November 28, 2011 12:00 PM

>KIRSTEN DUNST

Earning raves for Melancholia, the actress, 29, looks back on growing up in the spotlight

WHAT DREW YOU TO THIS PART?

Whether you like Lars [von Trier] films or not, he is one of the great auteurs of our time. I knew I could let it all out, not have to look cute and just go for it. That’s so refreshing.

HOW DID YOU PREPARE FOR YOUR NUDE SCENE? EXTRA TRIPS TO THE GYM?

I hate working out. I will go for a swim or a hike, but I’m not a gym person. For the scene, I was just like, “Do my boobs look okay?” The actresses I look up to have all done really brave things.

YOU’VE BEEN A STAR SINCE YOU WERE 12. WHAT’S THE TOUGHEST PART ABOUT GROWING UP IN HOLLYWOOD?

The criticism! You get judged on clothes, makeup, hair, and there is a blog for everything.

WHAT’S YOUR BEST ADVICE FOR YOUNG ACTRESSES?

Go to normal schools and don’t get homeschooled. Have that growing-up life. And play roles that are age-appropriate. After Interview with the Vampire, I always played my age and made films that people my age could see. It helps you not grow up so fast.

READY TO BE A REAL-LIFE BRIDE?

I would love to get married one day! I like a gentleman. My friend just got engaged to someone from the South, and he won’t let us open a door, and I love it. These East and West Coast boys need to learn!

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