Kirsten Dunst on ‘Melancholia’

The award-winning actress talks about her new film with controversial director Lars Von Trier, including her now-famous nude scene.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

Melancholia has made a lot of news this year, from director Lars Von Trier’s comments in Cannes to Kirsten Dunst winning Best Actress at the festival to Von Trier claiming he’ll never speak publicly again. Dunst finally made it to Los Angeles to discuss the film so I got to ask her some questions.


CraveOnline: The point of view of the movie seems to be if you know the end is coming, you have to be depressed about it. That makes it an interesting character to play, but would you subscribe to that worldview?

Kirsten Dunst: I don’t think that Justine knows the end of the world is coming when she’s at her wedding. I think that there’s something she senses, but I don’t think that’s what makes her depressed. I think that she’s gone through this a few times in her life, and I think that the wedding and the pressure of getting married and realizing that this man isn’t who she wants to be with is making her depressed, and there’s something else she’s longing for that’s not in her realm.


Do you think Lars Von Trier, or at least in the film, believes that depression is an inevitability?

No, I don’t think so. Lars has spoken openly about his depression, and there are scenes in this movie that are, verbatim, Lars went through, but I wouldn’t say that. He didn’t talk much, either. He’d talk about his depression with you, but he’s not an over-talker.


The scene where you’re lying on the grass in the moonlight is really beautiful. Was that a tough decision to do a nude scene?

I knew I wasn’t going to be in a Lars Von Trier film and get away without doing one. Hey, if you’re going to do it, might as well be in a Von Trier film. Why not? It looks so pretty, and I knew the context it was going to be in and it wasn’t a surprise to me. Not that it’s the most fun thing to do, but we joke about it and they close the set and they make it comfortable.


Have you decided what dress you’re going to wear to the Oscars when you’re nominated?

No, I don’t want to jinx things either, you know? A lot of it has to do with how much money you have for your campaign and all that. No, not dresses. That would be awesome, I would embrace that. Winning Cannes was pretty spectacular. I’m very grateful. If I was nominated, I would be very, very grateful and honored. My family would be so happy, and crying. It’d be great because my family really celebrates things.

Photo Credit: Christian Geisnaes