Directors and Their On-Screen Muses

We hope Laura Dern has a wild at heart and weird on top kind of birthday. The actress celebrates tomorrow, but we’re stealing our slice of cake a day early by taking a look at Dern’s relationship with director pal David Lynch. While the star has been busy filming Paul Thomas Anderson’s scientology-inspired drama The Master, her early career days were spent with the king of strange, Lynch. Dern’s appeared in three of the director’s films — keep in mind he’s only made 10 features since starting out in the late ’70s — and has been a unique, expansive female character in his canon, as this article from The Awl has also pointed out. It’s clear that there’s a depth to Dern’s dramatic allure Lynch greatly admires. While we hope to see the director take up with his muse once more, we thought it’d be a perfect time to celebrate a few other inspired collaborations. Click on to see some of our picks, and tell us yours, won’t you?


Jean-Luc Godard and Anna Karina 

Anna Karina wasn’t the only muse Godard was wooed by, but the actress is the most iconic in the French New Wave pioneer’s filmography — and the movement as a whole. He discovered Karina during the beginning of her modeling career and tried to cast her in Breathless, but she refused to take off her clothes for the part. They eventually united for Petit Soldat and soon fell in love. They formed a production company together, and his relationship with the starlet was often completely intertwined with his work — showing an intimacy and range they never reached in their real-life marriage, which ended in 1967. Luckily we have Vivre Sa Vie, Alphaville, Bande à Part, Une Femme Est une Femme, and other greats to remind us of their better years together.