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Kirsten Dunst, star of ‘The Beguiled,’ talks about her Instagram moment with Britney Spears and more.
USA TODAY

BEVERLY HILLS — Kirsten Dunst does decently well in seclusion.

Mid-deep dive into The Beguiled, the Thomas Cullinan tale of how a cloistered boarding school of Confederate women took in a wounded Union soldier, talk turns to how isolated women became on plantations as the Civil War raged around them.

“I love being at home,” Dunst, 35, riffs with a chuckle. “I would have done great back then.”

Today’s setting is a far cry from the battle-worn South of the 1860s. Dunst sips iced tea inside a breezy poolside cabana; she’s in solid shape despite attending a wedding the night before. “I was good,” she says with a smile.

The Beguiled (in select theaters in New York and Los Angeles Friday, nationwide June 30) marks Dunst’s fourth film with Coppola, almost 20 years after two shot 1999’s The Virgin Suicides. Back then, Coppola was newly engaged and Dunst was 16.

In a role that helped transition her from a child star to an adult actress in a more sexualized setting, “she really took care of me,” says Dunst.

Now they’re like sisters. “I’ve seen her grow up,” says Coppola, 46. “I really feel like we trust each other.”

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The Civil War-era thriller follows the events at an all-girls boarding school when an injured soldier shows up at their doorstep. Romantic relationships evolve, which lead to dangerous consequences.
USA TODAY

Coppola flips the script on the original Beguiled starring Clint Eastwood, a 1971 version told from the soldier’s perspective. Coppola turned the camera around to focus on the corseted women inside the columned manor, casting Nicole Kidman as the headmistress, Elle Fanning as a coquettish student and Dunst as a…