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Kirsten Dunst was praised by Lars Von Trier

Kirsten Dunst was praised by Lars Von Trier

Kirsten Dunst was praised by Lars Von Trier

Director Lars Von Trier has said that Kirsten Dunst's spell of depression was an "advantage" for her role in his latest film.

The American actress, who first found fame as a child star playing a young vampire alongside Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in Interview With The Vampire in 1994, plays Justine in the controversial director's Melancholia.

The film, which is in the running for the coveted Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival, is the story of two sisters and how they deal with the knowledge that another planet is about to crash into earth, destroying it.

Von Trier, who gave the part to Kirsten after Spanish actress Penelope Cruz pulled out, said: "I think she's one hell of an actress. She is much more nuanced that I thought and she has the advantage of having had a depression of her own. All sensible people have."

Kirsten admitted entering rehab for depression in 2008.

The film also features 24 star Kiefer Sutherland and Charlotte Gainsbourg, who plays Kirsten's sister.

Von Trier and some of the film's stars will face the press tomorrow ahead of an official screening at the festival, which runs until May 22.

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