The 22-year-old actress talks about obsessed fans, romance, flirting, and the dark side of growing up in the spotlight. By Kevin Sessums
Kirsten Dunst, true to form, doesn't like taking a back seat to anyone. We're being driven to the Museum of Modern Art's outpost in Queens to see its "Fashioning Fiction in Photography Since 1990" exhibit, and she's getting carsick. Rolling down her window doesn't seem to help. Humming Modest Mouse's "Float On" -- the band's "Dramamine" might be a better song choice -- doesn't take her mind off her nausea. And seeing a gigantic billboard of her face in an ad for Spider- Man 2 looming above the highway seems to make her even more queasy. "They straightened my teeth for those billboards. See, I have slightly crooked teeth," she says, opening up to show me before quickly shutting her mouth when she feels a burp trying to surface. "A ginger ale would help me right about now. I'm OK as long as I'm driving," she says, longing for her BMW SUV back in Los Angeles even though she is about to trade it in for a more politically correct Prius. "I'm always being asked to do things for environmental groups. I go, 'Yeah, I'd love to, but I drive an SUV.' So I thought I should get my act together. I can't be a hypocrite. There are too many actors who are. They roll away in their Hummers as they're saying, 'Bush is destroying the environment! Fill 'er up!'" Dunst's freshly scrubbed face -- greening around the gills -- is embellished with just a tiny touch of mascara. She wears a pair of Mayle heels and a $15 vintage red-white-and-blue dress. Her hair is swept up into that unkempt attempt at a ponytail characteristic of horsey young women of a certain nonchalant elegance. The message: I'm more game-set-match than set-and-comb. It's a look that suits her not only personally, but also professionally, for she will soon be seen playing a champion tennis player opposite Paul Bettany in the romantic comedy Wimbledon. "I was having trouble with my scenes until I realized I'm basically the man in the story and he's the woman," she says. "The story is all about how loving me improves his own game."