Laura Dern reveals the dog from Enlightened is living with Diane Ladd
All dogs go to heaven — except Ginger from Enlightened, who’s just fine spending her days in Diane Ladd’s house, thank you very much.
Laura Dern, co-creator and star of the series, revealed Friday on Instagram that the show’s adorable Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is alive and well, and has taken up residence with the actress’ mother, who also played the dog’s owner across two seasons of the short-lived-but-beloved HBO dramedy.
“Occasionally, people ask me what happened to Ginger from Enlightened,” Dern captioned the photo. “Welp, here she is! Happy as can be! She’s been living with my mom since the show! They are a pair that was meant to be.”
Ladd played Helen, the mother of Dern’s character, Amy Jellicoe (a depressed corporate buyer struggling to regain her personal and professional footing after a nervous breakdown) on 18 episodes of the series. Ginger often served as a light impediment to the progression of the pair’s frayed relationship, most notably in a scene from the pilot that sees Helen choosing to take the pooch outside for a walk instead of listening to a heartfelt letter of apology Amy wrote in rehab.
The real-life mother-daughter pair previously acted together prior to Enlightened‘s debut, including memorable turns opposite each other in films like David Lynch’s 1990 classic Wild at Heart and Alexander Payne’s 1996 comedy Citizen Ruth. They received respective Oscar nominations for best actress and best supporting actress for their work in the 1991 period drama Rambling Rose.
During a Dec. 14 Film Society of Lincoln Center event on in New York City, Dern teased a possible third season of the series, which was canceled in 2013 due to low ratings.
“I feel like, now, most of us are Amy Jellicoe, so I’m so grateful to have played a character that, now, I see everywhere I look,” she said, referencing the contentious political climate that has inspired a wave of liberal activism in the vein of Jellicoe’s attempts to redeem her past through various charitable and whistleblowing endeavors. “We missed a moment [but] it became this beloved thing that people caught up with, and that’s beautiful. We’re only sad because we imagined one more season of the arc. To us, it was maybe one more. So, perhaps Amy Jellicoe will live again. We’ll see!”