For quite some time most casual fans knew Laura Dern as Ellie Sattler in Jurassic Park, but for the last couple of years the actress has been snagging roles left and right — and she is having a ball.

“I know I’m having more fun than I’ve ever had and I know directors are giving me the opportunity to play the most diverse characters I ever have so I’m having the time of my life,” the 52-year-old exclusively told Closer Weekly while attending the New York Film Festival premiere of Marriage Story — her latest film. The Oscar-nominee also touched on why she’s been getting so many different parts now that she’s in the latter part of her career.

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“I don’t know if it’s as much about oneself as it is about filmmakers giving you a chance to be so many different kinds of people and I do think that comes from, hopefully, a lifetime career of playing such different people that they start to trust that you’re ready to go on a journey,” the Star Wars: Last of the Jedi costar explained. “I’m so lucky that I have amazing auteurs in my life that let me do that and create with them and collaborate.”

It is also a family affair for Laura — her parents, Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd are actors. In fact, her dad even gave his daughter some important advice when she was an up and comer in Hollywood.

“Well, when she first started, she asked me what the drill was and I said, ‘Well, the drill is very simple,'” Bruce exclusively told Closer Weekly at a special screening of Peanut Butter Falcon at ArcLight Hollywood in L.A. on August 1. “The greatest intimidator of actors is behind-the-camera intimidation,” he continued, referring specifically to directors.

Laura Dern Bruce Dern
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“So you’ve got to learn how to dance. You’ve got to learn how to dance all around that, not take it personally; it’s not [personal],” the Nebraska star recalled telling his daughter. “Just get your work done and don’t think that they’re all looking at you because you’re going to take three or take four or anything like that. Forget all that.”

It’s working because Laura is at such a great spot in her career at the moment!

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