Kirsten Dunst says she hasn’t acted in 2 years because she’s only offered ‘sad mom’ roles

Kirsten Dunst red carpet 2023
Monica Schipper / Staff

If you’re wondering why you haven’t seen Kirsten Dunst onscreen in a while, it’s because she’s stepped back from her career after she found she wasn’t being offered roles she wanted to take as she ages. The 41-year-old actress revealed in a new interview with Marie Claire that “every role I was being offered was the sad mom,” even after being nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her 2021 role in The Power of the Dog.

“To be honest, that’s been hard for me…because I need to feed myself. The hardest thing is being a mom and…not feeling like, I have nothing for myself,” Dunst said of the long break she took before starring in director Alex Garland’s new drama, Civil War. “That’s every mother — not just me.”

She continued, “There’s definitely less good roles for women my age.”

She said the lack of quality roles is one of the reasons she was drawn to Civil War. In the film, she plays a photojournalist trying to both document and survive a war-torn United States.

“When I read the script, I thought, I’ve never done anything like this,” she said.

Dunst started acting in the late 1980s, and by the early 2000s, she was an A-list star thanks to roles in movies like The Virgin Suicides, Bring It On, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and the Spider-Man trilogy. But being a young starlet came with some struggles, as she told Marie Claire. In her interview, she recounted some of the sexist mistreatment she faced on the Spider-Man set.

“It was a joke, but on Spider-Man, they would call me ‘girly-girl’ sometimes on the walkie-talkie. ‘We need girly-girl.’ But I never said anything. … Like, don’t call me that!” she said. She noted that before the #MeToo movement, “You didn’t say anything. You just took it.”

Now, she’s more in charge of her own career — but facing another kind of sexism, as Hollywood severely limits roles for women as they age.

Kirsten Dunst stars alongside Jesse Plemons, Wagner Moura, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Cailee Spaeny, and Nick Offerman in Civil War, which opens in theaters nationwide on April 12.