Laura Dern didn’t find it “easy” returning to her career after having her children.
The 52-year-old actress – who has Ellery, 18, and Jaya, 15, with ex-husband Ben Harper – was determined to take time out to be there for her kids when they were young because her own parents, Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd, didn’t have that “luxury”.
However, although her break gave her a fresh “hunger” for her profession, she wasn’t welcomed back with open arms.
She told Vanity Fair magazine: “Having been raised by actors, I really cared when I had children to take time off and really be with them, and my parents were not – or, my mother was not – afforded that luxury.
“She was gone a lot and you didn’t get to take your kid on location or have them help with a nanny or have an extra hotel room. Those things weren’t such an easy option.
“And so I was really determined to take real time off – I mean, like a couple of years off – and just focus on being a mother, and their father [Ben Harper] is a musician.
“I travelled and went to museums and took the kids to concerts. It was so restorative for me. And when I came back to it, I felt so hungry and passionate, but it was not easy. There was a little bit of ‘Well, what have you been doing?’
“I did a film and I remember a newspaper critic was very kind about my performance, but it was the Rediscovery of Laura Dern. I was like, ‘Guys, I took two years to have a couple of kids.’ “
Although the ‘Marriage Story’ actress felt “sad” at the response, it gave her a drive to accept all the projects that came her way and she’s enjoying the “freedom” of working on whatever she likes.
She said: “It was suddenly this kind of ‘she’s starting over’ thing. I was sad that as a woman there wasn’t room for all of it.
“My disillusionment at that time bred a thing I’ve never had, which was, ‘Fuck it, I’m just going to say yes to everything and see what that feels like…’
“I was doing ‘Big Little Lies’, ‘Twin Peaks’, and ‘Star Wars’ at the same time, shooting and running to locations.
“I’ve loved the freedom lately of just going, ‘Fuck it’…
“I don’t know that 15 years ago I would’ve said, ‘I can go from that character to that character so fast.’ So that’s a gift. The struggles are the gift.”