Dunst defends von Trier over Hitler comments

Actress Kirsten Dunst has defended her Melancholia director Lars Von Trier over controversial statements he made at the Cannes Film Festival about Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

The Danish moviemaker stunned reporters during a Cannes press conference last month when he rambled on about his German heritage and declared he could "understand" Hitler - as an awkward Dunst sat next to him.

Von Trier has since apologised for his remarks, but it was not enough for festival organisers; they have banned the filmmaker from the French movie event.

Dunst, who was named the Best Actress at Cannes for her role in the film, has now offered her support to the director, insisting the Dane's words "came out wrong".

She says, "He says dumb stuff sometimes but not anything I had ever been offended by. It just came out wrong, that's not Lars at all.

"He was trying to make people laugh by telling the story of his life but it was not the right audience for it. He doesn't speak English that often, he's been in Denmark for a long time. It just didn't translate well."

Dunst, who shifted awkwardly in her seat at the press conference as her director made his remarks, admits she was annoyed with him at the time: "I was upset, shocked and angry but, at the end of the day, he is still my friend."