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Kirsten Dunst looks to McEnroe for inspiration in tennis film

Kirsten Dunst is looking to John McEnroe for inspiration while filming the tennis movie "Wimbledon."

india Updated: Jul 02, 2003 10:56 IST

Kirsten Dunst is looking to John McEnroe for inspiration while filming the tennis movie "Wimbledon."

The "Spider-Man" actress was at Wimbledon Tuesday filming scenes for the romantic comedy in which she stars alongside Paul Bettany ("A Beautiful Mind").

"Wimbledon" will be the story of an aging British player _ Bettany _ who goes on a winning streak at the world's most famous tennis tournament. Off the court, he tries to win the heart of an up-and-coming American tennis star named Lizzie Bradbury, played by Dunst.

"She's marketed as the bad girl of tennis," Dunst said during a break in filming.

"She's very dedicated, doesn't have many friends, has a very controlling father. She very sexually aggressive, very tough. They fall in love, he helps her and she helps him, it's very romantic comedy."

Dunst is reading books about tantrum expert McEnroe for ideas. "My character is very feisty, very angry, I have a lot of scenes of my yelling at the umpire," she said. "She's like a female McEnroe. That's what I want to be."

Dunst has been taking tennis lessons for three months, including from 1987 champion Pat Cash.

"I'm a quick learner so I'm getting there," she said. "I'm really good at backhand, but my forehand isn't very consistent. I'm pretty good at dancing around the court. The serve is something I really haven't got yet.

"We have a lot of tricks. I get lots of takes. In one of those takes I'll have a really good shot."

Dunst has become friendly with world No.1 Serena Williams, herself a budding actress.

"Serena and I have talked quite a bit. I like her a lot, she's very cool," Dunst said. "She was going to come to watch me practice the other day, just to laugh at me."

"Wimbledon" is being produced by Working Title films, which produced the hit movies "Notting Hill," "Bridget Jones' Diary" and "About a Boy."

Crews began filming last week at the All England Club with the film due out next year.

First Published: Jul 02, 2003 10:56 IST