Kirsten Caroline Dunst ( born April 30, 1982) is an American actress, singer and model. She made her film debut in Woody Allen’s short film Oedipus Wrecks for the anthology film New York Stories (1989). At the age of twelve, Dunst gained widespread recognition as vampire Claudia in Interview with the Vampire (1994), a role for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress. She appeared in Little Women the same year and in Jumanji the following year. After a recurring role in the NBC medical drama ER (1996–97) as Charlie Chemingo and co-starring in films such as Wag the Dog (1997), Small Soldiers (1998) and The Virgin Suicides (1999), Dunst transitioned into romantic comedies and comedy-dramas, starring in Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999), Bring It On (2000), Get Over It and Crazy/Beautiful (both released in 2001).
Dunst achieved international fame for her portrayal of Mary Jane Watson in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy (2002–07). Since then, her films have included the romantic comedy Wimbledon (2004), the science fiction romantic comedy-drama Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) and Cameron Crowe’s romantic tragicomedy Elizabethtown (2005). She played the title role in Sofia Coppola’s biographical film Marie Antoinette (2006) and starred in the comedy film How to Lose Friends & Alienate People (2008). She won the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival and the Saturn Award for Best Actress for her performance in Lars von Trier’s Melancholia (2011).
In 2001, Dunst made her singing debut in the film Get Over It, in which she performed two songs. She also sang the jazz song “After You’ve Gone” for the end credits of the film The Cat’s Meow (2001).
Dunst was born in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, to Inez (née Rupprecht) and Klaus Dunst. She has a younger brother, Christian. Her father worked as a medical services executive, and her mother worked for Lufthansa as a flight attendant and was an artist and one-time gallery owner. Dunst’s father is German, originally from Hamburg, and Dunst’s mother, who was born in New Jersey, is of Swedish descent.
Until the age of eleven, Dunst lived in Brick Township, New Jersey, where she attended Ranney School. In 1993, her parents separated, and she subsequently moved with her mother and brother to Los Angeles, California, where she attended Laurel Hall School in North Hollywood. In 1995, her mother filed for divorce. The following year Dunst began attending Notre Dame High School, a private Roman Catholic high school in Los Angeles.
After graduating from Notre Dame High School in 2000, Dunst continued the acting career that she had begun. As a teenager, she found it difficult to deal with her rising fame, and for a period she blamed her mother for pushing her into acting as a child. However, she later expressed that her mother “always had the best intentions”. When asked if she had any regrets about the way she spent her childhood, Dunst said: “Well, it’s not a natural way to grow up, but it’s the way I grew up and I wouldn’t change it. I have my stuff to work out … I don’t think anybody can sit around and say, ‘My life is more screwed up than yours.’ Everybody has their issues.
Dunst was treated for depression in early 2008 at the Cirque Lodge treatment center in Utah. She explained that she had been feeling low in the six months before her admission. In late March 2008, she checked out of the treatment center and began filming All Good Things. In May 2008, she went public with this information in order to highlight the struggle faced by so many other successful women and to dispel rumors that had been very painful for her friends and family.
Dunst dated actor Jake Gyllenhaal from 2002 to 2004. In 2012, she began dating her On the Road co-star Garrett Hedlund.
On August 31, 2014, along with other female celebrities, Dunst’s personal nude photos were leaked online during the 2014 celebrity photo hack.
She gained German citizenship in 2011 and now holds dual citizenship of Germany and the United States.
Dunst supported Democratic candidate John Kerry for the 2004 U.S. presidential election Four years later, she supported Democrat Barack Obama for the 2008 presidential election. Dunst revealed that she supported Obama “from the beginning” of the presidential campaign. In support of this, she directed and narrated a documentary entitled Why Tuesday, explaining the United States tradition of voting on Tuesdays. Dunst explained that Tuesday is “not a holiday, and the United States is one of the lowest democratic countries in voter turnout. She felt it important to “influence people in a positive way” to vote on November 4, 2008.
Dunst has stated that she is a feminist.
Her charity work includes participation with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, in which she helped design and promote a necklace, for which all proceeds from sales went to the Glaser foundation. She also has helped with breast cancer awareness, in September 2008, she participated in the Stand Up to Cancer telethon, to help raise funds to accelerate cancer research. On December 5, 2009, she participated in the Teletón in Mexico, to help raise funds to treat cancer and children rehabilitation.