Laura Dern, <EM>Recount</EM> Laura Dern, Recount

She helped Ellen's alter ego come out on TV, inspired David Lynch and earned an Oscar nod for Rambling Rose. Tonight in Recount (9 pm/ET, HBO), Laura Dern does her civic duty playing Katherine Harris, the former Secretary of State of Florida who many feel helped turn 2000's Gore-vs.-Bush election into a debacle of questionable ethics, butterfly ballots and hanging chads.

TV Guide: So Katherine Harris was sort of a mess, huh?
Laura Dern: Oh, she's a mess. When we heard that the woman making the [recount decisions] was — by the way — cochair of the Bush for President campaign, it's amazing America didn't go "Wait a minute!" [Laughs]

TV Guide: How is it playing someone who was known as "the Body"?
Dern: [Laughs] It's always interesting playing somebody who can become the comic relief or the bad guy. But nothing had prepared her to be the spokesperson for the 2000 election. There was a mix of ego and unbelievable terror…and that is a bad combo.

TV Guide: Are the Jurassic Park IV rumors true?
Dern: It isn't just speculation. It's a while away, but my understanding is it's happening and my character is very involved. I know Steven Spielberg is looking forward to [getting it together] over the next year.

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