Kirsten Dunst became a star at age 12 with her performance in the movie version of Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire as Claudia, a little girl saved from the brink of death by vampires Louis (Brad Pitt) and Lestat (Tom Cruise), but also damned to an existence as a vampire. At first, she and her surrogate dads form a perverse parody of a family, one that feeds on the help (Claudia’s casual, ravenous cruelty is played for laughs). But black comedy turns to horror in the sequence where Claudia tries in vain to cut her hair and realizes that she’ll always be stuck in a child’s body
Even so, as the body count racks up, Claudia remains sympathetic by ultimately siding with the conscience-stricken Louie over the remorseless Lestat. Give credit to Dunst for making her sympathetic enough that it’s actually heartbreaking when she’s forced to meet her sun-charred doom.