They share two children, a home, and now, an Oscar-nominated film in The Power of the Dog. And after five long years of engagement, Jesse Plemons and Kirsten Dunst may soon share a last name, too—right after they get around to figuring out the details. "We just haven’t planned a wedding," Kirsten explained to the Los Angeles Times in February 2022. "There was COVID, then we had another child. I didn’t want to be pregnant, get married, have a party and not be able to have fun with everybody." Fair enough!
While we await seeing her gown with bated breath, we’re taking a look back at the couple’s journey of love thus far, from their mutual adoration on the set of Fargo to their joint Oscar nominations in 2022. Read on for all their very best moments.
- They’ve been engaged for more than five years.
- They have two children together, sons Ennis, 3, and James Robert, nearly 11 months.
- They adore working together, with Dunst going so far as to call her husband her "creative soulmate."
- They were both nominated for an Oscar for their shared film, The Power of the Dog, in 2022.
2015: Fate Steps In
The pair first crossed paths while filming their respective roles on the 2014 television series Fargo, in which Dunst played Peggy Blumquist and Plemons, her fictional husband, Ed. "I don’t often remember every detail about meeting someone...Immediately without too many words being exchanged I looked into her eyes and saw the beautiful, sweet, unguarded, welcoming human being that she is," the Friday Night Lights alum would later claim of his now-fiancée while speaking on her behalf at the 2021 Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony. He added, "And it truly was in an instant. Immediately my nerves and anxiety dissolved and I knew everything was going to be alright."
The feeling was mutual. As Dunst had previously relayed to the New York Times in September 2020, she had a similar experience. "My first impression was, 'Oh, he’s like me,'" she recalled. "We were two people who worked very similarly, and it felt like a soulmate."
So strong was their connection, in fact, that the Drop Dead Gorgeous actress said she was aware it would last well beyond the film. "I knew he would be in my life forever," she said. "It was one of those connections where you just know. But we’re also very respectful people and were mindful of the fact that we were working together intensely."
March 2016: More Than Friends
Despite their kinship, the couple didn’t immediately rush into a relationship. In fact, it would be after some time (and a breakup on Dunst’s part) before they evolved into anything resembling a pair. "After we were done with the show, we’d FaceTime now and then, and I just missed him," she confessed to the New York Times in September 2020. "I missed being around him. And he did, too."
Still, they took their time before acting on their feelings. "We didn’t get together until the following March, when we’d had the time to realize how much we missed each other and how much we wanted to be in each others’ lives," the actress explained. "You’re always careful about set romance stuff—it can be so fleeting. We respected each other so much and had such a bond that it took more time, because there was so much love there."
May 2016: Private Eyes
By May 2016, the twosome couldn't deny their feelings for each other anymore and were spotted sharing a steamy kiss in Studio City, California.
January 2017: Betrothed
One year into their relationship, the couple kicked 2017 off with a bang—and an engagement. According to Page Six, the proposal happened over Golden Globes weekend, though the Bring It On actress had tongues wagging even earlier in the month when she stepped out onto the red carpet for the Palm Springs International Film Festival on January 2 with a fetching diamond on *that* finger.
"I was a little sick when he did it, which was funny, but that’s good, sickness and in health, so that works," she would later joke to Jimmy Fallon of Plemons' proposal, adding, "I was in sweats."
While Dunst didn’t know the exact moment that her love would pop the question, she admitted to the Fever Pitch star that she did have an inkling it was coming. "I could tell on my dad’s face at Christmas, he’s a bad liar," she laughed.
February 25, 2017: A Grand Debut
One month after their happy news was shared with the world, the couple attended their first awards show together as future newlyweds, snuggling up at a table for the Film Independent Spirit Awards.
January 30, 2018: Surprise!
Leave it to Dunst to have the most fashionable pregnancy announcement of all time. The Screen Actors’ Guild award winner let her bump do the talking while posing for Rodarte’s Fall/Winter 2018 portrait series, aptly titled, "Women that inspire us."
As Dunst later mused to PorterEdit, the happy news was a shock to even the couple. "I thought I would have a hard time getting pregnant, but it was a surprise," she told the publication, revealing she "would have frozen [her] eggs" had Ennis not come along. "[But] it feels like I lucked out," she gushed.
May 3, 2018: Parenthood
Four months later, Dunst became a mother, and Plemons, a father, on May 3, 2018—the day the couple's son, Ennis Howard Plemons, came into the world.
August 29, 2019: Paying Tribute
On August 29, 2019, Dunst was honored for her life’s work with a coveted star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and her spouse was right there by her side to support her—and sing her praises. "Aside from the brilliant actor you are, I’ve also had the even greater pleasure of getting to know you as a person outside of work," he reportedly gushed during his speech. "Seeing the kind of mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and cohort you are is why I and all of your friends and everyone else are here today and why we all love you. It’s for the incredibly generous and amazing person that you are."
According to Us Weekly, he closed his sentimental message by saying, "I’m truly so lucky to have you in my life, and Hollywood Boulevard is so lucky to have you on its sidewalks...I love you, Keeks. And I couldn’t be any prouder of you than I am right now." D’awwww!
September 2019: Setting the Record Straight
While many speculated that the duo had already tied the knot after hearing Plemons refer to his fiancée as a "wife" during his Walk of Fame speech for her in August, Dunst set the record straight during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! "Jesse Plemons is your husband, your fiancé?" the talk show host said, to which she clarified, "Yes, fiancé. We’re not married yet."
March 30, 2021:
As she had done with her first pregnancy, the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind star announced that she was expecting in a similarly chic way: this time on the cover of W magazine. The Oscar nominee joked about her condition, saying of her shoot at the time, "Every shot was on the floor. I was like, 'I can't get up.' I felt like Urkel."
May 21, 2021: Expanding the Family Tree
The growing family reportedly welcomed their second child, James Robert, in May 2021. One month later, Dunst was seen toting him in a carrier. She confirmed his arrival to the New York Times a good four months after his birth, telling the publication in September, "This is the newest guy, the Big Kahuna. He's an angel, but he's a hungry angel. And a heavy angel." (18 pounds, to be exact!)
August 19, 2021: The Good Old Days
Dunst shared a rare throwback in August 2021 to her and Plemons’ days as a fledgling twosome on the set of Fargo. "Fargo times were fun times,” she captioned a sweet video of the two, who can be seen making goofy faces and cracking each other up.
November 2021: Soulmates, Through and Through
The lovebirds indicated that they had big plans to reunite onscreen again in November 2021 during a post-premiere Q&A for their shared film, The Power of the Dog. "We actually talked to [producer] Tanya Seghatchian about what Jesse and I should do next," Dunst told The Hollywood Reporter at the time. "We have some ideas, and Jesse and I definitely want to do another project. He’s my favorite actor to work with."
The couple also discussed why they enjoyed sharing the screen with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay in an interview for Extra that same month. "You’re trying to explain what [making a movie’s] like, and you can never really paint the picture as well as experiencing it," Plemons said. "It is really nice just both going through the same experience, but aside from that, she’s my favorite actor to work with." He continued, "There’s an easy element to it that just makes it more fun…[We were] kind of able to push each other in a way I haven’t experienced before."
Dunst perhaps summed it up best, saying, "We creatively were kind of soulmates first."
February 8, 2022: Double Nominees
The duo’s chemistry was clearly palpable in their latest film, The Power of the Dog—it earned them both Oscar nominations, with Dunst up for Best Supporting Actress and Plemons up for Best Supporting Actor. "I screamed," she told USA TODAY upon hearing the news. "It was like I could release my joy more with Jesse’s nomination than my own even, for some reason? I just can’t believe we got nominated together for the same movie. It sounds like an old-fashioned thing that wouldn’t happen now."
She continued, "Like the Old Hollywood days of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton…it feels amazing to have that as a family and for our families. Everyone is so excited." We’ll say!
February 22, 2022: Big Plans
More than five years since the former Fargo costars initially decided to tie the knot, they’ve still got a ways to go—this according to Dunst, who spoke to the Los Angeles Times about the matter in February 2022. "We call each other husband and wife. But we have to get married at this point. It’s ridiculous," she told the publication.