DL: Well, I was the grand marshal! So it was, like, ridiculous. I was there on Penny Chenery's coattails, and I couldn't believe it. It was an amazing experience of going for an hour and waving at basically the entire state of Kentucky who'd come to line the streets and watch the parade and greet Penny and say, "There's the girl from Perfect Storm." I was delighted; I was pinching myself. I felt like: 'Well, this is it. I've peaked. I can never come back to the Kentucky Derby!' No, I'm teasing. I would love to go back.
RB: This is definitely a movie for the whole family. What would you say is the great message of the film?
DL: I think that there's a through line of the investment in believing in ourselves. And where does that come from? Where does anyone have the audacity to believe in themselves? I think if you look behind the curtain of great people who have accomplished much, there's a parent who believed in that person. Penny and I both had fathers who we felt we needed to live up to. Whether it was how they treated us or what they said to us or how they invested in us, we knew that they were watching. It's very bittersweet that Penny's dad passed away before getting to see Secretariat achieve his greatness. For me it was the culmination of my father's career that I should ever be nominated for an Oscar®. [Diane's father was acting coach Burt Lane. He died in 2002, and Diane was nominated in 2003.] It was so close, but then I didn't get to share it with him.
RB: And now you're a parent. Your daughter is 17.
DL: Yeah, I'm looking down the barrel of the empty nest.
RB: Are you excited about that?
DL: It's bittersweet, for sure. You get comfortable in the role that you've been in for so long, and then you give them a pair of car keys and you're lucky if you even get a text. It happens pretty quickly, let me tell you. It's very unceremonious, that switch over, but I'll certainly miss her.