Kirsten Dunst Got Tired of the Offers For “Depressed Roles” After Melancholia


In Hollywood, actors often find themselves trapped in a loop of similar characters. But Kirsten Dunst isn’t one to be confined by expectations. She’s not afraid to break away from what people expect of her, and that’s what makes her stand out in the film industry.

Kirsten Dunst in a still from Hidden Figures
Kirsten Dunst in a still from Hidden Figures

After years of battling typecasting, particularly following a critically acclaimed performance, Dunst took control of her career. The actress, who started her career at just the mere age of six, stepped away from the “depressed girl” roles and jumped into all sorts of different projects.

Kirsten Dunst Shunned Depressed Roles After Melancholia

Kirsten Dunst as Justine in Melancholia (2011)
Kirsten Dunst as Justine in Melancholia (2011)

Kirsten Dunst‘s career skyrocketed after her haunting performance as a child vampire in Interview with the Vampire (1994). However, her critically acclaimed role in Lars von Trier’s Melancholia (2011) seemed to pigeonhole her into playing melancholic characters. The Hollywood actress recalled in an interview with GQ:

“They’re like – ‘Oh, she’s only offered these sad mom roles.’ Like, yeah I don’t want to play depressed [moms]. After Melancholia, I was being offered all depressed things.”

“That’s why I did a comedy. I’m not that actress. I feel like, at this point in my life, I can play anything. I’m not afraid. I’d rather do something weird and off-kilter, and work with a first-time director, than do anything middle of the road, because I would just be depressed doing that.”

Her character in Melancholia is named Justine. She is one of the two lead characters in the film, alongside her sister Claire. The movie explores their relationship as a mysterious planet threatens to collide with Earth. Dunst’s performance as Justine was critically acclaimed and earned her the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress.

Kirsten Dunst Kept Getting “sad mom” Roles

Kirsten Dunst revealed in Marie Claire’s last month’s cover story that she took a break from acting after her Oscar-nominated role in The Power of the Dog (2021).

Rose Gordon
Kirsten Dunst as Rose Gordon in a still from The Power of the Dog

Upset by the lack of variety in roles, the 41-year-old complained that she kept getting offers to play only “sad mom” characters. This limited her choices, and with possible age bias in Hollywood, she found herself without any interesting projects for “two years.”

Even though the Point Pleasant native cherished her time with her children, she also really wanted to get back into acting. She stressed how it’s crucial for moms to have fulfilling careers along with being mothers:

“To be honest, that’s been hard for me…because I need to feed myself. The hardest thing is being a mom and…not feeling like, I have nothing for myself. That’s every mother — not just me.” 

Anyways, the Bring It On star will soon be seen playing the role of a war photographer in her upcoming movie, Civil War. Early reviews from various screenings and festivals have been incredibly positive, generating a lot of buzz.

Watch Melancholia and The Power of the Dog on Apple TV.

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