Kirsten Dunst And Benedict Cumberbatch Refused To Speak To Each Other On Set Of New Film

by : Shola Lee on :
Kirsten Dunst And Benedict Cumberbatch Refused To Speak To Each Other On Set Of New FilmAlamy

Benedict Cumberbatch says he and and Kirsten Dunst refused to speak to each other on the set of their new film The Power of the Dog.

Jane Campion’s upcoming drama is an adaptation of the 1967 novel by Thomas Savage.


The film sees Cumberbatch playing Phil Burbank, a 1920s cowboy who runs a ranch with his brother George, played by Jesse Plemons.

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Power of the Dog. (Netflix)Netflix

Dunst plays George’s wife Rose, and Cumberbatch’s character takes an immediate dislike to her.

Speaking to NME, Cumberbatch explained how this tension contributed to a frosty off-screen dynamic.


‘I didn’t want to be really mean to Kirsten, but I needed to stay in character,’ he said. ‘So I didn’t speak to her on-set. She was the same. We were the negative to each other’s positive. [We were] repelled by each other.’


Dunst also spoke about the mutual hostility between the pair, and explained how she’d accidentally tried being friendly to her co-star, telling iNews:

But sometimes I’d mess up and I’d see Ben and be like, ‘Hi.’ And then he’d be doing that ‘Hi’ that you swallow, and I’d make a point of not looking at him.

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Staying in character wasn’t the pair’s only preparation for the film, as Dunst learned piano for the film.

However, she said that most of her work was centred on Phil (Cumberbatch) tormenting Rose (Dunst) and the character’s reaction to the hostile home.


Dunst continued:


But most of my prep was about finding Rose’s deep psychological pain and her source of insecurity to allow this man to infiltrate her brain. I feel like Rose is almost in The Shining. She’s in a house of horrors.

Cumberbatch was just as committed to his performance, and stayed in character during the film shoot; the actor even refused to answer if anyone called him by his real name, and went as far as give himself nicotine poisoning for smoking such a large number of unfiltered cigarettes. He also apparently refused to wash during the film.

The Power of the Dog is currently in cinemas and will be released on Netflix on December 1.

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Shola Lee

Shola Lee began her journalism career while studying for her undergraduate degree at Queen Mary, University of London and Columbia University in New York. She has written for the Columbia Spectator, QM Global Bloggers, CUB Magazine, UniDays, and Warner Brothers' Wizarding World Digital. Recently, Shola took part in the 2021 BAFTA Crew and BBC New Creatives programme before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news, trending stories, and features.

Topics: Film and TV, Benedict Cumberbatch, Netflix, Now


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