May 18, 2018 12:49 PM

Laura Dern didn’t exactly get her famous mother’s blessing when she was younger.

In an interview set to air on Sunday Today, the Big Little Lies actress, 51, sits down with Willie Geist where she reveals that her actress mother Diane Ladd didn’t want her to join the family business. Ladd, 82, had Dern while married to actor Bruce Dern, 81 — and she wanted her daughter to follow a different line of work.

“I think the quote of my mother’s was, ‘Be a lawyer, be a doctor, be a leper missionary, but don’t be an actress!’ ” Dern recalls with a smile in the exclusive clip above.

Diane Ladd, Bruce Dern and Laura Dern at their Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony
Picture Perfect/REX/Shutterstock

But Dern still had her way and started sneaking around her mother’s back to talk to her well connected friends.

“I became quite clever and somewhat strategic — stealth even — by going to my mom’s birthday party in the corner with an agent and saying, ‘Will you let me come and read a monologue for you and tell me if you think I have talent? And if I do, will you send me out on an audition?’ ” Dern remembers.

RELATED VIDEO: Star Wars Newcomers Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran on Joining the Force

The actress says she was only 11-years-old at the time, “so clearly I was obsessed and driven to do it.”

Since then, the mother-daughter duo have gone on to star in multiple films together, including 1990’s Wild at Heart, 1991’s Rambling Rose and 2006’s Inland Empire. The family of actors was also honored with three adjoining stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010.

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