My Should Been Oscar Contenders series moves from a trio of supporting actors from 1993 to a deserving supporting actress hopeful the following year.
In 1993, Anna Paquin was a surprise victor in the category at age 11 for The Piano. In 1994, the Academy bypassed a 12-year-old thespian who gave an equally impressive performance. Alongside box office stars Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, Kirsten Dunst stole the show in Neil Jordan’s blockbuster Interview with the Vampire.
As Claudia, Dunst’s character starts out as an innocent 10-year-old who is turned into a vampire. She is cursed by always appearing as an adolescent even as she lives several decades following that bite. Her role would be difficult for any actress to pull off and Dunst proved her chops early on.
The Golden Globes did honor her with a nod. The Academy should have followed suit.