Kirsten Dunst recalls male director's 'totally improper' comment

Kirsten Dunst has revealed a male director once asked her something "totally improper".

The 41-year-old former child star - who starred in 1994's 'Little Women' and 1995 'Jumanji' in her youth before going on to land roles as a teen in the satires 'Dick' and 'Drop Dead Gorgeous' and the Sofia Coppola-directed drama 'The Virgin Suicides' - has not disclosed any further details about the incident that happened when the 'Bring It On' star was all alone with the unnamed director.

In a candid interview with Britain's The Telegraph newspaper, she said: "A male director had me in his office, by myself, and was asking me about this movie he wanted me for, and then, completely out of the blue, asked me this inappropriate question."

Without naming the filmmaker or what he said, she continued: “Honestly, I’m not even sure he’s still working any more.

“It’s not something I like to reflect on. But I will say what he said was nothing to do with acting. And it wasn’t that what he said was just ‘a bit off’. It was totally improper. And I remember sitting there and knowing that something was wrong, but with no idea what I should do.”

The only person she told was her mother, who "withdrew me from the process and told them I wouldn’t be making the film.”

Kirsten - who gained further attention for her role as Mary Jane Watson in Sam Raimi's 'Spider-Man' trilogy in the noughties - says Coppola was a great mentor to her and filled her with confidence as teenager experiencing the crazy world of Hollywood.

Praising the 52-year-old Academy Award winner - who is the youngest child and only daughter of filmmakers Eleanor and Francis Ford Coppola, and is also a former child star having starred as an infant in her father's acclaimed crime drama 'The Godfather' in 1972 - she said: “The way Sofia made me feel about how I looked on camera gave me so much confidence in my teenage years.

“It’s a weird age to be working in Hollywood, and I know how rare and valuable it is to find that kind of mentor.”

Kirsten was once driven by a producer working on 'Spider-Man' to the dentist because they demanded she got her teeth straighten - but she refused.

She said: “All I can say is that when I was 19, I was not thinking in those terms at all."

Kirsten is glad women are speaking out on gender pay disparity in Hollywood after she found out she was paid "much, much less" than her 'Spider-Man' co-star Tobey Maquire, 48, who played the titular role and her lover in the Marvel series.

She said of what has changed in the industry since the trilogy ended in 2007: “The one big thing is the more open conversation around women’s pay.

“When I was cast in Spider-Man, I had just had this big hit with Bring it On – so, you know, I was actually bringing something to the table. But I had no awareness of that, nor even that the fact I was being paid much, much less than Tobey [Maguire, her co-star] might be unfair. So it wasn’t as if I was turning up to the set every day feeling bad about it. It was just something no-one even thought to question.”