Kirsten Dunst reunites with Sofia Coppola for The Beguiled
US actress has an old friend and familiar collaborator in the director of her latest movie, The Beguiled
In her fourth collaboration with US director Sofia Coppola - after The Virgin Suicides (1999), Marie Antoinette (2006) and a cameo in The Bling Ring (2013) - Kirsten Dunst plays an angry, repressed teacher in a Virginia girl's school during the American Civil War in The Beguiled.
When a wounded enemy soldier (Colin Farrell) is given shelter by the women, his presence in the all-female environment brings to light hidden frustrations and tensions, and the simmering pot boils over with the actions of Dunst's spinster character, Miss Edwina.
Also starring Nicole Kidman and Elle Fanning, The Beguiled is now showing here.
For US actress Dunst, 35, being directed by Coppola again was like working with an old friend, someone she meets with every time she is in New York City, where Coppola lives.
At our interview at the Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills, Dunst said: "It is so nice in this industry to have that kind of relationship where you continue to work together over the years.
"We are very much in tune with each other, and we do not really need to say much to know what the other is thinking or wants."
I had to ask her about Farrell and the infamous "calendar", supposedly filled with the photos the women took of him as he did heavy labour for some of The Beguiled's scenes.
"He said it is his favourite movie he has ever made," Dunst said, with a laugh.
"He is the only person naked in this movie, and he was very good at being the eye candy and being objectified. Sofia took a bunch of pictures of him while he was working in the garden, and she wanted to make a calendar for all of us. He was a good sport about it."
At the interview, Dunst was wearing an engagement ring from US actor Jesse Plemons, whom she met on the set of their TV series Fargo last year.
"I am very happy," she said.
The wedding will probably be next year because she enjoys "being engaged". So what makes Plemons, 29, "the One"?
"Growing up, everyone goes through different relationships. You find out what matters, and I just think it is important to be with your best friend," she said.
Coming up for Dunst is her directorial debut with US author-poet Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar. She is writing the screenplay, and shooting will probably happen next year.
Dakota Fanning has been cast as the lead, along with Plemons.
Given Dunst's sunny personality, what made her pick this depressing 1963 novel?
"It was my favourite book when I was younger. I think that it is such a rite of passage, and the poetry in the way she expresses her inner thoughts made me feel less lonely," Dunst said.
"There is something that really connects to the unspoken sadness of growing up.
"The book awakened things and was relatable to me as a teenager, but there is an element of comedy in the story that I am going to tell."