two Faces Of January script, feeling it unnecessary when simply a look would do.

It was Amini’s words that attracted Dunst to the role. “I thought it was so well done. You don’t read movies like that often, where you get so excited afterwards. It really ignited creativity within me,” she says.

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