CLOSE

Julia Louis-Dreyfus was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for humor at the annual ceremony at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
USA TODAY

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.

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.”

More: The best burns from Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Mark Twain Prize ceremony

More: Mark Twain Prize honoree Julia Louis-Dreyfus: Laughter ‘best medicine’ for her cancer

CLOSE

Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus has breast cancer, she announced through social media Thursday
Time

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.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus has won six Emmys for her portrayal of politician Selena Meyer in HBO’s “Veep.” (Photo: Colleen Hayes/HBO)

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.”

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

Last SlideNext Slide

 

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/tv/2018/12/13/julia-louis-dreyfus-back-hbos-veep-after-cancer-treatment/2296843002/