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Julia Louis-Dreyfus on the first laugh she got — and the ER trip that followed : NPR


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Julia Louis-Dreyfus performs a author whose husband hates the novel she’s engaged on in You Damage My Emotions.

Jeong Park /A24

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Jeong Park /A24

Julia Louis-Dreyfus performs a author whose husband hates the novel she’s engaged on in You Damage My Emotions.

Jeong Park /A24

Julia Louis-Dreyfus nonetheless remembers the primary time she made somebody snort: She was about 3 years previous and caught raisins up her nostril, eliciting a chuckle from her mother — till she inhaled the raisins and needed to go to the hospital.

“I keep in mind the emergency room half notably properly,” Louis-Dreyfus says. “However I acquired the snort, so there’s that!”

Louis-Dreyfus has spent most of her grownup life making individuals snort. She’s finest identified for enjoying Elaine on the hit comedy sequence Seinfeld, however her credit additionally embrace SNL, The New Adventures of Previous Christine and the HBO sequence Veep. Alongside the best way, she’s received 11 Emmy awards.

Within the new film, You Damage My Emotions, Louis-Dreyfus performs a author whose world is turned the other way up when she learns that her husband hates the novel she’s engaged on — regardless of his reassurances on the contrary.

“The movie is form of a meditation on the truths and and barely not-truths that we inform our family members,” she says. “And I additionally suppose one other concept that comes out of the movie is: Are you your work? Who’re you minus your work? Is your price utterly tied to the work that you just do? That is an fascinating factor to contemplate.”

Interview highlights

On her acceptance speech for Mark Twain Prize for American Humor

I felt such stress. I assumed I used to be going to die. No one was happier than me as soon as I might completed that speech. In case you watch it on YouTube, there is a lectern there and I’ve my hand on it nearly the whole time as a result of I used to be so nervous that I assumed it could fall over. It is an enormous room. I feel there was like 2,500 individuals in there or one thing. And I used to be exceptionally conscious of the corporate that I used to be in, i.e. prior recipients. And in the event that they’re providing you with a prize for humor, you higher kill it. I positively felt the stress.


On going public together with her breast most cancers analysis in 2017

It could have by no means ever been my intention to go public with my sickness, however as a result of we had been in the course of making [Veep] and I had a whole lot of individuals counting on me, I needed to speak about it publicly, as a result of we needed to shut down for plenty of months. I am extra non-public than that … it is not one thing I’d have usually talked about. However the good factor about it, about being public … is that lots of people reached out to me on account of my saying that I used to be enduring this and I used to be in a position, due to this fact, to achieve out and assist others with their most cancers struggles. And that has been very significant to me.

On enjoying Selina Meyer on Veep, and discovering comedy in her character’s internalized misogyny and dismissal of feminism

I understood the thought and I understood why it was so humorous. It is very tough to be bold and to be a girl, and notably in politics, I feel that’s the case. And so how does one reconcile all of that? It is difficult. And on this case, in a a lot earlier episode in one other season, any person was pitching to Selina Meyer a speech by which the primary line was, “As a girl, I really feel,” and he or she’s studying this speech and he or she says, “Properly, to start with, as a girl, I am by no means beginning a sentence with ‘as a girl.’ ” … She does not need to determine as a feminine as a result of she sees herself being feminine as a second-class citizenship, that she does not get the identical alternative if she form of leans in to being a girl. And you may make an argument that that is true. So I feel that to me, it was a really humorous thought to be a girl who’s trapped. That is what she is.

On co-starring with James Gandolfini in Sufficient Mentioned shortly earlier than his demise

I actually am so fortunate to have had the possibility to work with him. I feel this position that he performed in Sufficient Mentioned was very near who he was as a human being. He was a really tender, delicate man, in no way a Tony Soprano-type. However I’d say that it was that form of sensitivity and even vulnerability that he had as a human being [that] made the position, his portrayal of Albert on this movie Sufficient Mentioned, so chic. But in addition, I actually suppose it is what helped outline the position of Tony Soprano. He introduced many layers to Tony Soprano. … I feel that is why that character stands the check of time. However he was a stunning human being. I feel he was one of many nice American actors. I actually do. He was naturally, pure on movie, very genuine, and generally he lacked confidence, which I at all times discovered stunning.

On her new podcast, Wiser than Me

It was born out of a form of a want that I had. I had watched the Jane Fonda documentary on HBO, and I used to be actually fairly struck by the enormity and the scope of Jane Fonda’s life. And I assumed, we’re not listening to sufficient from older girls. Why are we not documenting these older girls who’ve had a lot life expertise? And I form of thought of that rather a lot and I assumed, I need to speak to older girls and get their knowledge, get their form of ideas from the frontlines of life. And so this concept was born, and that is precisely what I am doing. I am speaking to older girls. And the dialog is basically by the lens of, “Inform us what you realize, please.” I am discovering it very inspiring, myself. I am having fun with it.

Heidi Saman and Thea Chaloner produced and edited this interview for broadcast. Bridget Bentz, Molly Seavy-Nesper and Beth Novey tailored it for the net.


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