August 28, 2017

Like many, Laura Dern went to see “Wonder Woman” in theaters this summer and like most, she walked away feeling a deeper sense of poignancy than expected from a traditional summer superhero flick.

“I loved seeing it — and I really loved seeing it with my 12-year-old daughter,” Dern says, after bringing up the film herself from her home in Los Angeles. “People are like, ‘Well, you can’t turn this kind of film into a statement.’ It’s like, no. You infiltrate every story that you tell. It can be a traditional movie, but you respond to something different.”

At 50, the actress has been telling more stories than ever these days, heading into September with her sixth Emmy nomination for HBO sensation “Big Little Lies” — which earned a total of nine nominations — sandwiched between her role on the “Twin Peaks” revival and December’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” She’s just wrapped a new film with Kristen Stewart, and with several more on the immediate horizon, has a sharpened awareness of her power as a storyteller.

“Truth and lies have become a real interesting theme, more than ever, lately,” Dern says, hinting at the turmoil in the political world with the new president. “Frankly, you know better than me as a journalist; it’s a very interesting time to use our voice. So we get to ask questions right now, and where we put our energy, where we can kind of infiltrate a bit…It’s the same on a film – you never want to hit things over the head, but there’s a lot to be said right now and telling stories, whether they’re true stories that are blatant and correct about injustice and a longing for equality and human rights, or it’s disenfranchised characters who don’t even know they’re entitled to a voice – and how interesting to play people who have to make their way not feeling that their voice matters?”

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