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How Julia Louis-Dreyfus quietly became the most successful sitcom star ever
Illustration by Charles Chaisson for The Washington Post By Geoff EdgersGeoff Edgers Reporter covering movies, museums, comedy, music and pop culture October 17, 2018
In 1989, Jerry Seinfeld, a stand-up who could turn mundane observations into nightclub gold, and Larry David, a cantankerous comedy writer coming off a failed stint at “Saturday Night Live,” developed an idea for a TV show.
But the pilot for “The Seinfeld Chronicles” bombed when NBC tested it with audiences.
The network told the producers what was missing. The sitcom, as devised by the duo, centered around the daily travails of three guys on New York’s Upper West Side.
“We said, ‘You have to add a girl,’ ” remembers Warren Littlefield, then a key executive at NBC. “We’re not going to tell you a lot, but add a woman.”
So Jerry, George and Kramer got Elaine Benes, a combative, curly-haired serial dater who could give as good as she got. And thus was born the legend of Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who would become one of the greatest sitcom stars in modern television history.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus in a sixth-season episode of HBO’s “Veep,” for which she has won six consecutive Emmy Awards. (Justin M. Lubin/HBO)
On Sunday, Louis-Dreyfus will receive this year’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor from the Kennedy Center. Since 1998, the Twain Prize has been awarded to writers, stand-ups, and talk show hosts. There have been other television revolutionaries — Lorne Michaels, Carol Burnett, David Letterman — but, as she films the seventh and final season of HBO’s “Veep,” Louis-Dreyfus’s success is unprecedented. From “Seinfeld” to “The New Adventures of Old Christine” to her remarkable portrayal of Vice President Selina Meyer, Louis-Dreyfus has earned 11 Emmys, including six in a row. The reason she didn’t win again last month is probably because she wasn’t eligible. “Veep” had always planned to begin airing its final season after the 2018 qualifying date.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Jerry Seinfeld in an eighth-season episode of “Seinfeld” from 1996. (NBC/NBC via Getty Images)
What’s more, the comedian’s influence stretches beyond the screen. Long before #TimesUp, she pushed hard for creative control in a male-dominated industry, particularly by fighting for production credit. In that way, Louis-Dreyfus has served as a model for the wave of talented women who emerged over the past decade-plus, including Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, and Amy Poehler.
“Julia was always just really funny, and that inspired me, her straight-up talent and timing and the way she performs,” says Poehler, who followed her own SNL tenure by producing and starring in “Parks and Recreation.” “But also what I like is that she feels like a person who was also in control and has a voice and uses it.”
Even if Louis-Dreyfus didn’t create “Seinfeld,” her nine seasons on the hit established a new kind of sitcom actress on a new kind of sitcom. Post-Lucille Ball, prime time was packed with airheaded babes (Barbara Eden in “I Dream of Jeanie” or Suzanne Somers on “Three’s Company”) or matronly voices-of-reason (Marion Ross on “Happy Days”). Roseanne Barr brought a lunch-pail weariness to television, and Mary Tyler Moore managed to be both independent and sharp. But Elaine and Selina were nothing like Mary. They could be as shallow, nasty and dysfunctional as the guys sitting around Jerry’s apartment, as profane and blue as the potty-mouthed male politicians making backroom deals.
“Someone with her intelligence level, matched with an incredibly juvenile infantilism, when those two things come together well, that’s comedy magic,” Seinfeld says.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus poses for photographers during the dedication ceremony for her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles in 2010. (Matt Sayles/Associated Press) ‘The most organically talented person I’d ever seen’
On a warm day in September, Louis-Dreyfus, 57, arrives for a lunch interview at a restaurant in the hills of Santa Barbara, Calif. She and her husband, writer and producer Brad Hall, have a house nearby. In person, Louis-Dreyfus is low-key, in jeans, her hair pulled back, recognizable but understated.
It is a busy moment. “Veep” is filming, and Louis-Dreyfus is just starting to feel as though she’s back at full strength. That’s no small thing.
Her surreal nightmare began on a Friday in September 2017. That day, Louis-Dreyfus had a biopsy. On Sunday, she was awarded her latest Emmy for playing Selina. And on Monday morning, the results came back. Stage 2 breast cancer. There would be chemotherapy treatments and surgery. The final season of “Veep” would have to wait.
“Originally, I had this idea, well, we’ll shoot in between my chemo treatments,” she said. “We could do that. Chemotherapy. What? That’s what sick people get. The whole thing was so astounding. I thought I could muscle through it, and to a certain extent, I did, because we did have table reads of scripts every three weeks. But I got really ill, so I couldn’t have ever shot anything during that period of time.”
Did getting sick change her perspective on life?
“You know what, I can’t quite answer that, because I feel like I’m still a little bit in the throes of it,” Louis-Dreyfus says. “Except what I would say about the fragility of life, as tropey as that sounds — I really do feel like, I guess people die. You go through life not considering the eventual reality that you’re going to bite the dust, and so is everybody around you.”
“You’re 47?” she asks.
“So with any luck, you’ll live another 40 years. Sorry to have to tell you.”
Was there ever any thought of just stepping away? Or not coming back to “Veep.”
“Oh, no,” she says.
This is what she does
“I love making people laugh, and I love making people cry even, and I find the pursuit of a truthful performance to be deeply satisfying to my core,” Louis-Dreyfus says.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus remembers first taking the stage in fourth grade.
“I was in some silly show, and I was supposed to faint. I was a queen, and it wasn’t meant to be funny, but I fainted, and everybody laughed, and I remember thinking, ‘I didn’t know why they laughed but I liked how they laughed,’ ” she says.
Judith and Gérard Louis-Dreyfus divorced when their daughter was just 3, so Julia spent much of her childhood shuttling between her father, who lived in New York, and her mother, who lived in the District. And in that neighborhood, just a skip from American University, Louis-Dreyfus and her friends organized their own theater group. They called themselves the University Players — named after their street — and would often perform in Louis-Dreyfus’s basement.
The group included next-door neighbor Margaret Edson, who would go on to win the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1999 for her play “Wit.”
The cast of the Practical Theatre Company comedy revue in 1982, with Brad Hall, Gary Kroeger, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Paul Barrosse. (Practical Theatre Company)
“We just lost ourselves in these improvised plays and the performances,” Edson says. “We had a game called town, and it would all be people in the town, and we had an inside game called office, and it would be people in the office, and we would just stay in it for hours, and I think it’s just because she was so good.”
In 1979, Louis-Dreyfus enrolled at Northwestern University in Chicago and immediately began auditioning. She was cast as a freshman in the comedy revue “The Mee-Ow Show.”
Gary Kroeger, an older student and performer, remembers seeing the performance.
“She was the most organically talented person I’d ever seen onstage,” he says. “She was just magical in how she could go in and out of characters, and her timing was like nothing I’d ever seen.”
At Northwestern, Louis-Dreyfus met Hall, who was three years older and had quit school to help found the Practical Theatre Company. In summer 1982, in a 150-seat space in Chicago’s Piper Alley, she, Hall, Kroeger and Paul Barrosse, who also founded the company, put on “The Golden 50th Anniversary Jubilee.” It was popular, and word traveled east. Dick Ebersol, back at NBC to run “Saturday Night Live” during Lorne Michaels’s hiatus, came one night with head writer Bob Tischler.
“We were just blown away,” Ebersol remembers. “There aren’t that many opportunities in the comedy business to find anybody that funny or, in her case, that beautiful. She was just brimming with potential.”
He hired away the four Practical Theatre players. Instead of starting her senior year, the 21-year-old Louis-Dreyfus headed to New York to become part of an SNL cast led by Eddie Murphy.
That ‘Julia place’
What Ebersol saw immediately is a quality hard to describe but easy to identify. It’s a trait that Mary Tyler Moore, Andy Griffith and Cary Grant possessed. Poehler and Tom Hanks have it, as well. Louis-Dreyfus can play vastly different characters, sink deeply into a role, and yet the viewer doesn’t completely forget who she is. That’s part of why her characters feel so true, even when their actions are so outrageous.
“She approaches things from a very organic, honest, Julia place first,” Hall says. “She’s not going to do things on screen to get laughs that aren’t based somewhere in her personality or her fantasy personality of herself. As she’s accumulated work, she’s gotten more and more confident in beginning to play things that are closer and closer to herself, so she’s able to be very believable and yet really, really funny, because she’s got the confidence to take the chances that are necessary to make choices that are funny.”
That “Julia place” begins with her likability. That protects her characters, even when they’re on their worst behavior.
“The Soup Nazi ” episode of “Seinfield,” with Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine Benes and Larry Thomas as the Soup Nazi. (NBC/Via Getty Images)
“There is something about Julia’s innate sort of niceness,” says David Mandel, Veep’s showrunner and executive producer. “Women like her. Men like her. On ‘Veep,’ we use it to let her do really horrible things. When people tell me that they wish Selina was president, that’s not what they mean. They wish Julia Louis-Dreyfus was president.”
The timing. The laugh. The willingness to go deeply blue if it will make the comedy work. There are the elements that make Louis-Dreyfus, as her friend Larry David says, “a natural.”
“She’s born with it,” he says. “If she was a basketball player, she’d have a million moves.”
There is something else Poehler likes to mention. Stars can be difficult, picky, lone wolves who need to be coaxed into doing anything unconventional. Louis-Dreyfus is what Poehler calls a “gamer.” She always wants to be part of the joke, whether it’s a sketch, a prank or even a funny bit at an award ceremony. Poehler saw that playfulness at SNL when Louis-Dreyfus came back to host in 2006 and 2007.
She also showed it by signing on, in 2015, for the “Last F—able Day” sketch on Comedy Central’s “Inside Amy Schumer.” The bitingly sarcastic piece featured Fey and actress Patricia Arquette holding a “celebration” to mark the moment Louis-Dreyfus became too old for Hollywood to recognize her as a sexual object. Other stars had turned down Schumer’s sketch, presumably sensitive to how close to the bone it hit. Louis-Dreyfus was game.
“You meet somebody, and they’re kind of down for the fun or they’re not,” Poehler says. “Whether it’d be me being like, ‘Do you mind if I do this bit when I present this award’ or ‘Can we think of something for here.’ Yeah, sure. The idea that nothing has to feel too precious keeps her loose, and I think it’s what people feel from her.”
Too short, ‘not hot’ enough
Success did not come easily.
At SNL, where Louis-Dreyfus was a cast member from 1982 to 1985, she rates her work as “horrendous.”
“Nothing I did was good,” she says.
That is an exaggeration. During her tenure, Louis-Dreyfus was often on the air, whether playing bit parts, grumpy teen news commentator Patti Lynn Hunnsucker or reviving her Northwestern-born televangelist April May June. Her most memorable turn may have come with Kroeger when they played an incestuous version of Donny and Marie Osmond.
But the atmosphere at SNL during those years was toxic, particularly for a woman, she says. When Louis-Dreyfus thinks of those years, she can still feel the bad vibes from the very first time she went to a table read.
Ebersol, excited to show off his new find, asked the Northwestern kids to perform excerpts from “Jubilee” to a room packed with cast members, writers and producers.
“Sagebrush,” she says. “A disaster.”
Julia Louis-Drefus at the New York Plaza Hotel after she was cast as a regular on “Saturday Night Live” in 1982. (Nancy Kaye/Associated Press)
“They’re sitting there watching this cabaret show right after lunch, and you could just see on their faces, literally,” Kroeger remembers. “What has happened, why are these people here, this is the new cast? This is the new Chevy Chase, the new Dan Aykroyd, the new Gilda Radner? Are you kidding me?”
“It was like being told, ‘you’re going to see the greatest thing ever,’ ” remembers former SNL writer Barry Blaustein, who was there. “It was set up to fail.”
Even if Louis-Dreyfus felt stifled at SNL, her time there would change her career.
She met Larry David at SNL, as he fumbled through a season in which only one of his sketches made it on air. She also made herself an important pledge. Louis-Dreyfus would never work on a miserable set again. As she got more clout and began to produce, that became a defining characteristic of her shows.
“Number one on the daily call sheet sets the tone for the entire set,” says Andy Richter, the “Conan” show sidekick who played “Sad Dad” Stan on “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” the CBS sitcom that ran from 2006 to 2010. “And she is the best number one on the call sheet I have ever worked with, or for. Completely approachable, completely collaborative, warm, friendly, funny, everything you could possibly want your Julia Louis-Dreyfus to be.”
If she was underutilized on SNL, what came next would seem stunning.
In 1987, Louis-Dreyfus was cast in a small role for a pilot, “The Art of Being Nick.” That the show centered around Scott Valentine, who played Mallory Keaton’s curly-haired meathead boyfriend on “Family Ties,” did not seem to bother NBC’s powerful head of entertainment, Brandon Tartikoff. His issue: Louis-Dreyfus. He told NBC casting director Joel Thurm to deliver the news.
“We’ve got to do better than this,’ ” “Nick” director Sam Weisman remembers Thurm telling him. “ ‘She’s really short; she’s not hot. We really want somebody hot for this.’ ”
Weisman and producer Gary David Goldberg refused to budge. They knew Tartikoff was wrong. And when “Nick” didn’t get picked up, Goldberg cast her as the caustic next-door neighbor on the bland sitcom “Day by Day.” It ran for two seasons, until it was canceled in 1989.
“The only reason there was a sparkle in “Day by Day” was because of Julia,” Warren Littlefield says today.
“So, when Seinfeld came around, we were huge Julia fans,” says Lori Openden, who had taken over for Thurm as the network’s head of casting. “In all my time there, that was one of the easiest casting fits.”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus in “Veep.” (Colleen Hayes/HBO) Hitting the right chord
“Seinfeld” may have made her a star, but “Veep” gave Louis-Dreyfus a chance for a tour-de-force. If she could get the gig. She remembers meeting the show’s director, Armando Iannucci, late in 2010 at the Four Seasons in Los Angeles.
“This is going to sound strange but it sounded like really ripe, low-hanging fruit that no one had tried to pick,’ Louis-Dreyfus says. “Of course, a female vice president. It’s a perfect metaphor for being a woman and for ambition and everything. It’s conflict built in, and it’s ideal comedically. I couldn’t believe it. I met with Arm, and I thought, ‘Jesus Christ, I really hope I get this.’”
Iannucci knew Louis-Dreyfus was funny. What he didn’t realize, until that day, is her personal connection to the part. That she had grown up in D.C. meant she understood that world. That she had spent years as a public figure also helped.
“Knowing what it’s like going into a room, and people are looking at you, and you have to keep smiling even though you have a raging head ache,” Iannucci says. “Having to maintain that air of keeping your together. Primarily, it’s a comic instinct. We found this out when we started rehearsing. We’d have a little idea, and she would always have half a dozen suggestions of which way that could go.”
The action in “Veep” is fast, peppered with profanity, sight gags, misunderstandings and slights. There are moments that demand the acting chops you’d find in a serious drama. Nobody can ping-pong better between emotions than Louis-Dreyfus, from bitter frustration to beaming smiles.
But Iannucci, who left the show after its fourth season, remembers one of his own favorite moments, when everything seemed to slow down. It came during the second episode of the first season, when President Hughes has a health scare, and Selina is briefly put in charge.
“In the stage direction, it says, ‘Selina gives a noise that simultaneously is a groan and a smile, concerned and happiness at the same time,’ ” Iannucci says. “And she did it. Take one. It’s the emotional version of a chord, there are five or six notes going on simultaneously. That’s when you realize she’s utterly in a league of her own.”
The Twain presentation will be broadcast Nov. 19 at 9 p.m. on PBS.
The sweet, sixtysomething couple in pastel leisurewear are curious about the room next to theirs in this Santa Monica beachfront hotel. There have been a lot of comings and goings all day. “So much activity!” the woman chuckles to me while her husband approaches the studio publicist who is loitering alongside us in the hallway. “So – who ya got in there?” he asks conspiratorially. “Julia Louis-Dreyfus,” the publicist smiles. Their jaws loosen noticeably and they take a single deferential step backwards. They might not have seen Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer, the vice-president grappling with her own political impotence in Armando Iannucci’s profane sitcom Veep, for which she has won a brace of Emmy bookends. And her new film, the warm, wise romantic comedy Enough Said , has only just opened. But don’t underestimate the enduring voodoo power of her nine years on the most masterful and abrasive sitcom ever made: Seinfeld. For many millions of people (particularly in America, where the phrase “cultural phenomenon” is too measly to describe the show’s reach) she will for ever be Elaine Benes, the most achingly desperate of the Seinfeld quartet.
“What’s she like?” the wife asks. “She’s lovely,” the publicist confirms, to appreciative cooing. I smile too, recalling some of the lines that Louis-Dreyfus delivers in the new series of Veep: “Jolly Green Jizz-Face …” “Why don’t you put on your running shoes and get to the fucking point?” “I’d rather set fire to my own vulva …” Lovely indeed.
Enough Said is gentler than Veep, but no less probing in its own way. Louis-Dreyfus plays Eva, a massage therapist and single mother bracing herself for her daughter’s imminent move to university. In her discombobulated state, she slides into a tentative romance with a hulking TV archivist (the late James Gandolfini). The movie feels rooted in the specific epiphanies of middle age. “Well, it’s about the fear of failure,” explains Louis-Dreyfus in her suite. She lounges on the mushroom-coloured sofa, propping herself up on one elbow in a loose white blouse patterned with flowers. “I suppose that kind of fear could be an issue at any age. But it’s pertinent to this woman at this moment. She’s facing this possible vast landscape of loneliness and it’s so paralysing that it fuels some bad decision-making and blurs lots of her boundary issues.”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine Benes with her co-stars in the masterful and abrasive sitcom Seinfeld. Photograph: Rex Features
In Seinfeld’s fourth series, Elaine was described as “a pretty woman, you know – kinda short, big wall of hair, face like a frying pan.” Some of those descriptions need revising if they are to be applied to Louis-Dreyfus now. At 52, she’s still crisply pretty, but her hair is straight and dark, rather than high and frizzy. And I don’t spot in her expression that devastating sourness with which Elaine could drop a man at 40 paces. But it takes a while to get used to her habit of stopping dead when she has finished a thought, with none of the space-filling blather to which some of us are prone. Her comic style is precise and low-fat. So, too, is her conversation.
She starred in another project recently about a similar subject to Enough Said – Picture Paris, a short film by her husband, Brad Hall, whom she met at university. The thematic overlap is a coincidence, she insists, though it does pertain to her circumstances. The elder of the two sons she has with Hall is currently at university. “In our family’s life the moment of his departure was pivotal. It undid us in a big way that I wasn’t prepared for – but also, I kind of was. It’s just more jarring than you expect. The reality of them leaving is hard to digest emotionally.”
Eva seems contented with middle-age itself. How is it working out for Louis-Dreyfus? “I actually dig it. It’s funny because I don’t think of myself as middle-aged. In my mind, I’m, like, mid-30s. However: I also really like being here now and having all these experiences behind me. I like that. I find it very freeing. When you’re younger you’re putting yourself out there in a way you think you should be seen. Then as you get older you’re like: ‘Nah, fuck that.'”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus at the London film festival premiere of Enough Said. Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images
The new picture would have been admired whenever it was released, but coming in the wake of Gandolfini’s death makes it especially poignant. His performance is immensely delicate. “That’s what he was like,” she says, sitting forward. “I liked him immediately and I think he felt the same way. We had a good chemistry from the get-go. He’s an amazing actor. He really is a gentle giant.” Her use of the present tense is striking. “I really wish he was sitting here next to me and we could talk to you together about the movie. It’s a tragedy that he isn’t.” She breaks eye contact and stares at the carpet, her voice wavering. “The film is something to celebrate. I just feel overcome with gratitude that I got to work with him.”
And it does mean, I point out, that she has now had screen romances with two of the scariest men in television. I’m referring to Tony Soprano and Breaking Bad’s Walter White: on Seinfeld, Elaine had an on-off affair with Tim Whatley, the dentist who converts to Judaism for the jokes, which provided an early role for Bryan Cranston. “Oh yeahhhhh!” she cries. “That’s fantastic.” A recent New Yorker profile painted Cranston as quite the model of actorly intensity. “I don’t remember him being intense. Just very funny. For a long time after, whenever I saw him I’d always call out: ‘Hey, Tim WHAT-ley!'” She pulls a guilty face, aware perhaps of how childish this might sound. “I don’t do that any more. Maybe he’d get a kick out of it …”
When she joined Seinfeld for its second episode in 1990, she had under her belt an unhappy three-year spell on the US sketch show Saturday Night Live, where her husband was also in the cast. “I was not getting a lot of air time on SNL. I was young and inexperienced and I went in with no idea of how to navigate that universe, which was not very female-friendly.” In her final year, Seinfeld’s future co-creator Larry David joined the writing staff, only to quit after failing to get a single sketch on air during his tenure. “We were both equally miserable and we bonded over that. That’s where Larry lives: in discomfort. It’s where most comedy comes from. Discomfort is a very underrated feeling.”
I wonder if she realised at the time how radical a creation Elaine was. It seems incredible now that a woman in a prime-time 1990s network sitcom was permitted to be as funny and venal as her male co-stars. Elaine broke every taboo. She was anti-religion, pro-abortion and an appalling dancer. Sexually she was unapologetically ravenous, even undiscerning; in one episode, a period of enforced celibacy rendered her temporarily insensible. She enjoyed her promiscuity so that the women in Sex and the City and Girls could later do likewise.
For Louis-Dreyfus, the most significant advance occurred during The Contest, an episode in which the main characters attempt to abstain from self-abuse. “That was groundbreaking. Guys talking about masturbation was acceptable. But when a woman enters that dialogue, it’s a whole different matter. I felt lucky to be a part of that. To me, it was the show that was radical rather than Elaine. It was an anti-sitcom sitcom. ‘You mean all these little moments build up to become a show about – that? Seriously?'”
Simon Blackwell, a writer and producer on Veep, says Louis-Dreyfus is a connoisseur of comedy. “She cares about it, as a craft,” he tells me. “She’s great on the mechanics of comedy, the nuts and bolts of how it works. That stuff fascinates her – how an extra beat of time can nail a joke or kill it. Why that word should go in that place in the sentence, or when you need to break the sentence. Matt Walsh, who plays Mike in Veep, says she can find the extra jokes on the way to the joke, and that’s true. It’s almost an academic interest, or like a musician knowing theory.”
Louis-Dreyfus spent a decade or so after Seinfeld trying on different sitcoms for size. But it was Veep, currently preparing for a third series, that provided her with the first part forceful and complex enough to rival Elaine. As Selina, she strides purposefully, arms pumping in front of her like pistons; she dishes out insults and invective the way other people pass around breath-mints. I express concern that Selina hasn’t yet enjoyed enough moments of triumph: how much humiliation can one character take? “Absolutely,” she says. “And that’s coming. Triumph is great because where do you go from there? Down. That’s good for comedy.”
“She’s such a joy to write for,” says Blackwell. “You can give Julia anything to do and she’ll nail it. It’s like this comedic five-octave range. She’s a great, great physical comedian but she can also bring it down to this laser-surgery level. I remember when we did episode two of season one of Veep and there’s a scene where Selina is told the president is having chest pains and she has to get to the White House situation room – she thinks she’s about to become president. Her line was ‘I’m so sorry’ and the stage direction in brackets was ‘trying not to smile’. And it’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen – she plays so many emotions with just her eyes, it’s astonishing. It’s this really small performance, but so precise it gets a huge belly laugh. And she gave us so many options to choose from in the edit, each one different by just a hair. Incredible.”
Dreyfus as Selina Meyer in Veep. Photograph: Bill Gray/AP
The fluid, improvisatory style of working on Veep provides part of the appeal for her. “You’re never quite sure what you’re going for but you just have to go for it anyway,” she says. But the intervening decades between Seinfeld and Veep haven’t stifled her famous tendency to corpse during filming. There was even an entire Seinfeld episode (The Pez Dispenser) devoted to Elaine’s inability to suppress her laughter. “It still happens,” she chuckles. Very soon that chuckle builds to a laugh, and from there to a mildly disconcerting hyuk-hyuk-hyuk. She’s cracking up over the idea of cracking up. “If I get tired, I’m a goner,” she says eventually. “But it’s also a good sign. It means I’m enjoying the movie or TV show I’m making. I’m its greatest fan!” This sets her off again. “That is gonna look really bad in print. You really gotta spin it right, man, because otherwise it’s gonna make me sound like such an asshole.”
• Enough Said is on release. Veep series two is on Sky Atlantic.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus Inks Apple Overall Deal
A staple of HBO’s comedy brand is headed to Apple.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, fresh off seven seasons of HBO stalwart Veep, has signed a sweeping overall deal with the tech giant and streaming platform.
Under the multiple-year agreement, the Emmy-winning actress will develop new projects exclusively for Apple — as both an executive producer and star. Sources say the actress and producer met with multiple outlets, including her former home at HBO. The news should be seen as a big “get” for Apple video heads Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, not so much that they landed Louis-Dreyfus the producer, but that they landed Louis-Dreyfus the star. Her last three comedy vehicles — New Adventures of Old Christine, Seinfeld and Veep — have proved massive hits, earning her eight acting Emmys.
The deal, financial terms of which were not immediately available, is Louis-Dreyfus’ first such overall and reunites her at the same company with former Richard Plepler mere days after the former HBO CEO’s producing deal became official. Plepler greenlit Veep during his 27-year regime running the premium cable network. The former exec has a stellar reputation and has deep relationships with both talent and showrunners and his arrival at Apple is at least expected to help deepen those of former studio chiefs Van Amburg and Erlicht, who, it’s worth noting, have not struggled to lure both to their TV+ platform. Sources say negotiations with Louis-Dreyfus were already underway with Apple amid Plepler’s talks with the tech giant, though he is said to have phoned her just before hers closed.
“I am thrilled about this new partnership with my friends at Apple,” said Louis-Dreyfus. “Also, many thanks and kudos to my representatives for structuring the deal in such a way that I am paid in AirPods.”
Louis-Dreyfus has broken awards season records with multiple Emmys, Golden Globes, SAG and Critics Choice Awards for her work on era-defining mega-hits like Veep and Seinfeld as well as The New Adventures of Old Christine. Next up, she will star in Fox Searchlight’s Downhill, which she also produces. She’s repped by CAA and ID.
While financial terms were not immediately available, the overall arrives months after Netflix shelled out $500 million for global rights to Seinfeld in a move that illustrates the value of the cast, including Louis-Dreyfus.
She joins a rapidly growing roster of producers with overalls at Apple including Alfonso Cuarón, Kerry Ehrin, Jon M. Chu, Justin Lin, Jason Katims, Lee Eisenberg, as well as A24 and Imagine Documentaries.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, in full Julia Scarlett Elizabeth Louis-Dreyfus, (born January 13, 1961, New York, New York, U.S.), American television and film performer who was the first actress to win Emmy Awards for three different series: Seinfeld, The New Adventures of Old Christine, and Veep. For the latter series, she also set a record for most Emmy wins for the same role.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus Quick Facts born January 13, 1961 (age 59)
New York City, New York
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Louis-Dreyfus spent her youth dividing her time between the homes of her parents, who divorced when she was one year of age. Her mother was a tutor and a writer who moved to Washington, D.C., when Julia was eight, and her father was a French-born businessman in New York City. Louis-Dreyfus was educated at a private girls’ school, the Holton-Arms School, in Bethesda, Maryland.
After her graduation (1979) from high school, Louis-Dreyfus entered Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois), where she studied drama and became involved in the Practical Theatre Co., led by actor Brad Hall, whom she married in 1987. In 1982, with help from leaders of the legendary Second City comedy troupe, the Practical Theatre opened a performance space in Chicago where Louis-Dreyfus, Hall, and two others, Gary Kroeger and Paul Barrosse, began performing improvisational comedy. Their first show opened in July 1982 and received rave reviews. They were soon scouted by Dick Ebersol, the producer of NBC’s Saturday Night Live (SNL), and all four cast members were hired. Louis-Dreyfus, at age 21, left Northwestern and moved to New York City.
She remained a regular SNL cast member until 1985, although she disliked the “dog-eat-dog” atmosphere backstage. After leaving the show, she guest starred on various sitcoms and began a film career in 1986 with small roles in the fantasy-horror film Troll and, more notably, in Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters.
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In 1989 a former SNL colleague, Larry David, invited Louis-Dreyfus to audition for a new sitcom that he was developing with comedian Jerry Seinfeld. She won the role of Jerry’s former girlfriend Elaine Benes in Seinfeld (1990–98) and, as part of the classic show, earned a place in TV history. In 1996 she won her first Emmy for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series for that role. She also made several films during that period, including Jack the Bear (1993) and Deconstructing Harry (1997).
(from left) Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards, and Jerry SeinfeldScene from the television series Seinfeld, with actors (from left) Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards, and Jerry Seinfeld.© Castle Rock Entertainment; all rights reserved
After Seinfeld ended, Louis-Dreyfus starred in the short-lived sitcom Watching Ellie (2002–03). Her fortunes rose when she claimed the title role in The New Adventures of Old Christine (2006–10) as a single mother who manages to maintain a friendly relationship with her former husband; she won the 2006 Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series. In 2010 Louis-Dreyfus earned a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. In 2012 she began a successful run as U.S. Vice President (later President) Selina Meyer on the comedy series Veep. Her work on that show cemented her status as one of the leading comic actors in the United States and won her six consecutive Emmy Awards for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series. In 2017 she tied a record for most Emmy wins (eight) by a performer. Louis-Dreyfus also won several Emmy Awards for producing Veep. Later in 2017 she announced that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and the show went on hiatus. It returned two years later for its seventh and final season.
In 2014 Louis-Dreyfus was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. Four years later she received the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus has had ‘a rough couple of years’ with cancer treatment, sister’s death
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is back at work on the final season of her hit HBO comedy “Veep,” but there have been plenty of tears as well as laughter recently for the much-lauded, award-winning actress.
Louis-Dreyfus, who has won six Emmys for her portrayal of politician Selena Meyer in “Veep,” talks about her recovery from breast cancer, which was discovered last year, and briefly about her sister’s death this summer in a new profile in The New Yorker. Those events followed the death of her father, Gerard, who died just days before her 2016 Emmy win.
The eight-time Emmy winner – six for “Veep,” one each for portrayals on “Seinfeld” and “The New Adventures of Old Christine” – reveals the emotional demands of the illness and treatment.
“You know if you get on a horse and you have really tight reins and the horse is galloping?” she tells the New Yorker. “I felt like I had really tight reins on myself. That’s what it felt like: I was just holding on tight.”
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The magazine said she then rolled her eyes, before saying, “I’ve had a really rough year, blah, blah, blah – you know, we’re getting through it.” She pauses. “I had a rough couple of years, actually.”
Louis-Dreyfus, 57, married to writer-producer Brad Hall and the mother of two sons in their 20s, learned she had breast cancer just as she was winning her most recent Emmy in September 2017.
Initially, the story says, Louis-Dreyfus planned to continue shooting the show during her chemotherapy treatment, but it was eventually decided production would be put on hold.
The actress suffered “debilitating nausea” and numerous other side effects. “What we went through last year was horrific,” her mother, Judith Bowles, tells the magazine. “Her strength, just now, is coming back. It takes about a year.”
In the profile, Louis-Dreyfus also briefly comments on the death of her youngest sister, Emmy, who died in August while camping. “It was out of the blue,” she says. When discussing it the day after a British tabloid suggested her lack of previous comment indicated estrangement, she says: “Given the fact that this heinous (speculation) came out, I would simply say I’ve kept this under wraps out of reverence for my dearest Emma. … It’s been a very bad period of time.”
More:Seinfeld on Louis-Dreyfus: ‘She made my career’
There have been positive developments. Louis-Dreyfus went back to work on the final season of “Veep” late this summer and she received a giant comedic honor, The Mark Twain Prize, in October. She was pleased with her speech and the outpouring of affection and support from other comedy icons, including Larry David and Tina Fey.
The illness has influenced her perspective. “I have a different kind of view of my life now, having seen that edge – that we’re all going to see at some point, and which, really, as a mortal person you don’t allow yourself to consider, ever. And why would you? What are you going to do with it?” she tells The New Yorker. “I was a little more breezy before. I was a little … breezy.”
This week, Julia Louis-Dreyfus celebrated her 56th birthday. You may think you know her well, after seeing her on your living room TV screen for decades, but did you know that the award-winning actress got her first taste of comedy at age 3? It was midway through a dance class, when a wee Louis-Dreyfus forgot the steps to her routine and was delighted to find that it made people laugh: “Of course, my mother was mortified, but I thought it was real good! And I stuck with that choreography for the rest of the class,” she once told a reporter. Here, in honor of her birthday, five other things you may not have known about Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
1. Seinfeld writers thought Elaine’s dance moves might kill Louis-Dreyfus’s career.
Show writer Spike Feresten later told The Huffington Post that Seinfeld creator Larry David was not a fan of the eighth season episode “The Little Kicks,” in which Elaine dances; he only got approval on the story line after David left. Feresten began having doubts in rehearsal: “ Jennifer Crittenden pulled me aside after Julia did the dance for the first time. ‘Are you sure about this? Are you sure you’re not ruining Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s career?’ ‘No, I’m not.’ ” But it all worked out; that year Louis-Dreyfus won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.
2. No, Louis-Dreyfus is not a billionaire heiress.
When a magazine asked about her father’s business, the Louis Dreyfus company, a commodities and shipping conglomerate, she set the record straight: Her father’s business is valued in billions. “It’s unbelievable, because whatever I do, people just assume it’s true,” she said. “Welcome to the fuckin’ Internet.” (For what it’s worth, after her lengthy career, Louis-Dreyfus is estimated to be worth around $200 million in her own right.)
3. As Selina Meyer on HBO’s Veep, Louis-Dreyfus uses her high-fashion wardrobe to inform her character.
“Wearing this wig and these tight clothes and these shoes that are nuts, it’s all very physically constraining,” she said. “It’s just very sucked into the whole look, and it feels right. It’s a nice place to start getting really mad . . . It starts to inform the rage.” Selina’s anger does not reflect Louis-Dreyfus’s own personal issues: “I don’t have a shit ton of baggage,” she’s said. “There’s not some grotesque, dark thing.”
4. Louis-Dreyfus has “fondly-ish” memories of her time on Saturday Night Live.
After dropping out of Northwestern University to pursue acting, Louis-Dreyfus booked the job at 21 years old, reportedly the youngest female cast member at the time. “It was a huge Cinderella-getting-to-go-to-the-ball kind of experience, really,” she has said. “But it was brutal. You had to fight to get your skits on the show, and there was a lot of drug use. People wrote and performed high, which freaked me out. I learned that if something isn’t fun to do, it’s just not worth it.”
5. Louis-Dreyfus reportedly won’t watch the Seinfeld pilot out of superstition.
When the show first aired, the main female character was a waitress named Claire who offered Jerry and George advice. Concerned the setup was too male-centric, NBC executives picked up the show on the condition that a stronger female character would be added to the concurrent episodes. David called on Louis-Dreyfus, whom he got to know as a writer on SNL. “ bright, charming—striking, actually—and she had a great disposition, which, considering the bunker mentality that was SNL at the time, wasn’t easy,” David has said. Louis-Dreyfus beat out Rosie O’Donnell and Megan Mullally for the part of Elaine.
- Name: Julia Louis-Dreyfus
- Age: 59 years old
- Height: 5ft 3in (160 cm)
- Occupation: Actress
- Net Worth: US $200 Million
- Status: Alive
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is an Award-winning American actress, comedienne and producer. She starred as “Elaine Benes” on the series Seinfeld and currently as “Selina Meyer” in Veep. Her credits include Saturday Night Live, The New Adventures of Old Christine, and the film Enough Said (2012). Louis-Dreyfus was born on January 13, 1961 in New York City. Her parents Judith and William divorced when she was 1-year old. She has three half-sisters Lauren, Phoebe and Emma. Louis-Dreyfus attended Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, Maryland. She studied theatre at Northwestern University but dropped out to pursue acting.
Louis-Dreyfus began her acting career at The Practical Theatre Company in Chicago, Illinois. She performed with The Second City comedy troupe, who’s past members include Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell. She was added to the cast of NBC’s Saturday Night Live in 1982. She appeared in a total of 57 episodes playing various characters. Louis-Dreyfus made her feature film debut in 1986. She was cast as “Mary” in Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters (1986). She had a small role in the Christmas comedy film National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) starring Chevy Chase. Louis-Dreyfus starred as “Eileen Swift” on the NBC sitcom Day by Day (1988-89). She followed up with her breakout role as “Elaine Benes” on Seinfeld (1990-98). That role earned her multiple awards including a Primetime Emmy and a Golden Globe. The show was created by Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David. Louis-Dreyfus appeared alongside Robin Williams and Billy Crystal in the film Fathers’ Day (1997). She voiced the character “Princess Atta” for the animated film A Bug’s Life (1998) and later “Rochelle” for Planes (2013). Her film credits include North (1994) with Elijah Wood, and Enough Said (2013) with James Gandolfini.
Louis-Dreyfus starred as “Ellie Riggs” on the sitcom Watching Ellie (2002-03). She also served as a producer. She had recurring roles on the series, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Simpsons and Arrested Development. She held the title role as “Christine Campbell”, a single mother on the series The New Adventures of Old Christine (2006-10). The show ran on NBC for 5 seasons. Louis-Dreyfus currently stars as Vice president “Selina Meyer” on the political satire series Veep. The show premiered on HBO on April 22, 2012. She won 9 Primetime Emmy Awards, including 6 for lead actress in a comedy series and 3 as a producer. She’s also won 2 Screen Actors Guild Awards and a Critics’ Choice Award for her role. Louis-Dreyfus’ star was added to the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010. She was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2014.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is about 5ft 3in tall and she’s of Jewish, German, Mexican, English, French, Scottish and Scots-Irish ancestry. Her net worth is estimated at $200 million. She married actor ‘Brad Hall’ in June 1987. The couple began dating in 1981. They have two sons, Henry and Charles Hall. Louis-Dreyfus was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2017. Her diagnosis came one day after she won an Emmy for Best Actress for the series Veep.
Photo By Peabody Awards , via Wikimedia Commons
Julia Louis-Dreyfus Real Name, Birthday, Salary, Wiki
It was Louis-Dreyfus’s portrayal of the fabulously flawed and cynical Elaine Benes on the hit sitcom Seinfeld that propelled the actress to stardom. The New York-centric comedy, also starring Jason Alexander and Michael Richards, was created by Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David and ran for nine seasons (1989-1998).
Though the role of Elaine was not part of the show’s original concept, producers insisted that Seinfeld needed a feminine perspective. For her performance in the series, she earned a Golden Globe Award in 1993 and an Emmy Award in 1996.
During breaks from Seinfeld, Louis-Dreyfus continued to make films. These included Jack the Bear (1993); Rob Reiner’s North (1994); Father’s Day (1997) with Billy Crystal and Robin Williams; and Woody Allen’s Deconstructing Harry (1997). She also lent her voice for the role of Princess Atta in the animated feature A Bug’s Life (1998).
‘Watching Ellie’ and ‘Old Christine’
In 2002, Louis-Dreyfus starred in her own sitcom, Watching Ellie. Despite a promising debut, the comedy featuring Louis-Dreyfus as a Los Angeles lounge singer took a dive in the ratings and was canceled midway through its first season. A revamped version of the show returned to NBC’s prime-time lineup in the spring of 2003 but failed to find an audience.
In 2006, Louis-Dreyfus returned to television with the show The New Adventures of Old Christine. She starred as the titular character, a divorced mother of one, navigating the ups and downs of parenting and dating while running a business. Louis-Dreyfus won an Emmy Award (Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series) for her work on the show in 2006. The show ran for five seasons.
Acclaim for ‘Veep’
In 2012, Louis-Dreyfus debuted on the TV series Veep, playing fictional U.S. Vice President Selina Meyer. In September of that year, Louis-Dreyfus received her third Emmy Award (Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series). The honor also marked her 13th acting Emmy nomination, ranking her among TV’s most nominated female performers. Louis-Dreyfus has since earned more Emmys and multiple Golden Globe nominations for her work on the series.
Louis-Dreyfus made another appearance on the big screen in 2013. She starred in Enough Said with James Gandolfini, which explored the ups and downs of middle age romance. In a tragic twist, Gandolfini died of a heart attack months before the film’s release. The film’s premiere was bittersweet for the actress. As Louis-Dreyfus explained to USA Today, “I’m so happy I had the chance to work with him. For his legacy, I’m so happy he made this film. … It shows his versatility as an actor.”
Louis-Dreyfus made history at the 2016 Emmy Awards ceremony when she won her sixth award for lead actress in a comedy series — her fifth straight for Veep — breaking the three-way record she held with Mary Tyler Moore and Candice Bergen.
In her acceptance speech, she joked about U.S. politics and Donald Trump’s promise to build a wall between the United States and Mexico. “I’d also like to take this opportunity to personally apologize for the current political climate,” she said. “I think that Veep has torn down the wall between comedy and politics. Our show started out as a political satire but it now feels like a sobering documentary. So I soberly promise to rebuild that wall, and make Mexico pay for it.”
She ended her speech with an emotional remembrance of her father, who had passed away two days before the ceremony. “Lastly, I’d like to dedicate this to my father, William Louis-Dreyfus, who passed away on Friday,” she said. “I’m so glad that he liked Veep because his opinion was the one that really mattered.”
The actress added to her Emmy collection with a sixth straight win in 2017, and the following year she again made history with her two wins at the Screen Actors Guild Awards—for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series—giving her a record nine SAG trophies.
Louis-Dreyfus is married to actor and producer Brad Hall. The couple met at Northwestern University and married in 1987. They have two sons, Henry and Charles.
In September 2017, Louis-Dreyfus announced on Twitter that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She announced the end of her chemotherapy treatments in January 2018, posting a video of her sons lip-syncing to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” on Instagram.
On my favorite show, The Good Wife, Judge Patrice Lessner — played by Saturday Night Live alum Ana Gasteyer — tends to rule against any attorney who fails to add “in my opinion” after making a point in her courtroom. It’s a handy phrase to keep in mind for anyone tempted to judge a celebrity for work she may or may not have had done on her face.
Renee Zellweger, looking beautiful in both 2009
In the wake of last week’s brouhaha over Renee Zellweger’s new look, which some called “unrecognizable,” I asked New York City plastic surgeon Konstantin Vasyukevich to weigh in on women age 50-plus seeking “assistance.” His points — in his opinion, of course! — appear below:
Celebs always credit “diet and exercise,” never surgery. If the surgeon has done his job, no one should be able to tell you’ve had a face-lift or eye lift. The same goes for fillers and Botox: The goal of any facial rejuvenation procedure is to improve someone’s looks, not change them.
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Five ways to spot bad “work.” In general, overdoing it is the giveaway. But there are specific clues as well:
1. Frozen face. Administered too often or too strong, Botox injections leave your face lacking the ability to express emotion. Brows that are too elevated or overarched at 50 often indicate misplaced Botox. Though neurotoxins such as Botox should last three to four months, there’s a window of time when muscle activity begins to return. Hold off on getting repeat injections too early in the game.
2. Chipmunk cheeks. Done correctly, filler can add natural-looking volume to saggy cheeks; it should last one to two years. When overdone, by contrast, the result is often big, puffy cheeks that look unnaturally high on the face.
3. Duck lips. Overinflated lips lose their natural shape; the swelling also gives the face a distorted look. To avoid this if you decide to have “work done,” check the side view as your doctor works; filler can sometimes look fine straight on, but extreme in profile.
4. Wind-tunnel face. A face that’s been pulled too taut, resulting in a distorted hairline and ear placement, signals an “old” facelift. More modern surgical techniques can give a much more natural look.
5. Changed eye shape. Less is often more here. Too much cutting alters your eyelids and the shape of your eyes in a drastic way.
Who looks suspiciously good? Meryl Streep, 65, and Julianne Moore, 53, seem to be good examples of not caving in to “plastic-surgery pressure.” Sure, it’s possible to have a clean jaw and a smooth neck after 50 or 60, but it’s not common. Some stars (I’m thinking Vanessa Williams, 51, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, 53) appear to get away with a little Botox to smooth forehead wrinkles.
Jane Fonda has confessed to “looking great at 76, thanks to multiple cosmetic procedures over the years.” My guess is she’s had more than one face-lift — and that she has a well-thought-out strategy of nonsurgical procedures for maintenance.
Helen Mirren appears to have had a successful recent face-lift. At 69, she now has a smooth jawline and a beautiful neck (and those lines around the eyes can easily be resolved with Botox).
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Sigourney Weaver looks great at 65; I believe she had good work done. Only from certain angles does she look her age.
Finally, I believe that Renee Zellweger, 45, had her eyes done and got a facelift in ways that were less than optimal. Good work should leave you looking rested, not unrecognizable.
For more beauty and style tips for women age 50 and up, check out my Wardrobe Wakeup: Revitalizing Your Look at Any Age.
Photos: Jorg Carstensen/AP Photo; Jordan Strauss/AP Photo
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Julia Louis Dreyfus’ Diet and Exercise: Petite yet Fit and Healthy
A megawatt smile, gorgeous face and fun personality. Julia Louis Dreyfus has it all. No, wait, she also has great hair, and to top it all off, a super toned body. This 48 year old stunner can give a few models a run for their money, and here, she spills about her secrets for those remarkable abs.
“I don’t look good by accident.” She said gaily. “I have to work at not being fat. I’m always looking for the best way to stay in shape.”
Julia Louis Dreyfus’ diet follows portion control, wherein there are no food restrictions of any kind as long as she watches out for serving size and total caloric intake. This eating plan allows Julia, a self confessed sugar-junkie, to indulge in her favorite treats, but in moderation.
“I have a huge sweet tooth, and I feel like I deserve a treat when I work hard. It’s important to give yourself a little of what you really want so you don’t feel like you’re in food prison. Eating in moderation keeps me sane.”
On the other hand, Julia Louis Dreyfus’ exercise routine includes running 3 to 4 miles per day to keep her in shape. She also uses the elliptical machine and does weight training at least four times a week.
Julia Louis Dreyfus’ exercise routine allows her to burn from 500 to 1500 calories an hour, and gave her those famous well-defined abs.
With a diet like that coupled with a good exercise regimen, Julia Louis Dreyfus has found her very own fountain of youth.
You’re only as old as you feel and by the looks of shape magazine’s cover Julia looks like a 21 year old! Get the inside scoop on what she’s doing to look fit over 40!
Who knew Julia Louis Dreyfus had a body like this?!! The 48 year old actress looks stunning on the cover of Shape Magazine this month! She’s gracious enough to share her secrets with the magazine and we’re happy to report that her body has everything to do with a healthy lifestyle and nothing to do with a little nip/tuck! Although Julia is quick to say,
“Of course if things start to fall, I may have to do something to pull it all up.”
“But seriously, the whole idea scares me. My mom never had it done and she looks fantastic. Hopefully I’ll follow in her footsteps. I don’t judge anyone who’s had plastic surgery, but I don’t see it in my future. And my husband is 100 percent against it!”
In the April issue, The New Adventures of Old Christine star reveals her tips and tricks for staying healthy and even protecting the environment.
Eat smarter, not less
Like many women, Julia is constantly searching for the middle ground between indulgence and discipline when it comes to maintaining her weight. “Some people have it easier than others,” she says. “Unfortunately, I have to work at not being fat. I’m always trying different things to see what sticks.”
Her everyday strategy
Have breakfast. “It’s hard for me to eat in the morning,” says Julia. “But I recently discovered something I love: two eggs fried in olive oil and a slice of whole-wheat toast with honey. It tastes so good, and I don’t get crazy-hungry before lunch—that’s when I start to make bad food choices. I’ve found the key to healthy eating is finding foods you really like. That way you don’t feel ripped off when you can’t have a fattening doughnut or whatever you’re craving.”
Her green twist
Buy local. “I love vegetables— I should be a vegetarian, and I feel guilty saying I’m not,” says Julia. “But I like meat and chicken. So I buy organic foods whenever they’re available and shop at my local farmers’ market whenever I can. There’s something cozy about it. It’s a very friendly environment; you get to know the farmers. Plus, it’s better for the earth because the food is grown nearby, not flown in from some faraway place like South America.” Like her Seinfeld character, Elaine, Julia is a big fan of the BIG salad. “I eat them at least once if not twice a day,” she says. “My current favorite is arugula with some Parmigiano-Reggiano and either olive oil and fresh lemon juice or a sesame-ginger vinaigrette.”
Give in to your splurge urge
“I have a huge sweet tooth, and I feel like I deserve a treat when I work hard,” says Julia, who tries to be sensible about it. “It’s important to give yourself a little of what you really want so you don’t feel like you’re in food prison. Eating in moderation keeps me sane.”
Her everyday strategy
Have a secret stash. “I have a chocolate drawer in my desk where I keep treats at all times,” Julia admits. “As long as I can have one or two pieces, I’m fine. But my biggest food vice is bacon. And no, I don’t have a bacon drawer. In fact, I don’t keep bacon in my house—that would be way too tempting.”
Think positively about exercise
Despite her sweet tooth, Julia’s weight stays consistent because she makes working out a priority. “In a perfect world, I’d do it five times a week,” she says. “Honestly, though, it’s less than that. But if I go a few days without exercise, I always come back to it. I find I actually crave it. It makes a huge difference in terms of my metabolism and keeping my weight steady.” And is it true that exercise can enhance your love life? “Of course libido is affected by activity,” says Julia. “When my husband and I started dating, we played tennis together…a lot. It was very romantic.”
Her everyday strategy
Adapt your workout to your needs. When time is tight, Julia multitasks by jumping on her elliptical machine at home and watching TV. “It’s a very efficient way of fitting in exercise,” she says. “When I can, I try to go for a four-mile run. I love to break a sweat. If I’ve gotten in a huge run, I feel like I’ve really done an effective workout.”
Her green twist
Get back to nature. A few times a week, Julia hitsone of the state parks in her area and goes hiking for an hour or two. “There’s something about the ritual of moving forward along a trail, pausing every now and then to look at the view or smell a flower,” she says. “It’s a physical escape as well as a mental one.” It’s also a family tradition she’s hoping to pass along to her kids. “When I was a little girl, my mother would say, ‘We’re going on a nature walk.’ And I would recoil because I hated doing that kind of thing,” recalls Julia. “Now I love it, but when I mention hiking to my own kids, they’re like, ‘Ugh!’ I’m hoping for a residual effect with them, though, and that by the time they’re my age, they’ll love going on nature walks as much as I do (source)
(CES, PES, CPT, BS)
The star of HBO’s Veep looks incredible in a photo posted on her Twitter to let fans know that she’s come through cancer surgery just fine. Have a look below:
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The record-setting 11-time Primetime Emmy Award winner shared the news in a moving open letter late last year that she’d been diagnosed with breast cancer.
“One in eight women get breast cancer. Today, I’m the one,” she wrote in October. “The good news is that I have the most glorious group of supportive and caring family and friends, and fantastic insurance through my union.
“The bad news is that not all women are so lucky, so let’s fight all cancers and make universal health care a reality.”
It was announced shortly thereafter that Veep would be delaying filming on its final season so Julia could focus on her treatment, but the actress was quick to assure fans of her fighting spirit.
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127.8k likes – View Post on Instagram Chemo #2: finito. We are NOT fucking around here. “I’ve got the eye of the tiger. The Fighter dancing through the fire cuz I am a champion and your’re going to hear me ROAR.” Thanks to @mrtonyhale & @timothycsimons & @katyperry for their hilarious and loving inspiration.
It was announced last September that Veep would finish with its upcoming seventh season, with the actress explaining that the remaining storyline has a “finality to it that feels end-of-series”.
This article originally appeared on Women’s Health US