Fresh off her powerful acceptance speech at the Golden Globes for her role as Renata Klein in HBO’s hit Big Little Lies and her part as a leading character in the new Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Laura Dern wants to play more complex and culturally relevant characters, which is something she says audiences desire.
During a panel hosted by Omnicom Media Group at the Consumer Electronics Show last week, Dern and Beth Altringer, Ph.D, founder and director of Harvard’s Desirability Lab, talked about the role that technology and innovation plays in Hollywood and filmmaking.
Claudia Cahill, Omnicom Media Group’s chief content officer, moderated the 45-minute talk and asked Dern what she looks for in picking projects to work on. According to Dern, her upbringing by two actor parents—Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern—encouraged her to go after diverse roles.
“They taught me early on to pursue what would be reflective of not only the human condition but what our culture looks like,” she said. “I think that’s why audiences are craving storytelling to look like the world we live in and that includes diversity on a far deeper level than we’ve ever seen. Everyone, meaning the people who are creating content and storytellers, have to catch up with what the audience is longing for, which is the truth. The truth is messy and lives in the grey. We’re not black and white.”
Take her latest Star Wars role, for example. Dern plays Vice Admiral Holdo, one of a handful of women characters that fans of the iconic franchise have praised as strong leaders in the film.
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