Kimberly Wright
Jeff Jensen
June 24, 1999 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Kirsten Dunst isn’t a child of the ’70s — she just plays one in the movies. In ”Dick,” due in August, Dunst and Michelle Williams (”Dawson’s Creek”) are naive disco-and-Nixon lovin’ teens robbed of their innocence by Tricky Dick’s Watergate shenanigans. And in ”The Virgin Suicides,” out later this year, Dunst’s depressing post-hippie-era suburban existence leads her to flirt with self-destruction.

Not that she knows anything about ’70s disillusionment. ”I was born in 1982,” Dunst, 17, tells EW Online. ”I majorly missed the ’70s. Even now I don’t know what the G stands for in G. Gordon Liddy.” (Hey, neither do we.) Regardless, Dunst dug her Hollywood time travel — to a point. ”Well, I mean, the furniture wasn’t great,’ she says, ”but I love the clothes. In ‘Dick,’ the costumes are so outrageous and colorful.” For the film’s memorable climax, Dunst wears an outfit cut from American flags as well as butt-hugging, Technicolor disco togs. ”From top to bottom with jewelry and everything you just felt you were in the period. (In contrast) ‘Suicides’ is more like hang loose ’70s. It wasn’t trendy, really. It was more jeans and orange shirts and tube tops. A lot of tube tops.”

Dunst says she especially enjoyed teaming with ”Suicides”’ debut writer-director Sofia Coppola (daughter of Francis Ford Coppola). ”It’s nice working with first-time directors,” says Dunst, ”because they’re new and you can add more of your own input. It’s more of a mutual thing.” She even defends Coppola’s much-panned role in her father’s ”The Godfather III”: ”She would always tell me, ‘No one liked what I did in ”The Godfather.”’ But she was doing a favor for her dad! It’s true!”

When it comes to her future, Dunst — who is busy filming the teen-centric ”All Forgotten in Prague” — doesn’t want to bite the hand that feeds her, but she admits that Hollywood’s teen obsession is getting out of control. ”I think there’s too many teen movies coming out, too many scripts being written, and everything is just basically planned around box office. It’s all about selling to teens — they’re the ones that’ll go see things over and over again.” Hey, if that means we’ll be seeing more of Dunst, count us in.

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