Acclaimed actress Kirsten Dunst‘s latest role is in the new Showtime series On Becoming a God in Central Florida. Despite only just kicking off, the show has already earned quite a bit of praise — and Dunst’s participation is certainly part of that.
Of course, Dunst has so many incredible roles in her arsenal, it’s hard to keep them all straight. And while there are so many to choose from, this writer has decided that when ranking them, to stick with some of the most popular (also, the ones that she remembers best). So here’s a definitive* (*not at all definitive) ranking of five of Dunst’s most memorable performances.
On Aug. 29, 2019, Dunst was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Reuters made the very poor choice of marking the occasion with a since-deleted tweet that read: “Kirsten Dunst, best known for her role as Spiderman’s girlfriend, receives a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame.”
It would take way too long to explain how wrong this is, not the least of which is that, if you’re going to say that people only know Dunst for playing Mary Jane in Sam Raimi’s early ’00s Spider-Man trilogy, at least give her credit for originating the character on the big screen. No, it’s not her greatest role ever, but she’s certainly memorable. And no one will ever forget this scene.
Yes, the new Jumanji flicks are good. But nothing beats the original. Back when it was a board game (mind-blowing, I know), it was Dunst’s Judy and her brother, Peter, who entered Jumanji, where they worked with Robin Williams’ Alan Parrish to end the game.
This wasn’t Dunst’s first role, but it was one of her most notable early turns, and she shows that she can work alongside the likes of Williams and Bonnie Hunt, two of the biggest names of the ’90s.
‘Drop Dead Gorgeous’
As she grew up, Dunst continued to show her chops. She entered the world of pageants and camp (two things that perfectly lend themselves to one another) with the satirical Drop Dead Gorgeous (which is now on Netflix, so you have no excuse not to watch it).
The best part of this is that while Dunst is at the helm, this film provided Dunst with so many incredible women to work alongside, including the then-unknown Amy Adams. Dunst’s Amber is both grating and lovable here, making it one of her most fun roles to date.
‘Interview With the Vampire’
Taking it back, Dunst was just a preteen when she scored her breakout role as Claudia in Interview with the Vampire. It’s nearly impossible to downplay how awesome she is here: She’s acting opposite Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise. In the year 1994. This was incredible at the time, but looking back, even more so.
What’s more, Dunst not only holds her own — she steals nearly every scene as Claudia, a vampire who, though she doesn’t age in looks, matures significantly throughout the film. Rightfully, Dunst earned plenty of critical praise for this role, including a nomination for a Golden Globe.
‘Bring It On’
OK, a bit of early ’00s teen rom-com bias here. But if you don’t love Dunst in Bring It On, do you really love her at all? This was the Dunst heyday, and the surprisingly poignant cheerleader flick that manages to address white privilege and racism in a way unseen at the time led the charge.
Besides, who can forget the above soon? I’m sorry, but Dunst deserves an Oscar for making brushing your teeth into foreplay. This is just a fact we’re all going to have to live with.
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