Director and actress, Jane campion and Kirsten dunst, they admired each other before they met, but it was Campion who took the first step and they finally agreed on the film The power of the dog, which went through the Venice Festival and now participates in the Mar del Plata Film Festival.
After getting hit with The Virgin SuicidesBy Sofia Coppola, Campion wrote a letter to Dunst around this time and they talked about adapting an Alice Munro story, but it was years before they had a chance to work together. They finally made it happen with The power of the dog, an epic and intimate family drama set in Montana, USA, in 1925.
The film could earn Dunst his first Oscar nomination for his heartbreaking portrayal of Rose, a frail single mother whose new brother-in-law, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, seems determined to destroy it.
Kirsten Dunst, co-star of “The Power of the Dog,” from the director of “The Piano Lesson.” Netflix photo
The AP agency spoke with Campion and Dunst about their story, which will hit Netflix on December 1.
–His admiration for Dunst goes beyond “The Virgin Suicides”.
Campion: Yes, Melancholia for me it was one of the best female performances I had ever seen.
Dunst: Jane, you’ve never told me that. I’m going to cry.
Jane Campion with the stars of “The Power of the Dog”, Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst at the Venice Film Festival. ANSA photo
Campion: She was so beautiful and the character she created is so fragile that I just fell in love with her and her worldly understanding of the end of the world and the depression she seemed to be burdened with. Kirsten is there for me. She is my Gena Rowlands, and I mean it. And we were born the same day.
Dunst: Yes, we are both girls from April 30th. Just like Lars von Trier.
–I read that Elisabeth Moss was considered before for the role of Rose, but there were scheduling problems.
Campion: I can’t think of anyone else for the role right now. It was sad at the time, but he had Kirsten in mind after a lifetime of watching her work. Everyone said Jesse (Plemons) would make a great George. He was reluctant, but Kirsten convinced him.
Jesse Plemons and Kirsten Dunst are a couple in real life. Netflix photo
Dunst: Jesse got the script first and I said, “You are going to make this movie” I was a nice add-on pack for Jesse.
Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons are a couple and have two children. The actress says she almost begged the people at Showtime to let her make the movie. “That’s why I wore a wig in the film, because I was supposed to come back to do a second season of the show. On Becoming a God in Central Florida. Then I got pregnant and did not want to work pregnant because of the Covid “.
Campion: I think the wig was good, because looking at your hair now, it’s too pretty.
Dunst: Made me look a bit scruffy.
Benedict Cumberbatch in this epic and intimate family drama set in Montana, United States, in 1925. Photo Netflix
Campion: Kirsten has such a beautiful and feminine quality and kindness that I think she is the essence of Rose. That is very important to our story. If we don’t love Rose and we don’t care about what is happening to her, then there is no tension.
Dunst: I’m bad at what I do. I’m not good at putting into words how I’m going to approach something. It is not so intellectual.
Campion: I trust that. In fact, I like that better. I remember looking at her behind the camera once and she had to come out with a load of freshly washed clothes and start hanging them on the rope and looking at her son. She couldn’t believe how curious she was just to see how she would do that.
The New Zealander won the Golden Lion for best director at the Venice Film Festival on September 11. Photo EFE
Dunst: It’s nice to meet Jane in a different way than playing Rose, because playing Rose wasn’t the most fun. It amuses me to think of other things. In fact, there is something about you that I like for the role that I will play next. I thought, I have to pay attention to Jane because there might be something there for me.
Campion: My anthropology should help you. I am very curious about people.
Dunst: You are very present. She took a photo with a cell phone of Jesse putting her hand on my shoulder and it is one of the most beautiful cell phone photos I have ever seen. The way you see the world? I often think I want to switch with you just for an hour to see how it feels.
Shrimp or Oscars
Campion: You always know what is good. She and her friends said something like the movie was a good shrimp or something, right?
Kirsten Dunst arriving at the premiere of “The Power of the Dog,” which will premiere on Netflix on December 1. ANSA photo
Dunst: Yes, when we saw the movie for the first time I said: “This will get a lot of shrimp”, which is a code word that my friends and I have because it is corny to talk about awards. So we call them shrimp.
-Jane, is it exciting to get back into the shrimp conversation? (Campion won an Oscar in 1994 for the screenplay for “The Piano Lesson.”)
Campion: I think the shrimp conversation is designed to go up and down or whatever. I don’t think it’s helpful to get involved in it. I feel like we are living life and enjoying the moment. But of course I am delighted that people are experiencing it in a strong way and that they have an appetite for complex material.
The director says that she began her career with the idea of having a three-minute animated short before a movie at a film festival. “Most people would say, ‘I want to win the Academy Award or I want to make feature films.’ I never said that because it was beyond my understanding. The goals gradually increased.”
Dunst: My goal was also simple: to be on a television series. And then it came Interview with the vampire, in 1994. And then everything else.
“The power of the dog” will be screened on Sunday 21 at 15, at Ambassador 1, and on Monday 22 at 20:15, at Cinema 1. It will not be available online.
Reference from clarin