Big Little Lies: Laura Dern says she bowed at Meryl Streep's feet
The actress tells WHO how excited she is for Meryl to be joining the cast.
After a long two-year wait, Hollywood’s leading ladies Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Zoë Kravitz and Shailene Woodley are back! This time they’ve invited Meryl Streep. Big Little Lies, based on Australian author Liane Moriarty’s novel, was only meant to be a limited TV series, but after huge success and eight Emmys, the Monterey Five — Celeste (Kidman), Madeline (Witherspoon), Jane (Woodley), Bonnie (Kravitz) and Renata (Dern)– are all back for more.
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WHO: How do you feel about Renata?
Laura: I love her. You know, we were all driving in a car when we were filming, and Reese said, ‘Do you know there’s an online game where you can find out which character from Big Little Lies you are?’, which was so hilarious to us. We tried it out and none of us were our own character. So if it was based on the game, I was the most like Jane, probably because I’m kind of a hippie at heart.
WHO: Did you know Meryl Streep before
Laura: Back when I was presenting at the Golden Globes in the ’90s, I met Meryl. She remembers it well because I was coming out of the bathroom and I bowed at her feet! I told her, ‘I just love you so much, and I pray one day I get to act with you.’ So, without starting to cry, I will just say, it meant the world to me to be around her, all of us, in scenes together and be in her company. And then, we left Big Little Lies, and Meryl and I both worked on Little Women. So I had two experiences with her this last year, which was just a dream come true. She’s so extraordinary.
WHO: Can you relate to Renata in the sense that she feels like an outsider who has to prove herself?
Laura: In Hollywood, there is a pitting against each other that occurs: ‘Actresses, there’s one part, it’s four scenes with an ensemble of boys. Why do you think you’re better than all the other girls waiting in the lobby to audition?’ That’s what makes Big Little Lies such a dream. It’s just the most amazing group of women, and we love each other so much, and we’re all such close friends and are parenting together and making work decisions together. It’s really lovely.
WHO: Renata’s career is all consuming. When you had kids, you decided to take a step back. How was that?
Laura: [It was] in order for the kids to be with their father [Ben Harper], who is a touring rock musician, we basically went on tour. So there was a period of time I purposely just made my life about being a groupie, because I do love music so it’s hard to not be there in that environment. It is amazing to be with babies and be on tour. It was an incredible opportunity for me to understand parenting for myself and really be present in a way my mother was not given the luxury to have as a working actress, where you couldn’t bring your kid with you on a movie.
You can read the rest of the article in this week's WHO magazine.