The ‘Spider-Man’ scene Kirsten Dunst would never do again
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The 'Spider-Man' scene Kirsten Dunst would never do again

Before Kirsten Dunst made the transition to the teen and adult roles for which she would become most acclaimed, the New Jersey-born actor gave a series of child roles that imbued her with her first experience in the entertainment industry, including those in Interview with the Vampire and Jumanji.

The Virgin Suicides marked the midway point between Dunst’s childhood and adult careers, and by the time 2002 rolled around, she had established herself as a significant player in Hollywood, especially after performing in the role of Mary Jane Watts in Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man movie, a role she reprised twice over the next five years.

Spider-Man is indeed one of the most iconic superhero movies of the 2000s and serves as one of the efforts before the divisive Marvel Cinematic Universe was created. Tobey Maguire played the web slinger alongside a brilliant cast of Willem Dafoe, James Franco, Cliff Robertson and Rosemary Harris.

The movie was an important one for Dunst, but it actually featured a scene that she never wanted to perform again. When discussing Mary Jane in an interview with GQ, Dunst explained that she had performed many of her own stunts in Spider-Man, but one in particularly was beyond her limits.

“I remember one stunt that they tested on me once, and they basically pulled me up to the top of a Sony soundstage, which is enormous, and they let me free fall until the very last second,” the actor admitted. “I was like, ‘Should have done that on camera. I will never do that again.'”

The moment Mary Jane fell down from a huge building, Spider-Man saved her at the last moment, but it was one that gave Dunst a severe case of fear. “It was like a bungee jump, and I don’t need that adrenaline personally,” she said with a wry smile. “So I put my foot down and was like, ‘I’m never doing that ever again.”

However, despite the fact that Dunst hated some of her scenes in Spider-Man, there were others that she deeply cherished. For instance, one of the most iconic moments in the first Sam Raimi Spider-Man movie comes when Peter Parker slings down on his web upside down to kiss Mary Jane in his superhero suit.

Dunst had spoken of the lead-up to shooting the scene and how it was a very different affair to her falling from the soundstage. According to the actor, Raimi “gave me this book before we did that kiss of famous kisses from different photographers. Sam had such a beautiful childlike way of how he would describe Spider-Man and Mary Jane and their romance.”

A specific picture didn’t necessarily jump out at Dunst for the kiss scene, but she was taken with the idea of “making something that will last forever in film”. Dunst wanted to make the eternal quality of the scene happen for Raimi, but the actual filming of it presented its own difficulties.

Maguire “kept getting water up his nose and could barely breathe,” while the torrential rain that was pouring down left Dunst feeling “freezing”. Still, the scene looked great, as did the one in which Mary Jane falls from the building, showing that the hardest or most scary scenes to shoot are often the very best of a movie.