'Enlightened' Cast Teases the HBO Dramedy

12:47 PM PST 10/10/2011 by Ramona Saviss, Rebecca Ford
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The new HBO show featuring Laura Dern and her mother, Diane Ladd, premieres Monday, Oct. 10.

Laura Dern stars as Amy, who, after a very public breakdown, returns from a treatment center in Hawaii with an entirely new outlook on life. In the HBO series Enlightened, Amy returns to reality to deal with her mother (played by Dern’s real-life mother Diane Ladd), her troublesome ex-husband (Luke Wilson) and a new set of co-workers who may not agree with her new outlook on life.

The cast of Enlightened, which premieres on HBO on Monday, October 10, spoke to The Hollywood Reporter at the premiere red carpet event, and gave THR an inside-look at the upcoming dramedy. Here are five things seen and heard on the red carpet:

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1. Laura Dern Finds It Easier to Work With Her Mother
Dern admitted that she is a little more enlightened herself because she found it easier to work with her mother, Diane Ladd, now than when she was younger. Dern worked alongside her mother in the films Wild at Heart and Rambling Rose, but told THR that Enlightened was a better experience. “It’s a very different experience than working with her in my early 20s, as I said to her jokingly a few minutes ago, ‘You know when we worked together when I was 20, every word you said triggered me, now every eighth word you say triggers me—so there is incremental growth!’”

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2. Diane Ladd Couldn’t Watch Her Daughter Have a Mental Breakdown
Dern’s mother told THR that she couldn’t and wouldn’t watch her daughter’s scene in which she has a mental breakdown. “I don’t watch unless I have a scene with her and of course then I’m fighting her in the scene you know, and I’m involved in my own character,” she said. “But no, if I’m not in the scene with her, I’m not going to watch her go through that. No, that tears my heart.”


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3. Luke Wilson Says “Anything Goes” With His Character
Luke Wilson was able to really push with his character, Levi, who is Dern’s character’s ex-husband. “I mean for me it was always kind of fun to play this character because I’d always think that because what this guy does with kind of drugs and alcohol, he can be in a great mood, he can be you know on the edge, he can be laughing, he can literally be kind of alone and sobbing so it’s really kind of anything goes.”

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4. Diane Ladd Is Sick of Reality Shows
Ladd had plenty of nice things to say about working with her daughter and the HBO show. However, she’s not such a fan of all the reality shows that have infiltrated television. “Everybody I tell about show they say, ‘Oh thank god it’s not a reality show,’” said Ladd. “I mean there are one or two good ones but I’m sick to death of them, up to here.” Ladd went on to express her frustration at the popularity of reality TV and its effects on her own trade. “My people aren’t working, they can’t make a living, and I think it’s a tragedy. You’ve got all these great writers and directors and actors and cinematographers, out there and they’re not utilized.”

5. Tim Sharp Plays the Bad Guy, and It’s Funny
Tim Sharp (Six Feet Under) plays the new boss on the HBO show, and he admits that he’s an obstacle for Dern’s character. “I guess I’m the bad guy of the show if there is one,” he said. “I’m her main obstacle. I’m by no means evil, I’m just a douche bag and it’s funny.” 


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