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Laura Dern Quotes

Laura Elizabeth Dern

Laura Dern quotes: on acting, activism and living your best life.

“There are no accidents in what you end up doing.”

“You will succeed and fail in equal measure. Both experiences are worthwhile. They will both define you.”

“You have to get out of your own way and write your own story—and not be forced into the narrative that you think will give you the easiest path to success or the most likes.”

“Stay true to your own voice, and don’t worry about needing to be liked or what anybody else thinks. Keep your eyes on your own paper.”

“You don’t have to run away from life your whole life. You can really live. You can change. And you can be an agent of change.”

“I think it’s about not just the crisis you’re in, but how do you get to the other side? How do we heal? How do we survive this experience while remaining hopeful instead of filled with despair?”

“Growth doesn’t hurt. This is what I’ve learned. In the end, it doesn’t hurt. It hurts while it’s happening. But in the end, you know, for life, for parenting… it’s not a bad—not a bad thing to try for.”

“I like taking challenges. Just when people think they have me figured out, I like to surprise them.”

“I think there are ways to get so caught up in your career and being so heavy and dramatic, and everyone wants to be a tortured genius.”

“Any journey of a creative person has, you know, really unusual challenges and years where you don’t work and years where you work.”

“What do you say when someone has truly inspired you?”

“I always fall in love with qualities of people I work with.”

“The only thing that I can personally turn to is compassion, gentleness, a willingness to allow myself to be angry instead of like why am I so angry. It’s so embarrassing. I’ve got to let this go. I’m not going to be a good person if I walk around angry like this.”

“Your life shifts instantaneously. I was always an activist. I cared deeply about environmental health, particularly for families and children, but then you become a parent, and it’s not that your priorities shift; it’s the amount of intent starts to shift in a really interesting way.”

“I focus on what I’ve decided is this country and the country that I describe to my children. And there are very few things that seem clear, but there is zero tolerance for a few things, because we’re Americans, and we’re clear about a few things. Our grandparents and great-grandparents have worked too hard to get us here. So I am continuing to tell my children the story that is what this country is built upon, and there have been some mistakes where there are a rare few who don’t understand. And we don’t have to have compassion for their ignorance, but we can acknowledge it, and we’ve just got to keep using our voice.”

“I think my mom exposed me to the concept of using your voice for anything you care about.”

“May we teach our children that speaking out without the fear of retribution, is our culture’s new North Star.”

“With the technology, we’ve become more apathetic, because we don’t look in each other’s eyes any more as we attempt communication. But at the same time, with one iPhone, we can start a revolution. If there’s injustice, you just film it and post it. And suddenly people are tapped into a current event they wouldn’t otherwise see, and that’s incredible.”

“I grew up in a world that had great discipline.”

“The minute I surrendered to the flow of the mess of life, everything came together magnificently: my longing for art, my skill as an actor, and my capacities as a friend and mother. The beauty of being a woman today is in savoring the minutiae of life, all the moments that add up to you. The joy you’ll find in being in your body, in sexuality and sensuality, in service, in art, in mothering.”

“It’s good to fight in front of your children as long as they can see the resolution. This is being human: you get angry, you get hurt, you yell and say things you don’t mean, and then you circle back and you’re accountable. Otherwise kids hit adulthood and they don’t know how to deal with conflict.”

“I’m very connected to my own family, and maybe I like to explore the feelings that come up in families. I’m fortunate that my parents taught me to look further into why I might feel a certain way; it was normal to expose things.”

“I knew I wanted to become an actor when I was seven years old. My dad was working with Alfred Hitchcock, my mom was working with Martin Scorsese, and it was the great summer of my childhood.”

“You start as an actor hoping that you will always play radically different and complicated and diverse characters, if you’re lucky, over the course of a career.”

“Luckily, I was raised by people who’d already seen all the yuck stuff, which is why they originally didn’t want me to act. I understood the difference between getting a part at a Hollywood party and getting a job.”

“I’m interested in human nature. That’s why I chose to become an actor. Whatever people are struggling with, the struggle is often where the drama is.”

“Whatever character you play, it gives you the chance to expose another side of yourself that maybe you’ve never felt comfortable with, or never knew about.”

“I made a commitment to myself: that I wanted to be an actress, and I wanted to do films that make a difference. Whether it makes someone laugh, or it has a moral to the story—it doesn’t have to be an ethical film, but it has to move people. If it doesn’t excite me, it’s not worth doing; it’s better to work on myself and my own life and wait until another great thing comes along.”

“What a time to get to work. There’s no time to waste. We girls gotta try it all.”

“It excites me to go to a movie and be reminded that I’m human, and I’m filled with opposites, and I’m built with flaws. Part of growth and healing is recognizing that.”

“The bad news is, I have worked less than I have liked. The good news is, I can look back on my body of work and feel truly proud of the work I have done.”

“That’s life—to turn each other on, to feel good, to feel in love.”

“If we could all figure out a way to just be true to ourselves and have a good time doing what we’re doing, it would be a lot more fun.”

“There is so much in the world to care about.”

“I want you to live in the space that’s your own, your own delicious mess. The story comes from within you.”

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