Laura Dern has delivered fantastic performances in several iconic productions over the course of an illustrious career. Ranging from popular culture classics such as Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park to cult gems like David Lynch’s neo-noir masterpiece Blue Velvet, Dern has worked on brilliant projects belonging to vastly different domains.
Dern was introduced to the world of cinema from a very young age and she started garnering attention early on in her career as well. With projects such as Mask and David Lynch’s films including Blue Velvet and Wild at Heart, Dern established herself as an artist with great promise. She had even auditioned for the iconic role of Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs but it eventually went to Jodie Foster.
In recent years, Dern has continued starring in critically acclaimed gems like Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master which is widely considered to be one of the greatest masterpieces of the last decade. In addition to that, Dern has also appeared in other recent films such as Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story and Greta Gerwig’s version of Little Women.
While many fans would expect Dern to highlight the works of one of her favourite collaborators – David Lynch, she has a different preference when it comes to her favourite role from her extensive career. When asked about it, the famous actress did not choose popular roles such as her starring turn in Jurassic Park or even her Oscar-nominated work in Rambling Rose.
Instead, Dern claimed that her favourite role of all time came in the 1996 black comedy film Citizen Ruth. “I’ve never fallen in love with a character more. There was not a scene where I wasn’t barfing or fucking or vomiting or burping. I was just a disgusting mess,” Dern said, while recalling how the role had a huge impact on her.
Set during the Great Depression, Citizen Ruth stars Dern as an addict whose children have been taken away from her by the state. While the government deems her unfit to be a mother, a religious couple decide to take her in if she follows through with her current pregnancy which attracts a lot of attention from those fighting for abortion rights.
“I was at a very lucky time in my career, being afforded lots of opportunities,” Dern added, in an interview. “At the time, I was making the choices as an actor that my parents raised me to make, which is ‘Do what you feel in your gut, play the roles that speak to you, challenge yourself, be bold, be radical.’ I cared deeply, and still do, about human rights.”