Laura Dern claims she ‘didn’t wear makeup’ in Jurassic World Dominion

My nemesis Laura Dern returned to the Jurassic Park franchise for Jurassic World Dominion. Dern has played the same “scientist” character, Dr. Ellie Sattler, in the first and third films. I don’t have much of a problem with the character, although y’all know Dern plucks my last nerve. Still, I’m fine with Dern or any actress playing a scientist. Ellie Sattler was a woman in STEM before we understood the importance of women in STEM. What’s funny about that is that Dern thinks it’s important to emphasize that Dr. Sattler is not a “sexy scientist trope” and as such, she… didn’t wear makeup.

Dern said she personally “never imagined returning” to play Dr. Ellie Sattler one more time. But if her character was going to come back, she wanted her to be an “evolved scientist” and “true to who she was, which is being fearless yet vulnerable.”

“Her activism and feminism as a scientist was really important to me. I spoke with Steven and Colin, and we all wanted her to return with a new sense of self and advanced in her life and her work,” said Dern. “She’s not some sexy-scientist trope. I didn’t wear makeup in this movie. She’s real. She’s divorced, but loving life, and independent. She’s raised kids. And she’s at the height of her career, and she’s using it as service to the world. She’s really a modern, feminist female action hero, and that’s a beautiful message.”

[From Vanity Fair]

The thing is, I didn’t think the character was a “sexy scientist trope” in Jurassic Park? Dern looked like a normal woman, she wore ugly-but-comfortable shorts throughout the whole movie and she was never in a face full of makeup or anything. And even if Dern had worn makeup in Dominion – which she did – that isn’t some indicator of someone’s feminism for God’s sake. Feminists wear makeup. Plenty of scientists wear makeup. “Wearing makeup” does not nullify someone’s feminism or their scientific mind. And she was plainly lying about not wearing makeup. Which Dern does a lot. Which is one of the reasons why she’s my nemesis.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, screencap from ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ trailer.

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41 Responses to “Laura Dern claims she ‘didn’t wear makeup’ in Jurassic World Dominion”

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  1. girl_ninja says:

    Does she think we’re stupid? Of course she wore makeup. What movie production is going to have any actor without make up while filming. Weirdo.

  2. Becks1 says:

    Maybe her point is her makeup was meant to make her natural, like the no-makeup makeup look? but she was def wearing makeup, she wore more makeup in this one than in the original.

    I have always liked Ellie Sattler though; she was a badass in the original movie and she’s pretty good in this one. I said in another post that Dominion is SO BAD and the only good parts of it are the parts with Sattler Malcolm and Alan Grant. And even they can only save it so much.

    • Kristin says:

      I would guess that’s what she meant also, because I too find the over-the-top sexy scientist trope annoying as hell. Think Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist in that James Bond movie.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Interesting, because I remember being annoyed with the Laura Dern paleontologist. She didn’t do or say anything intelligent. As a female field-going archaeologist, I just could not relate. She seemed to be in the movie just to scream & be ‘the girl’. The little girl seemed tougher, smarter, & braver than the adult woman. Maybe I should re-watch the movie. I only saw it the one time in the theater & never saw any of the sequels, maybe I’ll think differently on second viewing.

      • old_and_tired says:

        I’m with you on this — when Jeff Goldblum’s character starts going off on chaos theory and Laura Dern’s character giggles like a moron and then does a gesture to show that all that silly ol’ math talk went “over her head” I about died (of irritation). A SCIENTIST can follow a discussion about what was a very hot topic at the time.

  3. SarahCS says:

    I mean I think I get/appreciate the point she’s trying to make but nope. She’s wearing make up in the film and as has been stated here, you can be a feminist/scientist, etc. and enjoy make up and fancy clothes.

    That said, maybe we’re being a bit too nuanced and need to just be happy that we’re seeing:
    1. a woman on screen who isn’t 25
    2. playing a scientist
    3. not wearing a full face of make up
    4. and ridiculous clothes for the circumstances.

    I may be defeatist here but recent events have undermined so much of my belief in the progress I thought we were making.

    On a different but related topic, I just finished the audiobook of Jurassic Park – the book that started all this and whew. It’s good but talk about gory and quite grim in a lot of ways. I’d definitely recommend it though.

    • Kate says:

      I agree with your comment that maybe we “need” (although I would say can, should) be happy about this one. Like maybe at this moment (or ever?) we shouldn’t be b*itches to other women and tear them down for stupid shit like this? Just a thought.

      • Fabiola says:

        I get her point. She was trying to stay true to the character. Usually in Hollywood they’ll make any role into a sexy scientist that looks like a model. She’s not here for that and I applaud her for it.

    • DragonWise says:

      I agree. I think her point was that her makeup wasn’t glam, but more nude, so she’s less adorned. She should have phrased it better, because she was clearly wearing some, just not a full face of slap. I do get her point, though. Societally, and especially in media, there is a default to “sexy fill-in-the-blank” for female professionals. Of course feminists wear makeup, and *I* am about it, but I do understand that she’s trying to break that mold.

  4. lunchcoma says:

    It doesn’t do anything good for discourse about women in science or women and makeup or women and anything to pretend that an actor in a big budget movie isn’t wearing makeup. Everyone is, including the guys. Good grief.

  5. Amyc says:

    Mother of an entomologist pursuing her PhD at the University of Wisconsin — Madison here. My daughter loves insects and makeup — or beauty as it’s now called. And she’s a raging feminist. I love entertainment but sometimes actors just shouldn’t talk about things they don’t know about.

    • chelsea says:

      Lady scientist doing her postdoc in neuroscience and gut sciences here as well. I also like makeup and cute clothes (which often clash with my labcoat). Also raging feminist. Kudos to your daughter!

  6. Kelsea says:

    As someone who has been an extra in movies, if they are putting make up on us who are “background” you best believe they’re putting it on her. In this day and age, we all can see how one appears on film sans makeup, you can’t fool us.

  7. Emmi says:

    Huh??? She’s wearing red lipstick in the new movie! Among other things. She didn’t wear much beyond foundation in the first one though. What is this supposed to accomplish?

  8. Hannah says:

    Kaiser with the pics . . . I am deceased 💀 I think it’s one of my fav things about Celebitchy — Kaiser’s choice of pics to go with the post ✨chef’s kiss✨

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ Hannah, I agree!! If I could spend eternity looking at Kaiser’s pic’s, count me in!!! I live for her pictures in correlation to her articles, which are all GOLD in my book!!

      I have been sick as a dog for the last 10 days, but I have been spying CB just for the pictures and commentary!!

      • Hannah says:

        @ BothSidesNow Ah no ❤️‍🩹 I’m so sorry to read you’ve been sick for 10 days. I hope you are getting some good rest and I wish you a speedy recovery x

  9. Laalaa says:

    Just yesterday there was an episode of BigBangT on TV where Bernadette is upset because her boss found out she was pregnant before she told him and is afraid for her project funding. I understood her completely.
    We still live in a world where female stem scientists are viewed differently, I know because I am one, however, not wearing make up is just affirming the problem, Laura Dern – and it shows the general consensus still is – stop being girly/feminine to be recognized as a valid scientist.
    Just shows she is NOT nor she has ever been in the scientist world.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Excellent point.

    • Fabiola says:

      I think Laura is referring to makeup as glam makeup. The kind you see in Hollywood. She wanted her character in regular everyday makeup that looks natural but not like she is going to the Oscar’s which movies often have women looks like to play a role.

  10. KBeth says:

    I typically enjoy Laura Dern and think she’s a good actor but I did not like her at all in the Jurassic Park movies.

  11. Bobbie says:

    Sure. And I don’t wear a bra and my chest stands up on its own!

  12. Anna says:

    Liar liar pants on fire

  13. ee says:

    based on my experience, science has a higher percentage of women who wear actually zero makeup than many other professions, so going with a no-makeup look could be a realistic choice, BUT a) there’s no way she actually wore no makeup because that’s not how movies work, and b) Dern making this into a thing actually reinforces the idea that intelligence and traditional feminine aesthetics are in conflict, which I don’t think is helpful. I had a couple grad school friends who did wear pretty elaborate, creative makeup on days when they were in the mood for that, and it had no bearing at all on their scientific abilities.

    • BeanieBean says:

      As a woman who does fieldwork (archaeology), I can certainly say my preference is for no makeup in the field, as I’m going to be hiking & sweating & getting dirty & etc., all day–frequently with a hardhat on my head, so forget doing anything with my hair! But that’s me. Off-work, though, that’s different. I will wear make-up, maybe not daily, but I will take time with my appearance before leaving the house. We’re all different. Bad hair, bad clothes, no makeup, glasses, a la Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler of TBBT, does NOT mean brainy serious scientist. And I agree flipping it the other way to ‘sexy scientist’ a la Denise Richards in that Bond movie is equally annoying.

  14. Britney says:

    Laura Dern is insufferable. Her statement about not wearing makeup is her way to say she deserves an Oscar-nom for “committing to the character” in Dominion. Someone sit this woman down and explain to her what makeup is.

    As much as I LOVE the OG Jurassic Park (stop with sequels & prequels), I find my disdain for this human (it has nothing to do with her being a white woman) to be off the charts. Every.single.time she opens her mouth, she shoves her foot right in it. She just can’t help herself.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ Britney, the more Dern opens her mouth the greater her IQ drops. As for acting, I don’t solely watch something due to her presence as I don’t find her appealing at all. Given she is from 2 acting Gods does not make her an anointed goddess is ANY sense of the word. She is, like many, simply living off of her parents connections. Dern is insufferable as well as incompetent as an an actor.

      • justwastingtime says:

        I haven’t liked her since she publicly complained about Angelina Jolie “stealing” her boyfriend, Billy Bob Thorton. Years later BBT’s prior wife chimed in that actually Dern broke up HER marriage and that Angelina had always been a nice stepmom. And of course after Dern and BBT broke up, Dern then moved on to break up Ben Harper’s marriage. Hypocrisy anyone?

    • Fabiola says:

      Seriously with everything going on in this world that people are so mad at her for saying her character is makeup free is insane. I can’t imagine hating someone for something like that.

      • Tadd Stone says:

        Right-be upset about something important. But,She seems like a strong woman. And she is a pretty damn good actress-something she’s earned on her own.

  15. Genevieve says:

    Yeah, obviously she’s wearing make up in a movie. But I’m taking her point not to be about whether women (scientist or not) who wear make up are feminist, but about the objectification of the woman. As in, she’s not there to be sexy for the viewer, but to be a rounded character. (Which is nice, considering what the more recent Jurassic Park movies have done with female characters.)

    • Kristin says:

      Oh lord, Bryce Dallas Howard running around in that cleavage baring tank top and HIGH HEELS was freaking ridiculous. She’s hauling ass away from a T-Rex and she’s still wearing her 4-inch heels. That was mind-numbingly stupid.

      • BeanieBean says:

        I vaguely recall seeing Penelope Ann Miller doing something similar in a movie called ‘The Relic’, running away from I can’t remember what in an evening gown & heels. Sure, OK.

  16. WiththeAmerican says:

    She’s so hard to watch. She comes off as so smug. Only time I felt she fit her character was Big Little Lies.

  17. BeanieBean says:

    Apparently, lipstick, eyeliner & mascara don’t count as makeup. She wouldn’t be the first Hollywood actor to make this claim. It’s just silly & unnecessary self-aggrandizement in a false “oh I’m so ‘umble” way.

  18. J says:

    Slight segue, but I remember Shailene Woodley had little to no makeup on in the film The Spectacular Now. She was fresh faced and even a had few pimples. I think that’s the only time I’ve seen that in a movie (or at least that type of role) and it was honestly so refreshing.

  19. Julia K says:

    ” no make up ” takes on a different meaning depending on how much make up is usually worn. An acquaintance of mine has a grand daughter who did some modelling in high school, full face made up. On Sunday she would go make up free to let her skin breath, but still wore mascara and lip gloss. Suspect actresses think along the same lines.

  20. Teal says:

    No make-up? So brave. Give her the Oscar now.