Speaking to Hannah Lack for the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of AnOther Magazine, Dern reveals that she has never auditioned for the director – not even for Blue Velvet
Innocent, pastel cardigan-wearing Sandy in David Lynch’s 1986 thriller Blue Velvet is one of Laura Dern’s most famous roles. And yet, as she reveals in an interview with Hannah Lack for the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of AnOther Magazine, she didn’t audition for it.
She was 17 and had auditioned for a couple of John Hughes films – Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club – and then found herself in Bob’s Big Boy diner having malts and french fries with David Lynch: a meeting that proved fateful. She landed a role in “the movie of severed ears and sadomasochism”, as Lack describes it and, in the process, discovered the director who proved to be “the miracle” of her career.
So what was it he saw in Dern that day over fries? “I know he was looking for someone he believed was really pure,” says Dern. “Not in a physical way, like, ‘She looks like a girl next door,’ but pure of heart, maybe. Not jaded, not cynical. And that is the one thing I will say for myself. I’ve been very lucky in many ways, but I’ve been through my own version of a lot, my own heartbreaks, we all have, and I’ve not become bitter ever, over anything. It’s part of my constitution and I think David really likes that. I can be dramatic or emotional or scared, but he needed Sandy, at her root, to be such a believer, so hopeful, such an optimist, and that really is my nature. Because, yeah, he hadn’t auditioned me. He’s never auditioned me. Shit, if he does now, I may never work with him again. Luckily I just keep fooling him.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Dern reveals that she remains friends with Lynch, meeting the director regularly for fried chicken at the Chateau Marmont. His nickname for her, apparently, is “Tidbit”.
Head here to read the interview in full.
Hannah Lack’s interview with Laura Dern appears in AnOther Magazine Spring/Summer 2020, which is on sale internationally from February 13, 2020.