Kirsten Dunst

Kirsten Dunst
Dunst says fame has forced her to be more careful. "I just have to be more conscious of security and I don't think it's something that I've grown up with," she says.
Alex Berliner/Beimages

06/15/2004 AT 04:00 PM EDT

Watch out, tiger: Kirsten Dunst is back onscreen as Peter Parker's perky love interest in Spider-Man 2, the sequel to 2002's biggest hit. And while the 22-year-old actress reprises her role as red-headed Mary Jane Watson opposite Tobey Maguire, she's become just as well known off-screen for her romance with another hot young actor – Jake Gyllenhaal, 23. Dunst recently talked about the blockbuster sequel, her life with Jake, and the time her boyfriend almost took over the role of Spidey.

Has your life has changed much since the first Spider-Man?
I mean, definitely. More people recognize me. I live in L.A., where everybody's too cool to come up to you – they talk about you behind your back and gossip about you. But when I go to other places I realize that people know who I am because they're the ones who want autographs, want to take pictures.

You also have the paparazzi following you and Jake.
Yeah, the paparazzi follow us everywhere in L.A. It's really sickening, actually. (We're) in the grocery store and we don't do anything interesting, so it's really obnoxious.

How do you deal with it?
You know, if you get mad they just like it even more, so I just ignore them. But we were at the dog park one day and we bought eggs and everybody at the dog park was throwing eggs at the paparazzi. That was our Easter, so it was perfect.

What did you think of Jake's recent spread in GQ?
I thought the cover was really cute. I didn't like the clothes they put him in though.

There was a point when it seemed Jake was going to replace Tobey in Spider-Man 2. What was that like?
That was really a complicated time, of course. And I'm just so thankful that Tobey ended up doing the movie because he is Spider-Man and I think it wouldn't have been good. I think Jake can do any movie because I think he's one of the best young actors. But Tobey is Spider-Man, and so I'm just happy that it all worked out.

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Would it be weird to work with your boyfriend?
Of course, yeah. I mean, I would like to work with him, but I'm happy it wasn't this, because I would rather do a more intimate movie with him where I could actually have many scenes with him. I think we probably could do a small movie together.

Would you be worried about the Gigli jinx?
I wouldn't be nervous about it. We're in, like, every magazine together basically because he has a movie out and I do ... so I don't think it's really a problem.
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