Hollywood isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. Especially for Laura Dern, who recently opened up about the times that she felt adults acted inappropriately towards her as a child.
“I started making movies as an 11-year-old, so I was on location at 13, which is a different thing,” the Big Little Lies actress told Vanity Fair for their February cover story. “I remember every compromised situation. I was a child, and adults took advantage of me or tried, and I justified the behavior as me misunderstanding it.”
In the candid new interview published on Wednesday, Jan. 2, the 51-year-old opened up about working in the entertainment industry when she was just a young girl. Laura also admitted that her role in HBO’s The Tale, which has garnered her a 2019 Golden Globe nomination, triggered some old memories for the actress.
The film tells the story of her character, Jennifer, who is forced to re-evaluate past relationships with two adult coaches. Even though she was 13 years old, Laura’s character deemed the relationships consensual at the time. The premise ultimately made Laura reflect on her childhood, while her discussion with Vanity Fair led Laura to talk about important movements such as #MeToo and Time’s Up.
“I will tell you I experienced everything barring assault,” she admitted. “I mean, there were a million of these circumstances where… What director or casting director needs a 13-year-old to go to the Chateau to audition in a room, sitting on a bed beside the director, to read a scene together alone? You just don’t create that scenario. There was behavior that was definitely the worst kind of behavior that somehow I got myself out of or someone stopped it,” she continued.
However, Laura admitted that while raising awareness for circumstances like this is crucial, she understands why some assault survivors don’t come forward. “No one has to speak about their experience,” Laura stated. “It’s also remarkably brave to sit in your own home and look in the mirror and say, ‘this is the truth of what happened.'”