The phenomenal American actress Laura Dern was on the Off Camera Show recently where she told host Sam Jones about being encouraged to be an actress by director Martin Scorcese when she was just seven years old.
Dern said she met Scorcese when her mother, Diane Ladd, was starring in the film Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.
“He sort of jokingly encouraged me to be an actor. I had been an extra in the film. He put me prominently in this shot where I’m eating an ice cream cone, and then he shot it 19 times so I had to eat 19 ice cream cones, and he took me over to my mom and said, “This girl just ate 19 ice creams and she didn’t get sick. She’s gotta be an actress.”
The now-actress said she remembers thinking seriously about what Scorcese had said but then, when she was in her teens, Scorcese gave her some advice that stuck with her even more.
“When I was in my teens, he gave me the most encouraging comment…he said, “You know, Laura, what’s really cool is you’re really building a body of work like a filmmaker does. Don’t stop doing that”.
Laura Dern went on to say she got “so unbelievably lucky”, because she was raised by two committed actors (her mother, Diane Ladd and her father, Bruce Dern). She also got to see so many incredible directors at work.
But, when it came to screentesting for two very popular ‘brat pack’ movies, she was offered parts in other films instead.
And that made her see that “filmmakers who had real vision were picking me”, which definitely impacted her later career in an extremely positive way.
Watch Laura Dern talk about the advice Martin Scorcese gave her in the Off Camera Show clip below.