Martin Scorsese predicted future stardom for six-year-old Laura Dern

Laura Dern really impressed director Martin Scorsese in her film debut, at the age of six, by eating 19 ice cream cones in a row.

The Big Little Lies star was raised by actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd and often spent time on their film sets as a child, and during one summer vacation she joined her mum on the set of Scorsese’s film Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, which led to her first role.

“He kindly, I think, gave me something to do because I probably was sitting in a corner,” the actress tells Live With Kelly & Ryan.


“They had to do 19 takes and I ate 19 ice cream cones. As the story went, he (Scorsese) didn’t know that I was listening keenly and I heard him turn to my mother and say, ‘She ate 19 ice cream cones and didn’t get sick? That girl’s going to be an actress’.”

Laura admits she has never forgotten the vote of confidence from the movie mogul.

“I definitely held on to that,” she laughs.

Meanwhile, Dern is still wondering if her own kids – Ellery, 18, and Jaya, 15, – have caught the acting bug.

“Their father (Ben Harper) is a musician whose parents were both musicians and we’re all actors, so I feel like they’ve only been surrounded by the arts…,” she adds. “It may mean one of them is going to say, ‘Please God, get me away from this. I will be a brain surgeon’.”