How Tom Cruise Helped Kirsten Dunst Land This Childhood Role

In the words of Kirsten Dunst, “Jersey got Jersey’s back.”

In a newly published interview for The Cut, the Power of the Dog actress recalled the special way her Interview With the Vampire co-star, Tom Cruise, helped her land the breakout role. “Well, we’re both from New Jersey,” she said of herself and the Oscar nominee. “And we had this screen test where he had to pick up each little girl.”

For Dunst, who turned 12 just before the movie came out, a few helpful words from Cruise might have made all the difference. “I was the tallest one, and he was like, ‘Tuck in your legs,’ so that I looked really tiny in his arms,” she explained to The Cut. “He was trying to help me out since Neil Jordan, the director, wanted to see how each girl looked when Tom picked us up because they wanted the character to look like a bit like a doll, a little girl.”

She quipped, “Jersey got Jersey’s back.” Dunst was born in Point Pleasant, New Jersey while Cruise, who was born in New York and reportedly attended many different schools, ultimately graduated from high school in Glenn Ridge, New Jersey.

The acclaimed actors have since made a splash in Hollywood, with Dunst earning her first of three Golden Globe nominations for her performance in the horror film. 

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