Cailee Spaeny Says “Civil War” Costar Kirsten Dunst Inspired Her to Become an Actress (Exclusive)

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"It's just really serendipitous," Spaeny says of getting to work with Dunst, who introduced her to her "all-time favorite director" Sofia Coppola

<p>Eric Charbonneau/Getty (2)</p> From Left: Cailee Spaeny and Kirsten Dunst on April 2, 2024

Eric Charbonneau/Getty (2)

From Left: Cailee Spaeny and Kirsten Dunst on April 2, 2024

Cailee Spaeny is sharing the impact Kirsten Dunst has had on her life.

At the Los Angeles premiere of Civil War on April 2, Spaeny, 25, tells PEOPLE that Dunst's acting career was a major inspiration for her to pursue acting herself. Not only that, Dunst, 41, helped the rising star land her role as Priscilla Presley in last year's Priscilla directed by Sofia Coppola.

"It's such a weird thing to wrap my head around, you know? I grew up in Missouri. I obviously loved film. I never imagined the day that I'd be working in film," Spaeny says, recalling that her first memory of going to the theaters was to see one of Dunst's Spider-Man movies in the 2000s.

"And then I found her work with [Sofia Coppola], and that was really the key that unlocked me realizing I wanted to be an actress, it was Kirsten's work with Sofia," she continues. "So the fact that I ended up, after all these years, starring in a movie with her, and then she was the person that recommended me and got me the role that changed my life with my all-time favorite director, it's just hard to put into words."

"It's just really serendipitous," Spaeny adds. "It's sort of spooky."

Related: Kirsten Dunst Documents a Divided America — Under a President Nick Offerman — in Shocking Civil War Trailer

<p>Murray Close</p> From Left: Kirsten Dunst and Cailee Spaeny in 'Civil War'

Murray Close

From Left: Kirsten Dunst and Cailee Spaeny in 'Civil War'

In Civil War, Dunst and Spaeny play photojournalists capturing the final days of a modern civil war within the United States. The pair filmed the dystopian action movie while Spaeny auditioned for Priscilla — and Coppola, 52, told magazine in September that Dunst, a friend and frequent collaborator, initially brought Spaeny to her attention for the titular part.

Spaeny recalled to PEOPLE that she confirmed she would star in Priscilla on the final day of filming for Civil War, saying, "I jumped out of the car and I said, 'Kirsten, wait. I got to tell you something. I booked the role.' And she just burst into tears."

"She's like, 'You're going to have the best time, you're going to look gorgeous, and you're going to be sad in the bathtub,' and all those things happened," she adds. "It was like the best thing to do right after Civil War."

Related: Kirsten Dunst Says She 'Didn't Even Think to Ask' for Equal Pay Early on in Her Career: 'I Was 17'

<p>Rick Kern/WireImage</p> From Left: Kirsten Dunst and Cailee Spaeny on March 14, 2024

Rick Kern/WireImage

From Left: Kirsten Dunst and Cailee Spaeny on March 14, 2024

Dunst, meanwhile, previously recounted the story of Spaeny's Priscilla casting at SXSW on March 14.

"I cried because I was also encouraging Sofia, because I was working with Cailee and I said, 'I loved working with her,' and I knew they would work well together," Dunst told PEOPLE at the time. "So I was a supportive friend."

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Civil War debuts in theaters on April 12.

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Read the original article on People.