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The two lived together when Dern was 17 and Williamson was 31. “I, by good fortune, found her,” said Dern. “She needed a roommate at the time I had just moved out and started my acting career and we ended up roommates.”
“Poor her because she was an adult who knew how to function and have a home and I was a teenager just figuring my way out, so I was very blessed,” the Marriage Story and Little Women star said.
Dern added that Williamson was an “amazing” roommate and shared that Williamson was a big supporter of Dern learning to meditate.
Kimmel later asked if Williamson was a strict roommate. Dern said that Williamson never yelled at her for not doing the dishes, and Williamson even remained calm after Dern almost burned down the apartment. “I was running to an acting class ’cause that was my priority and left rice on,” she said. “That wasn’t great, but she was even loving during even that. It was shocking but true.”
The actress added that Williamson “has an amazing platform in terms of education in this country.” She admitted, “I’m thinking, ‘Oh god, maybe she learned because she was like, ‘I gotta teach her.'”
Dern later spoke about filming the original Jurassic Park film in 1992. “It was the time of our life, although we did survive a hurricane, Hurricane Iniki, on the island of Kauai, which was crazy,” she said.
“We were there when it hit. It was amazing, devastating, shocking to go through,” she recalled.
“We didn’t have time to go to higher grounds, so we were put in a conference area of the hotel we were in. Steven Spielberg, our director, and I were kind of going through the kitchen area where they had those meat locker doors and it was blown off its hinges as we were going through this corridor,” she said. “We were thrown up against a wall and I’ll never forget seeing everything go sideways. Palm tree, pieces of cars, roofs of houses and it was insane.”
She added that the community came together and that the film’s crew was “amazing” at handling the natural disaster.
The cast and crew were split into groups during the hurricane and Dern’s group included Spielberg and Jeff Goldblum. “I will never forget those moments of being given a box of food and a bottle of water to sort of share,” she said.
She shared that in addition to food, they were also given a flashlight. “After many hours, Steven sort of entertained us and made me realize what a consummate filmmaker he is because it was late at night and he took the flashlight and he held it up to my face in the darkness and to light me beautifully from this angle and terrifyingly from this angle,” she said as she held a fake flashlight up to Kimmel’s face. She then switched angles and said that Spielberg would go, “Love story, horror film.”
“Even amidst a hurricane, guys, he will make a very cool movie,” she said.
Watch Dern’s full appearance below.
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