Laura Dern Reflects on Working with Father Bruce Dern for First Time on 'Palm Royale': 'Hard in the Best Way'

The actress discussed the gratification she felt appearing on the new Apple TV+ drama alongside her father, calling it "one of the great experiences of our life"

<p>Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic</p> Laura Dern and Bruce Dern in Los Angeles, California in December 2015.


Laura Dern and Bruce Dern in Los Angeles, California in December 2015.

For Laura Dern, working with her father Bruce Dern for the first time on Palm Royale proved to be a very special experience.

In the Apple TV+ drama about Palm Beach’s social elite, Laura stars as Linda, a hippie activist, while Bruce portrays her onscreen father Skeet.

The opportunity to work together on the show, something she had never done before, stemmed from back-and-forth conversations Laura had with Palm Royale’s production team.

"I've had the great good fortune of working with my mom several times, but I'd actually never worked with my dad," Laura, 57, told Entertainment Weekly. "So that was such a dream come true. [The production team and I] talked a lot about how I'd never worked with my dad and wouldn't that be incredible, but it was sort of filed away. And then, it occurred to everyone at the same time."

Related: Kristen Wiig Is Tanned and Twangy in Swinging '60s Series Palm Royale – Watch the First Trailer!

<p>Apple TV+</p> Laura Dern and Bruce Dern in the 'Palm Royale.'

Apple TV+

Laura Dern and Bruce Dern in the 'Palm Royale.'

Laura admitted she was nervous about producers inviting Bruce to join the cast.

"I became like a kid not wanting to bother my dad," she jokes. "He was busy. And so it was also like, 'Would you want to come play for these amount of days?' And juggling his schedule. But he did, and he and I together had one of the great experiences of our life."

Striking the balance of playing her father's child onscreen as his real-life daughter was also a difficult task, Laura said.

"You hope that it always is hard," she told EW. "You hope that you found a place that is so relatable for you emotionally, that the lines are blurred and that you connect to it and the themes that you're exploring."

"So it was hard in the best way," she added. "I was there with him exploring deep themes in family, and that was really exciting."

While Palm Royale is Laura’s first onscreen collaboration with her father, the actress has worked with mother Diane Ladd several times over the years, including Laura’s uncredited appearances in her mother’s films, including the 1973 action film White Lightning and the 1974 romance Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. They later costarred in the ‘90s movies Rambling Rose and Citizen Ruth and played mother and daughter in the 1990 crime thriller Wild at Heart, as well as the HBO show Enlightened.

Related: All About Laura Dern’s Famous Parents, Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd

<p>Barry King/FilmMagic</p> From left: Diane Ladd, Laura Dern and Bruce Dern in Los Angeles, California in November 2014.

Barry King/FilmMagic

From left: Diane Ladd, Laura Dern and Bruce Dern in Los Angeles, California in November 2014.

Their work in Rambling Rose earned them Oscar nominations in 1992, with Laura receiving a nod for Best Actress and Diane earning a nomination for Best Supporting Actress — a moment that marked the first time in the award show’s history that a mother and daughter were nominated in the same year.

When Laura won an Oscar in 2019 for Best Supporting Actress for her work in Marriage Story, she dedicated her award to her parents.

“Some say, ‘Never meet your heroes.’ But I say, if you're really blessed, you get them as your parents,” she said during her acceptance speech. “I share this with my acting heroes, my legends, Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern. You got game. I love you.”

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New episodes of Palm Royale drop every Wednesday on Apple TV+.

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