Kirsten Dunst irritated her family by playing the piano repetitively to help her prepare for 'The Power of the Dog'.

The 39-year-old star features in Jane Campion's Western drama and needed to learn Johan Strauss's 'Radetzky March' for a scene with Benedict Cumberbatch's cruel rancher Phil Burbank but admits that she had to annoy her loved ones by playing the piece constantly.

Kirsten told the I newspaper: "That was really annoying in our household, our friends hearing the same piece of music over and over every night. Playing with two hands when you are older and learning a new instrument is very difficult."

The 'Bring It On' actress revealed that delving into the "deep psychological pain" of Rose – who, along with her partner George Burbank (Jesse Plemons), is bullied by Phil – was a key part of getting into character.

Kirsten said: "But most of my prep was about finding Rose's deep psychological pain and her source of insecurity to allow this man to infiltrate her brain. I feel like Rose is almost in 'The Shining'. She's in a house of horrors."

Dunst and her real-life partner Plemons worked closely with method acting coach Greta Seacat for the film and revealed that she wants an acting role to feel like "therapy" between the character and herself.

The star explained: "She does a lot of dream work between you and the character to help dig up old things. It's a really fun process, making yourself feel terrible about yourself."

Kirsten continued: "Whenever I do a role, I feel like I'm doing therapy between me and the character I'm playing.

"Rose is very people-pleasing, not wanting to upset her husband about what's happening. So she turns to alcohol to help her just be in the home, and not worry terribly about her son. But that isolation spins her out, so it was about finding what that is for me."