Laura Dern’s Son Had an Awkward Run-in With Teen ‘Big Little Lies’ Fans

“It’s just…my mom is Renata Klein.”

70th Emmy Awards - Arrivals
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Laura Dern is on the November cover of Town & Country, their “Woman of the Year” issue, no less. And the cover even features Renata Klein’s famous catchphrase: “I will not not be rich.” (T&C really outdid themselves here: other coverlines include “NEPOTISM: A User’s Guide,” and “The $400 MILLION California Horse Feud”.) We certainly agree with their assessment; Dern is one of the finest actresses working today, and her performance as Klein on Big Little Lies provided the internet with some of the greatest GIFs of all time. The massively popular HBO show is even a hit with teenage boys, as Dern found out via her seventeen-year-old son, model Ellery Harper.

Dern told writer Carina Chocano that while Ellery was away attending a summer program, kids started talking about BLL one day at lunch. He was quiet while the others were chatting, and so someone asked him if he hated the show. “It’s not that,” he reportedly said. “It’s just…my mom is Renata Klein.”

The other teens apparently thought that Ellery was speaking metaphorically and felt bad for him, thinking that his mother was some sort of unhinged, anxiety-ridden CEO. “I love that he didn’t say Laura Dern,” Dern said, laughing. “He said his mom was Renata! I was like, ‘That this happened to you around that character, of all characters.’ Poor thing.’”

The rest of the profile, which also mentions that Dern once lived with New Age Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson, is full of colleagues waxing rhapsodically about the actress’ prodigious talents. “There was one scene in Big Little Lies,” co-star Reese Witherspoon said, “where I got to see every extraordinary faculty that Laura has in her toolbox. She came in crying, told a joke, had us all laughing, became hysterical, cried again, and then had a dramatic, comedic exit. Just watching her do that scene was like a year of acting classes.”