While hosting the Golden Globes in 2014, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey poked fun at Matthew McConaughey's 45-pound Dallas Buyers Club weight loss by referring to it as "what we actresses call being in a movie." (The joke felt so real that it was later, err, recycled, by Jimmy Kimmel at this year's Oscars.) However, there are some very specific sets of circumstances where actresses are not required to look like Victoria's Secret Angels before getting in front of the camera. These include having a director who is Sofia Coppola and a set which is in close proximity to Southern fried chicken. Luckily for Kirsten Dunst, both these factors were in effect while shooting The Beguiled in rural Louisiana.
Ahead of the female-centric southern gothic premiering next month, Dunst told Variety that Coppola initially suggested she lose some weight to play a teacher at a Civil War girls' school. "It's so much harder when you're 35 and hate working out," Dunst said of her understandable resistance to do so, adding that the film's location was the perfect excuse. "I'm eating fried chicken and McDonald's before work. So I'm like, 'We have no options! I'm sorry I can't lose weight for this role.'"
The Coppola-Dunst screen team has historically been committed to flouting patriarchal beauty expectations. When she was cast in The Virgin Suicides as a teen, Dunst was told by her then-27-year-old director that she should never fix her crooked teeth. Over the ensuing years, the actress who played France's most sugar-addicted queen has actually been pretty blessed when it comes to career diets, with her preparation for Fargo consisting of sitting in bed eating grilled cheese and take-out Thai. We're pretty sure IRL Civil War schoolteachers would have preferred to slam a couple of Egg McMuffins before tending to the wounds of soldiers.
Text Hannah Ongley