All Hail Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Queen Of The Sitcom

Between Seinfeld, The New Adventures Of Old Christine, and Veep, Julia Louis-Dreyfus has been on our televisions for a long time. With season five of Veep premiering on April 23 on HBO, and an SNL hosting gig this Saturday, JLD remains at the top of her game. In a new interview with The New York TimesLouis-Dreyfus talked about her comedic approach to portraying a woman in a position of power and reflected on her “fond-ish” memories of being a cast member on SNL. 

When asked if Hilary Clinton’s plights compare to those of her Veep character, Selina Meyer, Louis-Dreyfus responded:

“With all female officials. Be it Pelosi, be it Barbara Boxer. Warren. Be it Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I watch these ladies with an eye — just thinking about this show. But not in a sense of parody. It’s just interesting to watch behavior, people’s reactions to women in power. A stern, decisive man is appealing. There are those who would say a stern, decisive woman is unappealing. Need you know any more than that?”

We don’t Julia, we don’t. When asked if she looks back fondly on her three years spent as a cast member on SNL, her response wasfondly-ish“:

“I did not come out of SNL as any kind of name. I didn’t do anything particularly great when I was there. I didn’t. It’s fine. But I learned a tremendous amount. It was a very sexist environment. Since I’ve gone back, I can tell you it’s much more of an equal-opportunity environment.”

It’s good to hear that the atmosphere at SNL is better than it was in the ’80s, but I would hope that everywhere has become more equal-opportunity in 20+ years – alas, according to Louis-Dreyfus, the film industry hasn’t really budged:

“I don’t think of myself as a pioneer. I’m not sure that I am. Opportunity for women in television has increased. It’s because the landscape has widened. More women got on the playing field. But opportunity for women in film has not increased. I just think it’s that simple. By the way, I’m certain that there’s more much more in television that can be done. And I’m trying to do it. But I’ve certainly seen it change in my lifetime.”

Having such a long, consistent career on television is a rarity for men and women alike, so in that sense I think JLD is something of a pioneer. She is undoubtably Queen of the modern sitcom and long may she reign.

[The New York Times]