Laura Dern and Reese Witherspoon have been friends since 2014’s Wild, when Dern played the flashback-appearing mother of Witherspoon’s self-seeking globetrotter. While doing press together for HBO’s dark family dramedy Big Little Lies—where they play suburban moms waging an escalating cold war on each other—though, the pair revealed that the tensions in their latest working relationship have led to off-screen conflicts…with Dern’s own mom, actress Diane Ladd.
“My mother called me—and she’s an actress—and goes, ‘You didn’t prepare me for what a bitch you are,’” Dern recently told The New York Times. “I’m like, ‘I didn’t know I was supposed to prepare you for any character I play!’ And she said, ‘Yeah, but you’re a bitch to Reese.’” (Earlier in the interview, Witherspoon credits Dern with teaching her to “love Red Vines” and “brown lipstick” during the Wild press tour, a bond that no on-camera crime could break.)
Big Little Lies just aired its fifth episode, with two installments left in its critically well-received run. We’ll have to wait and see if Dern (or her character) does anything else to piss off mom before the miniseries’ end.