Laura Dern Reveals Her Sexual Harassment Experience in Hollywood: I Thought I Was 'One of the Lucky Ones'

By
Laura Dern at 2017 Emmys
Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Laura Dern says she thought she was "one of the lucky ones." 

During a Wednesday appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the 50-year-old actress opened up about being honored at Elle's 24th Annual Women in Hollywood Celebration, and the important conversation about sexual harassment that occurred at the event. 

"A very interesting thing happened this morning, which was I woke up and I realized that in that space, I talked about how I was one of the lucky ones because I was raised by actors who told me their stories and told me what to look out for, and I realized that I was still justifying behavior," Dern told DeGeneres. "It was my mom who said, 'No, no, no, Laura. That was sexual assault. That was harassment, that was assault. No, you were 14 then.'"

"You realize how, in our culture, we have justifying and therefore even condoned behavior as though it's the norm," she continued. "And I felt very moved by people being honest and direct."

"The most exciting part of it is, in moving forward, we talked about a forming of a commission, which Kathleen Kennedy presented, to have a place where you can feel safe, even anonymously, to reach out and say, 'There's an abuse of power here, and something is not OK,'" Dern said. 

Speaking of Kennedy, who is currently the president of Lucasfilm, Dern also dished on the secret character she plays in Star Wars: The Last Jedi-- as much as she could, anyway.

"I am actually in it. I did have the greatest experience of my life. I felt like I was seven years old again, and Rian Johnson even keeps telling this really embarrassing story, our amazing director, about how when he got in the editing room -- and I do have weaponry in a scene -- he literally heard me making sounds, because I had only done it in my room in childhood. On camera, you hear me then going, 'Pew, pew pew!'" she confessed. "It's like, so embarrassing! But, you know, it's Star Wars!"

"It was so embarrassing, but I was so excited to be there, that I really did think I was at play. It was crazy and beautiful," she shared, before sharing another special experience on set: working with the late Carrie Fisher.

"[I worked with] the amazing Carrie, who we all knew was just the most wildly forthright and incredible, authentic being, and taught us so much about that," she gushed. 

See what Dern told ET about working with Fisher on The Last Jedi in the video below.