With all the attention-grabbing roles that Laura Dern has had over the past year—from her transcendent turn in Little Women to her Academy Award-winning performance in Marriage Story—you'd be forgiven for thinking she wants to take time off from acting while she's social distancing with her family at home in Santa Monica. But actually, she's got a home acting gig of sorts going on with her close pal, Reese Witherspoon.
“One co-star that I have in my daily ritual is Reese,” Dern said when we caught up with her by phone in early April. “For example, we are figuring out today a way to Zoom with a senior center,” she said. The two actresses (who have been friend goals for women everywhere since they co-starred in two seasons of Big Little Lies) have gotten creative during their separate quarantines using Zoom. “We have been doing scenes from our favorite tv shows from when we were little, and we have our kids film it,” she said, laughing. Which shows? What roles are the women assuming? Dern demurred on adding details, but teased that she and her pal Reese might find a place for the footage in the near future.
Back in the real world of Hollywood, when the pandemic forced a global production shut-down, Dern had been in preparation to reprise her role as Dr. Ellie Sattler in Jurassic World: Dominion. Until filming resumes, Dern fans can hear her narrate a relaxing story called “Ocean Moon” on the Calm app. “I'm eager to tell stories, and happy there's an app to do that,” she said of the app's collection of bedtime stories, which are read by celebrities including Joanna Lumley, Leona Lewis and Matthew McConaughey. “My kids and I listen to one at bedtime,” she said of her teen children, her companions in lock-down (along with intermittent stays from her mom, actress Diane Ladd).
Family story hour? Playful Zoom sessions? Laura Dern in quarantine, FTW.