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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Kirsten Dunst’s Blondie ambition

Everyone wants to be a rock star. Even movie stars:

One way or another, “Spider-Man 3” star Kirsten Dunst is determined to play punk/new-wave icon Debbie Harry in a biopic. “It’s in development,” she said excitedly about playing the Blondie singer. “I’ve talked to Debbie. We’re both Jersey girls, and I think she’s the coolest woman in the world.”

I dunno: I’m from the Bronx — does that mean I should play J. Lo?
Look, I’m a big fan of Kirsten Dunst’s. She’s got genuine old-fashioned, golden-age-Hollywood screen presence. She’s got that magical, indefinable It. But when she’s awesome in comedy — like Bring It On — her steely backbone is hidden behind cute spunk. When she’s awesome in drama — The Cat’s Meow — her steely backbone is hidden behind sweet vulnerability. Debbie Harry may be all steely backbone, but I don’t think either cute-and-spunky or sweet-and-vulnerable is gonna work here. I’m with Harry’s fans, who had some interesting ideas about casting: Dunst is far from the first actress to spring to mind to play the Blondie frontwoman.

So for my unathorized Blondie movie, these are the gals, in no particular order of preference, I’m getting on the phone first:

Maggie Gyllenhaal: cuz she’s pretty much a rock chick by nature

Samantha Morton: ditto

Scarlett Johansson: ditto

Toni Collette: cuz she knows how to handle anti-rock little miss sunshines

Chloe Sevigny: cuz she’d bring some of that Party Monster ’tude

Franka Potente: cuz she would bring that Run Lola Run ’tude

Miranda Otto: cuz she kicked Sauron’s ass in The Lord of the Rings

Sarah Polley: cuz she kicked zombie ass in Dawn of the Dead

Cate Blanchett: cuz if she can play Bob Dylan, she can sure as hell play Debbie Harry

Kate Winslet: cuz she pulled off blue hair in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Charlize Theron: cuz she pulled off playing a serial killer

Namoi Watts: cuz she knows how to entertain apes

[compiled with the assistance of Nathaniel R.’s “Top Actresses of the Aughts” at The Film Experience]

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  • JoshDM

    No to Snaggletooth as Blondie. It’s amazing that Tobey Macguire doesn’t have puncture holes in the bottom of his jaw from S-M I.

  • JoshDM

    Urgh, no please. No more Snaggletooth. It’s amazing that Tobey MacGuire didn’t end up with holes in the bottom of his jaw after S-M I.

  • MaryAnn Johanson playing J. Lo? Now that would be an interesting project.

    In the meantime, my mind is boggling at the thought of Debbie Harry being old enough to be considered worthy of a biopic. (And yet I had no problems with the Selena movie. Go figure.)

    But I’m definitely in the Anyone But KD camp. Even if that means Debbie getting played by the likes of Madonna or Courtney Love.

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