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Laura Dern and the women of Pretty Little Lies were interviewed for five separate covers for the June issue of InStyle. Season two is coming June 9th and I have to admit I haven’t watched the first season yet. So many of you have and recommend it so maybe I’ll marathon the first season. Laura pulled no punches in this interview. She’s matter-of-fact, she knows her mind and she expressed herself quite bluntly. There’s nothing wrong with that, it makes my job easier and she makes good copy. She talked about being her own person, about not wanting to dim herself or change for a man, and about how things were different for women when she was growing up. It’s a good read, but I’m a bit iffy on on one part. You’ll see what I mean when you read it.
On being a single mom
The more I learn about my mistakes as a mother, the deeper I enjoy how fully I love my children [son Ellery, 17, and daughter Jaya, 14]. Because I can let them know I really screw up sometimes. I hide from blame in a lot of areas in my life, but I’m trying not to do that as a mom. This is the first time in my life that I am being ambitious because I am a single parent. Raising kids gave me enough street cred to feel like I deserved the right to make money. This moment in my life is so sexy and freeing because I’ve had many relationships, I’ve had a marriage, I have my amazing children, so I’m not hiding who I am to get somebody who is willing to have kids or be married.
On protecting other women in the industry
[My mother] recently saw a talented young actress at a university play. When she went backstage and told her how good she was, the young girl said a filmmaker had sent her a script after seeing the play and wanted to meet. My mom said, “Great. I’m your manager. I’m going with you.” [When she told me this] I said, “You’re Diane Ladd. They’re going to know who you are when you get there.” She’s like, “I don’t care. I can say I’m managing a few people now. She ain’t going alone.” And I just thought, “That’s what we’re [supposed to be] doing for each other: lifting up other voices, giving women shots they haven’t had, and protecting them in the room.” It’s one thing to say, “Young actors should always protect themselves.” But here is what you never do: Don’t go to a hotel room by yourself. Make sure a casting director is always in the room. We’ve learned what we learned. Now we have to educate others.
On what she’s learned from working with the other women on Pretty Little Lies
I’ve learned that self-care is key and not selfish but compassionate. I’ve learned that gossip needs to be ignored. I’ve learned that divorce is tough no matter who you are. I’ve learned that heartbreak hits everyone and stays with you your whole life. I’ve learned that every woman knows abuse — not just as a small statistic of some kind. That was an incredible insight that came from doing this show together, because domestic violence, sexual assault, and psychological abuse are all part of the conversation. It runs the gamut, so we’ve talked about it through the work, with the press, and with women who come up to us. We realize that everywhere we turn, being female means you’ve had some experience [of that]. I did not know that. Because they isolate us.
[From In Style]
Years ago, before I came to certain realizations about myself, I wouldn’t agree that every woman knows abuse. Now I get her meaning and I agree to an extent. Sometimes we don’t recognize the forms that it can take and how it’s been right in front of us the whole time. While it’s true we need to look out for each other, I didn’t like her emphasis on telling other actresses to never go to casting rooms alone. That’s decent advice in general, but there’s always so much focus on the victims and what we should have done differently. Cara DeLevingne and Lupita Nyong’o’s encounters with Weinstein show that even with another woman there we’re not necessarily safe. I don’t think she’s victim blaming I just wish she’d framed that better. Maybe she’s quoting her mom, but I’ve heard that same statement used to make a different point.
Also check out the cover above. She’s rocking that bustier and now I want one just like Helena Christensen’s. We talk about that on the podcast coming out Monday. I wore one as outerwear in the 90s!
Photos credit: WENN and via Instagram
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