Why Oscar Nominee Laurie Metcalf Once Kept Her Dream a Secret

Exclusive! Before the Roseanne and Lady Bird star made it big, she never thought it was possible

By Chris Harnick Mar 01, 2018 6:15 PMTags

Laurie Metcalf kept a secret for the first two decades of her life. The Oscar nominated star of Lady Bird, who will return to Roseanne when the series makes its TV comeback March 27, wanted to be an actress from a young age, but she kept that dream a secret from, afraid to act on the desire.

"It was a secret because I thought it was foolish and because I had no tools to make it happen. I didn't know who to turn to and I didn't have any models within, probably a 500-mile radius of where I lived on how to do this on how to do this," Metcalf said in the clip above.

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But she did learn how to do "this." Metcalf began doing plays in high school, but continued to think making a living as an actor wouldn't be feasible. She began studying theater, and along with many other famous faces like Gary Sinise and Joan Allen, established the Steppenwolf Theatre Company. From there, Metcalf hit the Broadway scene in New York City, garnering praise with various roles. Big screen gigs followed, her first credited movie role was in Desperately Seeking Susan in 1985, as did TV roles, including her career-defining role of Jackie Harris in Roseanne. Metcalf has won a Tony Award and three Emmys for her acting work and picked up her first Oscar nomination for 2017's Lady Bird, her first movie role in nearly a decade.

"Yeah, I think I'm spoiled for good now. It was a wonderful experience. [Greta Gerwig], you never would've known it was her solo-directing debut. [Saoirse Ronan] is like the best screen partner any actor could ask for. The script was beautiful, Greta's direction was so solid and everybody felt confident. We all felt so cared for by her. Yeah, I'm spoiled. I don't know how to top it, frankly," Metcalf told E! News the morning her Oscar nomination was revealed.

Needless to say, Metcalf let that childhood secret out.

"I'm glad I did. I hope you don't keep your secret to yourself," Metcalf said.

Roseanne returns on Tuesday, March 27 at 8 p.m. on ABC. The Oscars air live on Sunday, March 4, also on ABC.

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