Lars Von Trier is known for challenging his actors far behind the usual limits of the craft. Dogville saw Nicole Kidman’s character brutally raped and held in captivity; Emily Watson’s character in Breaking the Waves endures the emotional guilt of her husband urging her to have sex with another man; and Bjork’s near breakdown on the set of  Dancer in the Dark is a testament to how hard the director pushes his female leads.

Just last year, the things Charlotte Gainsbourg did for Antichrist were enough to solidify her as the bravest actor of 2009.

So with the news that Kirsten Dunst has signed up for Von Trier’s Melancholia, I have to wonder if she’s really ready for what the director might have in store for her. On the one hand, she’s been acting since she was barely a child, but it doesn’t seem like she’s ever really been challenged in quite the same way Von Trier might have in store for his science fiction piece.

The good news is that she’ll have plenty of support from Von Trier regulars like Udo Kier, Gainsbourg, and Stellan Skarsgård. Plus, Alexander Skarsgård and Kiefer Sutherland are bringing their talent to the table.

I can only imagine that Von Trier is going to put Dunst through Hell. The question is whether she’ll be prepared to handle it or if she’ll start eating her own sweater.

Either way, it’ll most likely make for great cinema.

What do you think?


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