Kirsten Dunst’s receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 29 should have been cause for only celebration. It was a big moment for the actress, albeit one long overdue—she’s been delivering consistently masterful performances across teen romps (Bring It On), period pieces (Marie Antoinette), cult classics (Drop Dead Gorgeous), and underrated gems (Melancholia) for the past 25 years. Dunst recently revealed that she’s often felt overlooked by her industry (“Maybe they just think I’m the girl from Bring It On. . . . Maybe I don’t play the game enough”), and the actor was visibly moved as her friends, family, and collaborators sang her praises. All of which made it especially frustrating when Reuters sent out a since-deleted tweet saying that Dunst is “best known for her role as Spiderman’s girlfriend.”
In a delightful twist, the sexist tweet only fanned the flames of Dunst’s recent resurgence as a pop-cultural icon. Of course, she never really went away: Audiences have flocked to see her onscreen ever since she earned a Golden Globe nomination at age 12 for her star-making turn in Interview With a Vampire. Nevertheless, the tweet sent her loyal fan base on a social media lovefest, highlighting just how impactful Dunst’s films, characters, and general presence have been. As one Twitter user put it when Reuters’s tweet inspired a new meme highlighting the versatility of female performers: “Kirsten Dunst could do Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, but Leonardo DiCaprio couldn’t do Bring It On.”
The latest proof of her chameleon-like talent: Dunst is currently starring in Showtime’s kooky new dark comedy On Becoming a God in Central Florida, for which she is also an executive producer. Rocking adult braces and a denim-heavy wardrobe befitting of its 1992 setting, Dunst plays Krystal Stubbs, a water park employee who schemes her way up the ranks of the cultish pyramid scheme that ruined her life. Dunst is predictably dazzling in the series, her first project in two years since giving birth to her son with actor husband Jesse Plemons. Flipping from hilarious to devastating (often in the same scene), it’s a performance so lived-in that it would be borderline criminal for Emmy voters not to take notice come awards season. Vogue caught up with Dunst to chat about the road to On Becoming a God, how her approach to acting has changed since motherhood, and the scrapped fantasy series she and Sofia Coppola are dying to make.