Kirsten Caroline Dunst (born April 30, 1982) is an American actress, singer and model. She made her film debut in Oedipus Wrecks, a short film directed by Woody Allen for the anthology New York Stories (1989). At the age of 12, Dunst gained widespread recognition playing the role of vampire Claudia in Interview with the Vampire (1994), a performance for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress. She appeared in Little Women the same year and in Jumanji the following year to further acclaim. After supporting roles in the television series ER (1996) and films such as Wag the Dog (1997), Small Soldiers (1998) and The Virgin Suicides (1999), Dunst transitioned into romantic comedies and comedy dramas, starring in Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999), Bring It On (2000), Get Over It and Crazy/Beautiful (both 2001).
Dunst achieved international fame as a result of her portrayal of Mary Jane Watson in the Spider-Man trilogy (2002–07). Since then her films have included the romantic comedy Wimbledon(2004), the romantic science fiction Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) and Cameron Crowe's tragicomedy Elizabethtown (2005). She played the title role in Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette (2006) and starred in the comedy How to Lose Friends & Alienate People (2008). She won the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival and the Saturn Award for Best Actress for her performance in Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011).
Dunst was born in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, to Inez (née Rupprecht) and Klaus Dunst. She has one younger brother named Christian, born in 1986. Her father worked as a medical services executive, and her mother was an artist and one-time gallery owner. Dunst's father is German, originally from Hamburg, and Dunst's mother, who was born in New Jersey, is of German and Swedish descent (Dunst affirmed her German citizenship in 2011 and now holds passports as a dual citizen of the United States and Germany).
Until the age of eight, Dunst lived in Brick Township, New Jersey, where she attended Ranney School. In 1991, her parents separated, and she subsequently moved with her mother and younger brother to Los Angeles, California, where she attended Laurel Hall School in North Hollywood. In 1995, her mother filed for divorce.The following year Dunst began attending Notre Dame High School, a private Catholic high school in Los Angeles.
After graduating from Notre Dame in 2000, Dunst continued the acting career that she had begun. As a teenager, she found it difficult to deal with her rising fame, and for a period she blamed her mother for pushing her into acting as a child. However, she later expressed that her mother "always had the best intentions". When asked if she had any regrets about the way she spent her childhood, Dunst said: "Well, it's not a natural way to grow up, but it's the way I grew up and I wouldn't change it. I have my stuff to work out ... I don't think anybody can sit around and say: 'My life is more screwed up than yours.' Everybody has their issues."
Dunst was treated for depression in early 2008 at the Cirque Lodge treatment center in Utah. She explained that she had been feeling low in the six months before her admission. In late March she checked out of the treatment center and began filming All Good Things. In May she went public with this information in order to highlight the struggle faced by so many other successful women and to dispel false rumors that had been very painful for her friends and family. She has also gone public detailing her "sedate lifestyle" and the fact that she has a single apartment in New York with one bedroom.
She is currently dating her On the Road co-star Garrett Hedlund.
Dunst supported Democratic candidate John Kerry in the 2004 U.S. presidential election. Four years later, she supported Democrat Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election. Dunst revealed that she supported Obama "from the beginning" of the presidential campaign. In support of this, she directed and narrated a documentary entitled Why Tuesday, explaining the United States tradition of voting on Tuesdays. Dunst explained that Tuesday is "not a holiday, and [the United States is] one of the lowest democratic countries in voter turnout." She felt it important to "influence people in a positive way" to vote on November 4.
Her charity work includes participation with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, in which she helped design and promote a necklace, for which all proceeds from sales went to the Glaser foundation. She also has helped with breast cancer awareness; in September 2008 she participated in the Stand Up to Cancer telethon, to help raise funds to accelerate cancer research. On December 5, 2009, she participated in the Teletón in Mexico, to help raise funds to treat cancer and children rehabilitation.[