Laura Dern produced the Oscar-nominated animated short film If Anything Happens I Love You in 2021, but her Oscars experience started much earlier, having attended her first ceremony at just 7 years old.
She didn’t win an Academy Award until 1992, but she initially started attending as a guest of her parents, actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd. Laura opened up to Vanity Fair in 2020 about going to the Oscars with her mother in 1975. Ladd was nominated for Best Actress for her role in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.
“I remember it being scary and overwhelming,” Laura told the outlet at the time. “I also remember my mom feeling proud of herself and loving her work … and I remember thinking, whatever I do when I grow up, I want to really love my job and feel proud of it. I’ve never forgotten that.”
The actress would go to earn her own Academy Award nominations for Best Actress in Rambling Rose (1992), Best Supporting Actress in Wild (2015) and Best Supporting Actress for Marriage Story (2019).
Laura’s role as the tough divorce lawyer Nora Fanshaw in Marriage Story gave her a clean sweep of the 2020 awards season with wins at the Golden Globes, SAG Awards and BAFTAS. In February 2020, she won the first Oscar of her career for the role and dubbed it the “best birthday present ever.”
As Dern took the stage to accept the honor, she took time to share the love with her incredibly supportive family.
“I would like to say a special thank you to the gifts of the love stories in my life. My stepchildren, C.J. and Harris, my heart and inspiration, Ellery and Jaya,” she said in her touching speech. “You know, some say never meet your heroes, but I say, if you’re really blessed, you get them as your parents. I share this with my acting heroes, my legends, Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern. You’ve got game. I love you.”
The Big Little Lies star told Us Weekly in January 2020 that she believes the film — which also costars Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson — has received critical acclaim because it’s a universal story.
“I think it’s an incredibly relatable story, both because most of us have been through heartbreak and have been through even divorce,” Laura explained. “But also, I think it really speaks to something more global, which is about division in general and trying to find community, whether you’re coparents or it’s us, you know, in the world.”
The Little Women star told Variety in January 2020 that the film definitely resonated with her and admitted she “cried for half an hour” when she first read the script.
“We all know that pain of loving someone so much and they’ve hurt you so much,” Laura said. “Whether it was in real life or you’ve had a dream where you kill them or beat the crap out of them. The terror of loving so deep that you feel that hatred from heartbreak.”
Scroll down to revisit Laura’s Oscars red carpet looks throughout the years.