Original Spider-Man trilogy star Kirsten Dunst has spoken out about the pay she received for her work in the popular superhero movies. Alongside Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker, Dunst starred in those movies as Mary Jane Watson. While she’s not the titular character suiting up to fight crime, she does play a very large part in the story and it could be argued that she’s just as important.
In any case, while those Spider-Man movies were huge hits at the box office, Dunst says she didn’t see much of those earnings. In a new interview with The Independent, the actress describes the pay gap between what she earned and the number on Maguire’s paycheck as “very extreme”. At the time, however, Dunst admits she didn’t give it too much thought, but she can’t help but question it now, looking at how prominently she was featured in the movies and their marketing materials.
“The pay disparity between me and Spider-Man was very extreme. I didn’t even think about it. I was just like, ‘Oh yeah, Tobey is playing Spider-Man.’ But you know who was on the cover of the second ‘Spider-Man’ poster? Spider-Man and ME.”
It wasn’t just the pay disparity that affected Dunst’s experience filming the Spider-Man movies. In her Independent interview, the actress also details how she was just 19 years old when she was asked by a producer to have her teeth fixed. The request was apparently sprung onto the young actress by surprise when she was literally driven to the dentist’s office. Even with this immense pressure to have her teeth adjusted right then for the sake of the role, Kirsten Dunst drew a line and refused to get out of the car.
“I was like, ‘Mmmmm, no, I like my teeth.’ Also, Sofia [Coppola] loved my teeth. The fact that the coolest girl liked how I looked, that’s what preserved me. She made me feel pretty. As a 16-year-old girl, you feel like crap about yourself, right? So to have my first experience of a more ‘sexy’ role be through her eyes gave me a confidence that helped me deal with a lot of other things.”
Dunst refers to her collaborations with Sofia Coppola, which started with Coppola casting a then 16-year-old Dunst in The Virgin Suicides. The fact that Coppola, who recently described Dunst as the “top actress of her age,” was such a fan of Dunst as she was had made quite the impression on the teenager. Ultimately, Dunst never did have her teeth altered, though the final version of the Spider-Man 2 poster did have her teeth digitally edited.
These qualms aside, Kirsten Dunst is still very much open to returning to the role of Mary Jane if the opportunity presents itself. It’s no secret that Tobey Maguire is heavily rumored to appear as Peter Parker in Spider-Man: No Way Home, and there have also been rumors Dunst could appear as Mary Jane as well. None of this has been officially confirmed, but last year, Dunst did tell Variety that she would “never say no to something like that,” adding, “I’d be old MJ at this point with little Spidey babies.”
We’ll see what happens with the Spider-Verse when Spider-Man: No Way Home is released in theaters on Dec. 17, 2021. This news comes to us from The Independent.