Laura Dern Would Like Actors to Get Over Themselves, Please
Article taken from Vanity Fair
When actors speak lavishly about themselves, Laura Dern starts to tune them out. The star—and our current reigning queen of acting renaissances—has decided that she has had it (officially!) with actors talking about themselves all the damn time. On Sunday, the actress spoke about Hollywood narcissism at a Cannes Lions event with YouTube star Grace Helbig, saying that stars should instead spend their time in the public eye talking about charitable causes.
Her epiphany was inspired by her Oscar-nominated turn in the film Wild. Her character (years-old spoiler alert) dies of lung cancer in the film, which pushed Dern to raise awareness about the illness while she was doing press. It became a “teachable moment,” one she yearns to share with the rest of her industry peers who spend hours on end talking about themselves during press tours. (Though to be fair to those actors, such is the nature and demand of a press tour.)
“I am always stunned by the amount of press I have done in my life with respected actors, and we sit there and wait for someone to ask something that we are passionate about, rather than something funny that happened on the set,” Dern mused, per Page Six.
Someone please ask Laura Dern what she is passionate about! For years, she has been waiting for an enterprising young journalist to get the real scoop—a scoop from the heart. Of course, Dern knows as well as anyone that people don’t necessarily want to read about an actor’s charitable passions all the time. (As cynical as it sounds, that’s never been a tried-and-true method for selling movie tickets.) But perhaps there’s some way to find a happy medium, where stars can talk about both the causes they champion and the silliest things they did on the sets of their latest projects. Though, perhaps they can do it more gracefully than, say, Tom Hiddleston at this year’s Golden Globes—who tried to shed light on the current plight in South Sudan during his acceptance speech, but ended up sounding as though he was patting himself on the back for his charitable efforts. Plenty of others—cue Meryl Streep’s own Golden Globes speech from this year—have found a way to merge the two in a more natural way. This is, after all, probably the most “woke” era in human history, so maybe Hollywood and social good can find a way to forge a new era of celebrity consumption. Of course, it will also be up to other actors to turn the tide, as Dern notes that her peers are a little too happy to blab about themselves all day long.
“Narcissism only lasts for so long, and I’m thinking, ‘Oh my God, how long can he talk about himself?’” Dern asked at the event. “There should be a cause we can talk about.” The sentiment will likely rankle (or secretly delight) certain corners of the acting world—which might impact Dern’s rumored bid to be elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
At the event, Dern, the daughter of celebrated actors Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern, remembers a simpler time when actors were “unreachable and untouchable,” only available to the public via magazine covers and a rare Johnny Carson interview. Alas, times have changed—for the better, she adds, which we heartily agree with. An untouchable, pre-2000s Laura Dern wouldn’t have Instagram, for example. Not a world we want to live in! And for what it’s worth, Dern does use her social media for good, posting about various global issues that she wants to champion.
Anyway, the true moral of the story here is: a reigning prestige queen would like actors to pick a cause and stick with it. Act accordingly, Hollywood.