A couple of years ago comedian and actress Julie Louis-Dreyfus talked with Time Magazine about her role as the Vice President in Veep, her Elaine dance moves, and her biggest regret in life. Click on this link to watch the interview.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is one of the most successful comic actresses working in TV today. She is now playing the vice-president a new HBO show, VEEP, and she's here to answer 10 questions of Time Magazine. Welcome to Time, Julia.
Thank you. I'd actually like to answer nine questions.
Nine, ok, we’ll see what we can do.
How similar is the character you play, the life of the VEEP to your life?
Well let's see, how similar? Of course I, personally, I'm not the vice president, so I just wanna make sure everyone understands that, but in fact the aspect of presenting yourself in a certain way to the public and the desperation to be liked is, there is a parallel between the political life and life as a person in show business, and that's sort of fun to, to draw on.
Did you talk to people in power, former vice-presidents?
I did talk to former vice-presidents and chiefs of staff, and, and schedulers and speech writers and, you know, the list goes on. It's kind of an ongoing process.
Was there something that you learned that you were surprised about, that you didn't know before?
The big takeaway for me and it's very sort of basic but it's just how human everybody is, for instance, on the senate floor there's a desk that has candy in it, on the senate floor, it’s one of the senator’s desks and it’s loaded to the brim with candy. They're eating candy in there, they like candy just like you and I like candy, how about that?
Comedy of course can be quite tricky. There's a great scene in your new show where the vice-president makes a joke, and she makes another one on top. And it keeps getting laughs and she takes it a little too far. Has that ever happened to you?
Oh yeah, tons of times, yeah, it may happen in the next 10 minutes or so, but yeah, it has happened, yeah. And how do you deal with that?
Flop sweat comes to mind. It’s horrible, it's horrible, it's a nightmare. If you're gonna be a clown you gonna risk it, and sometimes it will not work. And it's not worked for me many times in my life.
The characters that you have become famous for, they tend to be narcissistic and unaware of their narcissism.
Does it impact your life that you've always played these sort of not always easy to like characters?
Well come to think of it, I have very few friends, so I guess so. It had never occurred to me until this moment.
It's a breakthrough.
It’s breakthrough moment for me.
A lot of readers, when we asked them, told them you were interviewing you, Elaine still really, really resonates with them. Does she still live with you somehow?
Yes, of course, yeah. That whole experience was a gift and keeps on giving, frankly. I'm so proud to have been part of television history making, that show, and people talk to me about all the time and I can't really remember one episode from the other because there are so many of them, but I actually really am delighted when that makes people happy.
Can you actually dance?
Much better than Elaine?
Correct, and it's problematic when I go to any event that has dancing. When I go to a wedding or something, I'm hugely self-conscious because I know that people are watching me, and even though that may sound paranoid, I have reason to be paranoid because they are watching me to see if I'm going to do that…
Elaine, and you sometimes break it out for special occasions?
I've never broken it out.
Do you think the fact that you've had the most successful post-Sienfeld career is luck, talent, timing, gender or hair? Or all of the above?
I'm gonna say it’s luck, to be honest and now I'm answering it seriously.
Right, no, please.
Otherwise I would say it's because I'm so incredibly talented but that’s the joke version. I actually do think it’s luck. I think there's much more luck involved in show business than people care to admit.
If you were to start your life all over again, what one change what you make?
I would wear more sunscreen.
Your skin is amazing.
Well thanks a million, but I got a lot of *** right now.