Laura Dern has been an actress I’ve loved since I was a child watching Jurassic Park. Over the years I’ve been able to watch her in various movies and tv shows and every single performance has been impeccable. She always brings subtle nuances to any role. Most recently, I was a super fan of Big Little Lies and was ecstatic when I heard she was coming to the Star Wars universe as Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo. While we don’t know much about her role yet I do know that she is going to be a force to be reckoned with. A group of other Social Influencers and I recently sat down with Laura as she was doing promo for Star Wars: The Last Jedi and here is what she had to say:
Q: Without giving anything away, can you tell us about your character and how you developed it?
Laura Dern: “I have purple hair. I can tell you this. There’s a new boss in town. I have arrived in the Resistance and I am a Vice Admiral, and that’s pretty much all I can tell you. I can tell you how amazing it was to be inside Ryan’s head, you know. Each of these characters, particularly these new characters that he invented. It was incredible to have the privilege of collaborating on what, who she is and how to present a powerful woman.
And the longing which I really appreciated of Ryan and Kathy Kennedy and all of our Producers to allow a powerful Female Character to also, her physicality to be Feminine, as opposed, to Oh, she’s a strong Female. Let’s put her in the guys’ clothes. I thought that was wonderful and I feel excited to join this amazing legacy of strong Females in Space starting with our magnificent icon of Princess Leia. So that was a great pleasure.”
Q: How did you become involved with the project?
Laura Dern: “Ryan called asking to have lunch and talk about something. I was told, I knew Looper and I was told he was an amazing Independent Film maker and he’s really excited about something that he wants to talk to you about. And then Kathy Kennedy simultaneously called me just to check in and say Hey, how are you? We went to lunch and he started describing something he was looking for in a Character and would love for me to help invent this with him. And it all sounded great and it wasn’t until sort of the end of the lunch, it was like [WHISPERS] it’s Star Wars, and like oh my God, it’s amazing having been a huge fan as a child. I was sort of listening to this amazing story and that’s what’s incredible about Star Wars. He started describing a world that was about the complexity of being a human being and the battle between light and dark and not knowing which would win, and the struggle of family and the hero’s journey.
You feel it all and you realize that it is what Film Makers that I’ve worked with in Independent Film have longed to explore. He described this complicated Female Character in such a beautiful way also spoke to something that you know, Rebel Film Makers have asked of their collaborators and in my case, as an Actor of me. Then to realize, My God, that’s what George Lucas invented. That’s why I think this stands the test of time in such a profound way is it’s not a franchise, it’s a legacy of the deepest story telling we have. And there isn’t a child or an adult that doesn’t connect to that question, and that it isn’t good guy vs. bad guy. All of it is contained and being wrestled within, you know, many characters but within one’s self, and particularly this film which we all got to see a couple of days ago, you feel it in every storyline and every character in a really profound and beautiful way.”
Q: How is it for your Parents then being fans and you appearing in the film?
Laura Dern: “I don’t know. I mean they seem excited. My Mother’s very excited about the purple hair. Yeah, she’s loves the look and the costume and my daughter was like I didn’t know you got jewellery in space. I said, yes. Holdo gets jewelery in space and nail coloring in Space.”
Q: Do you think little girls are going to want to emulate the strong women in Star Wars and what is that going to bring to the whole franchise?
Laura Dern: “Well it’s just incredible. That’s so exciting. I know what Leia was for me as I know she was for all of you. And it was again, not just her strength in some super heroic way but in the deeply human way that she, Carrie so incredibly embodied was this fearless irreverent sassy bold, vulnerable Female. And all things to be true and powerful and kick butt and all of those things were in one Character. We know how rarely we see that. So that meant the world to me and now my daughter and all her friends have this in Ray and soon other Female Characters in this movie and it’s really exciting to see what the different Females do.”
Q: Everything you said about Carrie Fisher I thought about you. Growing up, watching Jurassic Park, you are a strong woman. And so will we, this is totally off track but will we see you in Jurassic Park any time soon?
Laura Dern: “What a cool idea? I love that idea. But I like your thinking and I do — I do love, in fact Steven Spielberg and I were talking about it several days ago. She was such a Feminist. Ellie Sauer is such a Feminist. I loved that and I love that girls are still dressing up like her for Halloween. Got to rock some Timberlands people to get stuff done and your PJ Dinosaurs. You got to dress smart. So but thank you for your kind words too.
Q: You’ve been in so many films. You’ve played so many different amazing roles. How did you prepare for this role this big?
Laura Dern: “Well I think speaking to all of the Actors. It’s incredible that we have this true shared experience of needing to have the moment, the fan freak out moment to let it all then disappear so you’re just telling the story of these characters cause it’s insane to get there and you know, rehearse with Ryan, and everything’s deeply personal and you know, the part of my life that does come from Independent Film. I’m, you know, got my clothes on, having coffee with Oscar Isaac and Benicio del Toro, I’m like hey I’m on another Independent Movie with my fellow Actors, it doesn’t feel like any other movie I’ve done, which is hilarious, with Ryan who’s this Independent Film Maker so I’m like are you sure this is Star Wars cause look we are.
What is happening? But then you walk onto set and in the morning, Ryan was like Oh, somebody’s a fan, wants to say Hi right before we were starting one day, standing making tea, and I turned around and Chewbacca was there and like embraced me and I cried. I really cried. It was so moving to me. And then you know, being on set and seeing R2D2 and these Characters we all fell in love with. It’s stunning so then you have to get over it and go to work but it’s an incredible opportunity and experience. I’m so happy to get to be part of it.”
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
“In Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Skywalker saga continues as the heroes of The Force Awakens join the galactic legends in an epic adventure that unlocks age-old mysteries of the Force and shocking revelations of the past.” The film stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is written and directed by Rian Johnson and produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman. J.J. Abrams, Tom Karnowski and Jason McGatlin are the executive producers. Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens in U.S. theaters on December 15, 2017.
***Disclosure: I attended the #TheLastJediEvent My flight, lodgings, and expenses were covered by Disney All opinions are 100% mine. ***