Laura Dern. Photo: Magnus Sundholm
  • Golden Globe Awards

Nominee Profile 2020: Laura Dern, “Marriage Story”

The admiration Laura Dern elicits is indisputable. She is part of a generation of actresses whose impact will be felt for decades to come – and she has a collection of film and television awards to prove it.In a career that began at age 11, Laura Dern has portrayed radically diverse characters. From the surreal world of David Lynch to the blockbuster prehistoric adventures of Steven Spielberg, the eight-time Golden Globe-nominated actress has created one of the most interesting and unusual careers of any actress in Hollywood. Her track record as a daredevil and her devotion to well-written female characters comprise a curriculum of self-discovery which is more than remarkable.Her latest effort has won critical praise for the scene-stealing portrayal of Nora Fanshaw, a sleek and successful divorce lawyer who represents Scarlett Johansson against her husband in Marriage Story. The film is a personal and moving tale, from director Noah Baumbach which captures the insidious nature of divorce in a story about how two well-intentioned individuals who still care about each other are wrestling with dissolution and trying to be good parents. Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson deliver stunning emotional and complex performances, portraying parents embroiled in a nasty divorce.“One of the things that’s (…)  unlike any other film about the subject of divorce, is that you get to observe two people despite the heartbreak of going through disbanding, going on one path, and with the antagonist stepping in, the entire narrative changes the mess of the business,” explains Dern. “Sure, it’s calculated, manipulative and stealth, all those kinds of colors that feel nightmarish, but she has to be also right if she’s going to win. The lawyers that I specifically spent time with, represent a lot of very high-powered men as well in LA, New York! Everything they do really benefits them,” acknowledges the actress.A longtime muse of David Lynch, Dern has collaborated with the director in films like Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, Inland Empire and most recently Twin Peaks, The Return. “I have the most beautiful friendship with David. I carry him with me on everything I get to do as an actor. Whenever there is an opportunity to be boundary-less, It’s David who pushed me to hurl myself off the cliff as an actor. The greatest gift that I feel deeply in my work, even in Marriage Story, is in finding the humor in the most unexpected places! And David taught me that.”Dern considers herself lucky to have worked with great directors such as Lynch, Robert Altman or Peter Bogdanovich. “These filmmakers gave me my beginnings and to get to work with them more than once is quite a luxury.”In her free time, Dern is a fervent activist and supporter of various charities. She advocates for Down Syndrome awareness and expresses her support for immigrants’ rights. She is also a campaigner for women’s rights, gender pay parity as well as combating gun violence and climate change.