Julia Louis-Dreyfus: I miss playing Selina Meyer. It was freeing

Julia Louis-Dreyfus is one of the cover subjects for Variety’s Power of Women in Comedy issues. Oya wrote about Michaela Coel’s cover yesterday. I find Julia a beautiful woman, but her editorial isn’t quite as interesting as the other ladies. I like the floral dress they put her in, but it consumes her and with the orange grove behind, her she gets lost. The cover shot above is nice but compared to the dynamic covers of all the other women featured, I feel like Julia didn’t get the cover she deserved. Her interview was great, though. Julia is a good interview, even though she rarely says anything shocking. I appreciate how forthright she is. She spoke a lot about her political action in this piece. She also spoke about her career and which of her characters she misses the most. It turns out, she felt VEEPs Selina Meyer was the most freeing of her roles.

On doing more drama: It’s certainly an opportunity to look for some dramatic work, which I’ve been doing. I definitely relish the idea of delving more into drama. I don’t rule out doing more comedy, of course — I love it. But it’s not the only thing I do.

On returning to work: Interesting question, because I’m usually kind of dying to get back to it. But this go ‘round, I think I’ve been so frightened by this pandemic, truth be told, that going back to work, I’m finding a little bit like I’m feeling homesick already thinking about it. I have to go on location; I’m a little worried about that.

I’m talking to my friends who have been doing work with COVID protocols in place — what’s that experience like? That’s very challenging, at least in my anecdotal discovering, because so much of the work when you’re doing a show, a movie, whatever, happens between takes and during the hang of the work, the goofing around of the work.

On going public with her breast cancer diagnosis: What was overwhelming was to get a cancer diagnosis. One of the many complicating aspects of this was we were about to start shooting “Veep,” and so it’s like 250 people working in some capacity on the show. I realized I couldn’t just hibernate and take care of myself and lay low and be private. Which, by the way, frankly, if I hadn’t been in production, I would have done that. Because I am a private person. And I was terrified. But by circumstance, I was forced to make it a public thing.

On which characters she misses: You know who I miss? I miss playing Selina Meyer. My God, I loved this group of people that we worked with. It was the most lovely group of actors, writers, crew — everybody. And I know actors go around and they say, “Oh, it’s such a wonderful set” — and, of course, very often it is. But I’m telling you, for me it was elevated. And very loving. When the show first began, we were all on location together, and everybody had family elsewhere, and so we sort of all clung to one another. We became a very close-knit group.

The other reason is, just playing that character who was so out of her fucking mind and so undeveloped for me was — it was just freeing! Everything was about her ego, with not a care in the world for another human being. It was great fun to sort of tap into sort of what I think of as a two-year old’s level of development. I found that to be very exciting.

[From Variety]

Julia has a deal with Apple TV that she’s currently mining for projects. It was announced right before lockdown, which is why we haven’t heard that much about it. But the time has given her more time to find just the right project. Like I said, I always appreciate Julia’s honesty in her interviews. Like when she said she probably would not have spoken about her diagnosis if she had not been forced to, but it turned out to be such a great way to use her platform. She said something similar about politics, that she’s always been political but the last four years had forced her to actively campaign in an attempt to put this country back on track. I think many of us feel that way, we can’t keep to the shadows anymore.

I’m a big fan of Julia’s, but I was always just okay with Seinfeld. I recognize it’s a good show, but I’ve only seen a portion of the episodes. I did love VEEP, though, even though it made me terribly uncomfortable. I bet it was freeing to play someone like Selina Meyer. When Julia spoke of how close-knit the group was, I believe it. I think you would have to be incredibly trusting to portray the worst part of humanity and expect your scene partner not to see you as that person. That cast worked so beautifully together, it was an incredible ensemble. Plus, you could tell how much they felt for Julia when she was going through chemo. I’m intrigued to see Julia do drama. I don’t know that I have ever seen her in a dramatic role. And I am dying for Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine from Falcon and the Winter Solider to make her triumphant return.

A post shared by Julia Louis-Dreyfus (@officialjld)

A post shared by Julia Louis-Dreyfus (@officialjld)

Photo credit: Variety and Instagram

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