Laura Dern Kept Her "White Lotus" Cameo a Secret — Even From Her Kids
Laura Dern is finally addressing her sneaky "White Lotus" cameo. During a "Jimmy Kimmel Live" appearance on Jan. 5, the "Big Little Lies" star discussed her brief but memorable voice performance as Abby Di Grasso in the HBO show's second season. Dern shared that she landed the offscreen role due to her longtime friendship with "White Lotus" creator Mike White, with whom she cocreated the HBO series "Enlightened." "It was amazing," Dern told Kimmel. "I loved doing it, and I loved literally recording into my phone and [White] saying, 'Just go to town. Be as angry as you want.'"
Dern certainly took White's direction to heart. About 20 minutes into the season two premiere, Dominic Di Grasso (Michael Imperioli) hops on the phone with his estranged wife, Abby, who opted out of their family vacation to Sicily following his latest act of infidelity. Though Abby remains off screen for the conversation, Dern's voice is instantly recognizable during her character's profanity-laced tirade as she tells Dominic, "I'm honest, I don't keep f*cking secrets from my family. You should try it sometime." Each F-bomb is more piercing than the last as she refuses his apologies and warns him to never call again. Dominic winds up calling her again in episode seven for a decidedly less heated exchange.
Dern revealed she recorded the audio for both scenes in her closet at home and didn't tell anyone about the role, including her 21-year-old son, Ellery, who instantly clocked her voice while they watched the show together.
Fans were holding out hope that Abby would pop up in the flesh at the White Lotus resort to wreak havoc on her cheating husband. Imperioli seemed to hint at the possibility early on while praising Dern's acting abilities on Instagram: "the absolutely magnificent LAURA DERN plays my wife in the new season of 'THE WHITE LOTUS,'" the "Goodfellas" actor wrote. "Although (so far) she has only been heard on the phone and not seen, her performance is a standout among many great ones in the 'White Lotus' troupe. LaDern can do more with voice alone than most can do with everything else. She's genius." But alas, the season two finale came and went without Dern stepping foot on Sicilian soil.
When Kimmel joked about Dern potentially starring in the show's third installment, the Oscar winner played coy. "I think last time I was here, you asked me that about Jurassic Park and, in fact, I was," she said, referencing how she reprised her role as Ellie Sattler in the dinosaur film franchise's 2022 release. Here's to hoping we finally get the onscreen Dern appearance we deserve in season three.