© 2024 NPR Illinois
The Capital's Community & News Service
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Front Row Classics Talks 'Isle of Hope' with Diane Ladd

Front Row Classics welcomes legendary actress Diane Ladd to discuss her latest film, 'Isle of Hope'.
Front Row Network
Front Row Network
Front Row Classics welcomes legendary actress Diane Ladd to discuss her latest film, 'Isle of Hope'.

Front Row Classics kicks off 2023 with a conversation featuring three-time Oscar nominated actress, Diane Ladd. Brandon recently sat down with Diane to discuss her latest film, Isle of Hope, directed by Damian Romay. This touching film is a testament to the power of family and working through your past to define your present and future.

Ladd shares her thoughts on the film's hopeful message and why it deserves attention during this awards season. Brandon and Diane also spend time discussing her southern upbringing and relationship with daughter, Laura Dern. We also spend time with remembrances of such classics in her filmography as Rambling Rose, Chinatown and Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore.

Official Bio:

Legendary actress Diane Ladd is a Golden Globe (Alice), BAFTA (Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore) and Independent Spirit Awards (Rambling Rose) winning actress who has been nominated for over 70 awards during her astonishing 7 decadelong career including three times for both an Academy Award and Golden Globe for Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Wild at Heart and Rambling Rose for which she and her daughter actress Laura Dern made Academy history as the only mother and daughter to be nominated in the same year for the same film.

Ladd is currently starring in Isle of Hope, a new feature film that opened December 9, 2022. Ladd stars as well-known actress Carmen Crawford whose daughter Victoria (Mary Stuart Masterson) blames for having crushed her dreams of becoming a playwright. But when Carmen suffers a life-threatening stroke and wakes up thinking she’s living 15 years in the past, Victoria is given a unique opportunity to figure out where her life went off track and reconcile her relationship with her mother. Andrew McCarthy, Sam Robards, and Jessica Lynn Wallace co-star. Isle of Hope, written and directed by Damian Romay and produced by Omar Romay.

Ladd has several films currently streaming, coincidentally all based on true events: Gigi & Nate, director Nick Hamm’s coming-of-age drama based on Ned Sullivan and his capuchin support monkey Kasey, Charming the Hearts of Men starring Kelsey Grammer, Anna Friel and Sean Astin, inspired by events during the Civil rights movement in 1964 and The Last Full Measure, a true story about a young soldier's exceptional bravery and sacrifice, starring alongside Christopher Plummer, William Hurt, Samuel L. Jackson, Ed Harris.

Ladd has appeared in over 200 films and television projects including director David O. Russell’s Joy, director Roman Polanski’s iconic Chinatown, writer John Hughes’ Christmas Vacation and, The Cemetary Club with Olympia Dukakis, Ellen Burstyn & Danny Aiello which led her to produce her first film Mother in which she and Dukakis co-starred. For the small screen Ladd most recently appeared as Nell O’Brien in Hallmark’s runaway hit Chesapeake Shores. Her varied television shows included her Golden Globe winning performance as Belle the singing, songwriting, waitress of the run-away hit series Alice based on her Oscar and Golden Globe winning role in the film Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. Ladd also appeared in Steven King’s Kingdom Hospital and co-starred in the popular HBO series Enlightened with daughter Laura Dern. And if acting isn’t enough, Ladd has co-authored a new book with daughter actress Laura Dern, titled Honey Baby Mine which hits shelves Mother’s Day, May 2023 by Grand Central Publishing. 2 Ladd has authored two other books: Spiraling Through the School of Life, published by Hay House, and a book of short stories, A Bad Afternoon for a Piece of Cake, published by Ladd’s company Exxcel Press Ladd began her career as a teenager in actor John Carradine’s production of “Tobacco Road”, lying about her young age she next landed a stint as a dancer at the world renowned “Copacabana.” Next, she was cast in the Off-Broadway play “Orpheus Descending” co-starring with her soon-to-be husband Bruce Dern. She went on to again star opposite Dern in her first role for the big-screen in Roger Corman’s The Wild Angels also starring Peter Fonda. She next starred in The Rebel Rousers, starring Jack Nicholson, Cameron Mitchell and again with Dern. She then wrote and directed the critically acclaimed Mrs. Munck, co-starring with Bruce Dern.

Ladd has been a lifetime member of both the Actors Studio East & West Coast and a National Board Member of SAG/AFTRA both for over 25 years. She has a degree in Esoteric Psychology and a Certificate of Nutrition from Florida University as well as a Ministerial Ordination Degree. Ladd has worked alongside doctors for over 20 years as an “Intuitive Healer” and was chosen to give a Congressional Testimony regarding the Value of “Alternative Modalities”. She has served on the Board of Advisors for the AHMA (Alternative Holistic Medical Association) and served on the Board of Directors for Congressman Berkley Bedell’s “National Foundation for Alternative Medicine” (NFAM). Ladd founded “The Art and Culture Taskforce“ a 501-C3 non-profit Foundation (artandculturetaskforce.org)

Brandon Davis is the host of Classics and Zone-i-Sodes on the Front Row Network. A true fan of cinema history, Brandon holds the distinction of being the official film historian of the Network.
Related Stories