An ordinary, basically good person is forced into something they find morally reprehensible to save their family from the looming threat of poverty… and discovers they’re really, terribly good at it. Sound familiar? No, we’re not talking about Walter White in Breaking Bad. We’re talking about Kirsten Dunst’s character, Krystal Stubbs, in On Becoming a God in Central Florida, described by The Hollywood Reporter as “Breaking Bad for pyramid schemes.”
Now available to binge on Showmax, On Becoming a God in Central Florida earned the Fargo and Spider-Man star 2020 Best Actress nominations at both the Golden Globes and the Critics’ Choice awards. She plays a minimum-wage water park employee who sets out to infiltrate and bring down the cultish, multibillion-dollar pyramid scheme that drove her family to ruin.
“On Becoming a God in Central Florida is about the falsehood of the American dream and making money and having that be the end-all, be-all,” says Dunst. “When you first meet Krystal, it’s 1992, just outside of Orlando. She’s juggling being a new mom and working and having a husband who’s a little obsessed with this multi-level marketing scheme. There were so many promises of money coming in, and then Krystal starts to realise nothing’s coming to fruition. It forces her into playing the game that she never wanted to play, and then, when she starts to get good at it, she realises that she can use this to her advantage.”
On Becoming a God in Central Florida has an 85% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus calls it, “a clever and absurd satire that will make you want to buy whatever Kirsten Dunst is selling.”
The show boasts a formidable support cast, including Oscar winner Mary Steenburgen (The Help, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist), Oscar nominee David Paymer (Get Shorty, Mr. Saturday Night), Screen Actors Guild nominee Ted Levine (Monk, The Silence of the Lambs), Saturn Award winner Julie Benz (Dexter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and Gossip singer Beth Ditto.
Kirsten describes her character as a fearless woman doing whatever it takes to succeed: “She’s a savvy businesswoman, with big ideas. She stops at nothing to provide for her family. She doesn’t take no for an answer, she’s not afraid to get dirty to get to the truth, and she’s unafraid to take life by the reins… I just get to do so much crazy stuff in this show.”
Rolling Stone calls the result “one of the best performances Dunst’s ever given,” while Wall Street Journal praises her “life-giving performance full of heart and, possibly more important, steel,” adding, “The show is all hers.”
On Becoming a God in Central Florida is now available to stream on Showmax.