Laura Dern Q&A: ‘Big Little Lies’
“For me personally, I became enthralled with the idea of having the experience of working on something with other actresses,” reveals Laura Dern as we chat via webcam (watch the exclusive video above) about her new show “Big Little Lies.” Based on Laura Moriarty‘s best seller of the same title, this HBO limited series centers on three mothers in Monterrey, CA (Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley), whose lives begin to unravel to the point of murder. Dern plays Renata Klein, a powerful businesswoman who spars with newcomer Jane Chapman (Woodley) after her son apparently strangles Klein’s daughter. The series was written for television by 10-time Emmy champ David E. Kelley and directed by Oscar-nominee Jean-Marc Vallée (“Dallas Buyers Club”).
Klein is often viewed with malice by the other mothers, and Dern relished the opportunity to find her humanity. “It was particularly interesting to play a woman in the corporate world who has taken over a man’s job,” divulges Dern, “and learn what it took to get there, and the kind of woman she’s had to be, whether it’s her nature or not.” Shooting during the election, when Democratic candidate Hilary Clinton was looked at with equal amounts of disdain, the actress heard, “all the stereotypes that were unfolding culturally,” applied to her character.
Dern previously worked with Vallée and Witherspoon on the film “Wild” (2014), for which she received an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actress. She previously competed as Best Actress for the film “Rambling Rose” (1992). On the TV side, she has reaped five Emmy bids (Movie/Mini Actress for “Afterburn” in 1992, Drama Guest Actress for “Fallen Angels” in 1994, Comedy Guest Actress for “Ellen” in 1997, Movie/Mini Supporting Actress for “Recount” in 2008, and Comedy Actress for “Enlightened” in 2013). Check out our full interview above for more about her work and murderous secrets in “Big Little Lies,” plus her take on longtime collaborator David Lynch‘s claim he is done making movies.