NOTE: This interview contains minor spoilers.
“Spider-Man 3” opens nationwide on May 4th, and in anticipation of the event, CBR News will be over the coming days presenting a number of new special spider-features. We spoke previously with director Sam Raimi, actor Tobey Maguire, actor Thomas Haden Church, actor James Franco, and actor Topher Grace. In this part of a series of interviews with the cast and crew of “Spider-Man 3,” CBR News spoke with actor Kirsten Dunst about the new film, her character, and his feelings about the whole “Spider-Man” experience.
James and Tobey indicated that there was a certain degree of collaboration with Sam when it came to developing this third film, perhaps much more so than even in the first two films. Did you find that yourself with Mary Jane and her whole thing?
I did. Now Peter and Mary Jane are in a relationship and you have to deal with real relationship stuff. And I’m happy Mary Jane finally got a gig. Obviously Sam is the one who developed the storyline and everything, but he was open to our suggestions. Sam has a very independent spirit and mind. He’s the most collaborative director I’ve ever worked with, so to me it’s like doing a small film on a large scale. When it comes to the scenes and the relationship, it’s treated like every other movie. That’s very important to all of us. But I don’t really look at movies in terms of “big” and “small.” I mean, bigger movies take longer to make and you have to do more press on them. There’s also a lot more coverage. Those are the elements. “Do I want to spend six months of my life doing this film?”
That’s really you singing?
Yeah. I got to prerecord it. It was just a lip sync. It was fun to do.
The obligatory “Spider-Man 4” question. Sam did say that if neither you nor Tobey were involved in “Spider-Man 4,” he wouldn’t want to do it.
I feel the same way. I wouldn’t want to do it without Sam and Tobey. I mean, one, you can’t do that to the fans. Two, you can’t do that to each other. We’re a team. We’ve grown up together. What makes this special is our collaboration together on it.
Have you been approached or had any conversations about that?
Not really, but we never felt like it was really the end anyway. I just think there’ll probably be a slight reprieve.
At one point you did say that three would be enough.
I feel like we ended a chapter with this film, definitely. This book is closed and now we’ll approach in another way that will refresh all of us. We’ve always had really amazing actors who have come in and played our villains. People really respect this franchise and respect Spider-Man. They know we want to make the best film every time.
You’ve said before that if you were more like the comic book Mary Jane, you’d be laying around in lingerie in these movies.
[laughs] Mary Jane’s a little bit more sexed up in the comics, you know what I mean? I do wear a padded bra in the film. We wanted to develop Mary Jane and make her a woman that all the girls could look up to. But yeah, the action figures… and somebody mentioned the video game being pretty misogynistic. I haven’t checked it out, though.
Are there any thematic aspects of this movie that you can identify with, whether it be a relationship aspect, or the comment on celebrity culture?
So many things. So many things. This movie is so, you know, good and evil. Religion plays a big part in comics to me. Even our visuals like James laying with the sun rising at the end like a sacrificed lamb or Tobey in the second being passed over the people in the tram like he’s Jesus. It’s very much good and evil, which I think is in a lot of religion. Also I think it’s about heroes. Peter’s everyman. When Spider-Man swings through the city you hear melancholic music. He’s always tortured with his responsibility and he’s trying to grow up and be a man with these powers. When Superman flies through the air it’s happy music, but Spider-Man’s always been tortured with his work and that makes him a human. You don’t separate the man from the mask. He’s always been in sync for me when it comes to Peter.
How do you interpret where Peter and Mary Jane are at the end of this film? It seems ambiguous.
Which I love, because that’s relationships. It’s not cut and dry.
What was your experience like at the Tokyo Premiere?
I love Japan. They respect Spider-Man. They love Spider-Man in Tokyo. They love comics. They love illustration. I thought it was appropriate we had our premiere there.
What challenges do you face at this point in your career trying to find the right role? What kind of characters are you drawn to and what kind of women do you hope to play?
I don’t deliberate so much. I’m very instinctual. I’m not, like, career-planning. For me it’s about the story and the director and who else is in the film.
What else are you signed on for?
I’m doing a movie with Simon Pegg, who’s in “Shaun of the Dead” and has “Hot Fuzz” coming out. We’re doing a comedy based on this book called “How to Lose Friends and Alienate People.” I play Alison and she works at the faux “Vanity Fair,” which isn’t called “Vanity Fair” in the story. It’s a really great script. I was like, “Yes!” even before I finished it. It’s about the goings on in the celebrity gossip world. It makes fun of so many people. [laughs]
Mary Jane is in distress again in this movie. Were you happy that she actually does something during that fight, where she dropped that cinder block?
Yeah. I was like, “Sam, give me something. ” So he gave me a cinder block. It was funny because the cinder block weighed less than these microphones. It was like air. I had to… [Kirsten mimes the act with a pretend fake cinder block].
Now discuss this story in CBR’s TV/Film forum.
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