Wednesday, June 30, 2004

'Spider-Man' transformed Dunst

By Bill Muller
The Arizona Republic

Kirsten Dunst wants Spider-Man dead.

Asked how she would end the series, the actress who plays Mary Jane Watson (Peter Parker/Spidey's girlfriend) in Spider-Man 2 says the hero, not the girl, should shuffle off this mortal coil.

"It would actually be really interesting if Spider-Man died I think," Dunst says. "Because, why doesn't the superhero ever die? It would be so sad and beautiful if Mary Jane was alone and pregnant and he died. She could give birth to a spider baby and carry on the series."

Dunst, who is under contract for a third film, has vowed not to do a fourth.

"Don't wear out a good thing," she says.

It's not like Dunst, 22, needs a third Spider-Man movie to build her fame. After the first film, which grossed more than $400 million, she became one of the most sought-after young actresses in Hollywood, and now she's known worldwide.

Other things changed from the first film to the second, which opens Wednesday.

"I got to have my own hair and makeup person, my own person doing my wardrobe," she says. "I had much more perks in this one, so that was fun to have a little posse because I've never had that before." She also was less eager to hang from wires for the movie's multiple stunts.

Though she's better known for playing Mary Jane, Dunst had collected some impressive credits before making the first Spider-Man.

As a child, she appeared withTom Cruise in Interview With the Vampire (1994), and later was lauded for her performance in The Virgin Suicides, a tale of suburban dysfunction directed by Sofia Coppola.

Dunst made an even bigger impression as a cheerleader in Bring It On, a wholesome image she quickly dismantled by playing a wild teen in Crazy/Beautiful. But so far, her screen highlight is the now famous upside-down kiss (with co-star Tobey Maguire) from Spider-Man.

Heroes who soared - and some who sankDespite the pyrotechnics of big-budget action flicks, often it's a good character that makes the movie go. Here's a look at some that worked and some that didn't.


• Worked: Tobey Maguire, Spider-Man. A good Spidey, but a great Peter Parker, combining innocence and determination.

• Didn't work: Ben Affleck, Daredevil. Smirks and groans as a blind crime-fighter in a red suit, and gets upstaged by villain Bullseye (Colin Farrell).

Sci-fi swashbucklers

• Worked: Harrison Ford, Star Wars. Han Solo brings much-needed witty banter to George Lucas' grandiose space opera.

• Didn't work: Ewan McGregor, Star Wars. As Jedi knight Obi-Wan Kenobi, he's too young to be anybody's mentor, and he's saddled with leaden dialogue.

Monster slayers

• Worked: Wesley Snipes, Blade. Exudes quiet menace as the half-human, half-undead vampire hunter. Looks good in the shades, too.

• Didn't work: Hugh Jackman, Van Helsing. You'd think a guy shooting Dracula with an automatic crossbow would be more interesting.

Butt-kicking babes

• Worked: Uma Thurman, Kill Bill.

With her yellow motorcycle suit and samurai sword, she's hell-bent on revenge. We'd hate to be Ethan Hawke right now.

• Didn't work: Angelina Jolie, Tomb Raider. Smug and aloof, she's outperformed by her padded bra.

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