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Entertainment: Cumberbatch and Dunst didn't speak while filming Netflix movie

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The Power of the Dog stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst chose not to speak to each other whilst working on their new Netflix western.

Netflix movie The Power of the Dog's Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst didn't speak to one another during filming. © Netflix Netflix movie The Power of the Dog's Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst didn't speak to one another during filming.

Cumberbatch plays the antagonistic ranchman Phil Burbank – brother to Jesse Plemons' character George – whilst Dunst portrays his unwelcome sister-in-law Rose Gordon.

Throughout director Jane Campion's psychosexual vision, these two are like repelling magnets, so the commitment to authenticity behind the scenes really helped elevate that on screen.

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Kirsten Dunst as Rose, The Power of the Dog © Netflix Kirsten Dunst as Rose, The Power of the Dog

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"Benedict and I decided not to speak to each other on set," Dunst told The Hollywood Reporter. "And there were times when I just didn't talk at all during the day."

Weighing in on the aftereffect of this, the Spider-Man favourite added: "When you haven't talked all day and then you speak your first words to somebody, it just gives you that lump in your throat and that feeling of crushing insecurity.

"It brought up old feelings of being young and overanalysing things. It was this really painful, sad place to live in. When you've overcome all these things as a person, to go back and live in it — it wasn't fun."

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Dunst also revealed to Digital Spy that getting into the character of Rose affected her when the cameras had stopped rolling too: "I do think I was a little bit more worried about what I had done that day than I normally am. A little bit more insecure about what I had done, I think just because that [being insecure] was such a part of Rose.


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Leonardo DiCaprio sitting on a table: In the scene where Leonardo DiCaprio launches into a racist diatribe, the character slams his fist down on a table and cuts himself on some glass. No special effects were required, since DiCaprio was injured in real life. The actor continued the scene as if nothing happened, while blood dripped from his hand.

"But then, I think it's normal to just have a little bit of something... a current happening throughout filming. But when I'm done, then I'm done."

Benedict Cumberbatch as Phil Burbank, The Power of the Dog © Netflix Benedict Cumberbatch as Phil Burbank, The Power of the Dog

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Cumberbatch himself echoed this insight while in conversation with NME recently.

"I didn't want to be really mean to Kirsten, but I needed to stay in character. So I didn't speak to her on set," he revealed. "She was the same. We were the negative to each other's positive – repelled by each other."

Benedict Cumberbatch refused to speak to Kirsten Dunst on the set of new Netflix film The Power of The Dog

  Benedict Cumberbatch refused to speak to Kirsten Dunst on the set of new Netflix film The Power of The Dog The actor went full method for the role , refusing to speak to co-star Kirsten Dunst the entire time they were on set together. In the film Cumberbatch plays gruff cowboy Phil Burbank who has a strained relationship with his brother George's (Jesse Plemmons) wife Rose Gordon (Dunst). Which is why, according to Benedict, he chose not to speak to the star during filming, deciding instead to stay in character and adding that she did the same.

When Digital Spy sat down with Cumberbatch recently, he revealed that blanking his co-star wasn't the only action he took to get more into his character: "[Director Jane Campion and I] talked about dude camp and banjo lessons, and I went to Montana for two weeks,

"I studied under an amazing cowboy — he calls himself a cowboy, we're not supposed to say [cowboy] — a ranchman, Randy and his partner Jen. Amazing masterful horse people, wranglers and whispers and trainers — but also an amazing roper.

"I went to several ranches and experienced ranch work, branding and everything that involves — inoculation and castration and herding and caring for these animals in that process."

At the time of writing, their contributions have helped the movie earn a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Power of the Dog is now available in select cinemas and comes to Netflix on Wednesday, December 1

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