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Laura Dern Fulfills Her Dream of Finally Acting With Her Oscar-Nominated Father Bruce Dern

Laura Dern Fulfills Her Dream of Finally Acting With Her Oscar Nominated Father Bruce Dern
Bruce Dern (L) and Laura Dern Jeff Vespa/Getty Images

After acting for more than 50 years, Laura Dern’s dream of working with her father, Bruce Dern, has finally come true in the new Apple TV+ series Palm Royale.

“That was such a dream come true,” Laura, 57, told Entertainment Weekly in an interview published Wednesday, March 27. “[The production team and I] talked a lot about how I’d never worked with my dad and wouldn’t that be incredible, but it was sort of filed away. And then, it occurred to everyone at the same time.”

In the series set in Palm Beach, Florida’s high society in 1969, Laura portrays Linda Shaw, and serves as an executive producer. Bruce, 87, appears in the fourth episode as her character’s father, Skeet.

Bruce’s career spans seven decades, with dozens of film and television credits. Laura admitted that she was apprehensive about approaching her dad to work with her.

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“I became, like, a kid not wanting to bother my dad,” she said. “He was busy. And so it was also like, ‘Would you want to come play for these amount of days?’ And juggling his schedule. But he did, and he and I together had one of the great experiences of our life.”

The Big Little Lies alum enjoyed the challenge of finding the perfect balance of playing a character while also calling upon her personal relationship with her dad.

“You hope that it always is hard,” Laura continued. “You hope that you found a place that is so relatable for you emotionally, that the lines are blurred and that you connect to it and the themes that you’re exploring. So it was hard in the best way. I was there with him exploring deep themes in family, and that was really exciting.”

Laura’s mother, Diane Ladd, is also an actress, and the twosome have worked together several times, including the films Rambling Rose, Citizen Ruth and Inland Empire. They also portrayed mother and daughter in Wild at Heart and the HBO series Enlightened.

Ladd, 88, was married to Bruce Dern from 1960-1969. They appeared together in The Wild Angels, The Rebel Rousers, Mrs. Munck and American Cowslip. The former couple still remain friends more than 50 years after their divorce.

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Laura began her acting career at age 7 after watching her parents on set with two iconic directors.

“My dad was working with Alfred Hitchcock, my mom was working with Martin Scorsese — and it was the great summer of my childhood,” Laura told People in 2015.

Ladd was appearing in the 1974 Scorsese film, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, and Laura made her acting debut as an extra eating an ice cream cone.

“We had to shoot the scene 19 times, and Marty said to my mom, ‘If she can eat an ice cream cone 19 times, she’s got to be an actress.’ To this little 7-year-old, a buzz went off in the brain,” Laura shared with The New York Times in 1986.

Laura followed in her parents’ footsteps, and in 2010, she, her mother, and her father were presented with adjoining stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It marked the first time that family members were given the honor together.

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