Laura Dern Gets 'Enlightened'

Award winning actress Laura Dern discusses her new show 'Enlightened,' her passion for activism, and "righteous anger."

BY: Evan Derrick

 
All photos courtesy HBO

You might recognize her as Dr. Ellie Sattler from Jurassic Park, but actress Laura Dern has done so much more. From critically lauded work in the films of David Lynch to bit parts in comedies like Little Fockers, she has created a body of work that is hard to define. Now she's returning to television (where some of her best work has been done - she won a Golden Globe in the made-for-TV political drama Recount) in the new HBO drama (or is it a comedy?) Enlightened.

See that picture up there? Yup, that's the very first thing you see in the very first episode of the show: Amy Jellicoe, power player corporate executive extraordinaire, sitting in the restroom having a nervous breakdown. Seconds later she's storming out into her office and giving both barrels to the fellow executive she believes screwed her over. Actually, both barrels is inaccurate: she gives him the equivalent of a nuclear explosion. Unsurprisingly, she's fired. 

But after a spiritual retreat in Hawaii helps her to pick up the pieces, she returns to her old life with a new, more 'enlightened' outlook, and attempts to put her life back together. Of course, it's not that easy. 

Beliefnet had a chance to sit down with Dern and discuss the show, her activism, and what exactly "righteous anger" looks like. 

Continued on page 2: Is it possible to become satisfied simply with believing? »

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