You’re Wel­come

InStyle (USA) - - Insider -

CON­TIN­UED FROM PAGE 199 about some­thing else. That was re­ally important.”

Of Se­in­feld’s four main play­ers, Louis­drey­fus is also the only one whose ca­reer didn’t peak with the show. I ask her if she can ex­plain why. Luck, she in­sists, is a big part of it. “I ac­tu­ally do think that there’s an enor­mous amount of luck in hav­ing things line up in this town, more than people care to ad­mit.” But then she of­fers an­other rea­son that seems far more plau­si­ble: “I re­ally like to work. And I’m determined to find ex­cel­lent ma­te­rial, which is not nec­es­sar­ily the eas­i­est thing to do. I just have an in­tense de­sire to keep going. Work­ing as an ac­tor and find­ing ma­te­rial re­ally sus­tain me.”

That much was ev­i­dent to any­one who saw how Louis-drey­fus re­acted to her can­cer di­ag­no­sis in 2017. Al­though re­ceiv­ing the news was “so fun­da­men­tally terrifying,” she didn’t fully grasp how dif­fi­cult chemo­ther­apy would be and fig­ured it would just re­quire some tweaks to the sched­ule of Veep, which was about to start pro­duc­tion on its fi­nal sea­son. “I called Dave Man­del, who was our showrun­ner,” she re­calls. “I said, ‘OK, so I’ve got this dis­ease, but chemo is ev­ery three weeks, and I’ll just need a lit­tle down­time right af­ter each treatment. So if we can just break for those cou­ple of days?’ ” Soon it be­came clear that the show would have to go on hia­tus. But even dur­ing her treat­ments, while she was phys­i­cally “very di­min­ished,” Louis-drey­fus kept meet­ing with her costars for table reads. “And that was fan­tas­tic,” she says. “Be­cause it kept me hope­ful, and I could fo­cus on work in­stead of…try­ing to stay alive.” She raises an eye­brow. “You know, mak­ing a funny show is a pretty joy­ful un­der­tak­ing. As op­posed to, say, get­ting chemo­ther­apy tox­ins in your veins.”

The sev­enth sea­son of Veep was al­ways meant to be its last, but Louis-drey­fus ac­knowl­edges that in the af­ter­math of the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, the un­bri­dled egos and ve­nal self-in­ter­est of Wash­ing­ton, D.C., be­came al­most im­pos­si­ble to par­ody. “The White House is now mak­ing a bet­ter ver­sion of the show, but it’s com­pletely un­funny,” she says. As for next Novem­ber’s elec­tion, she’s wait­ing for the right mo­ment to pub­licly get be­hind one of the Demo­cratic can­di­dates, but on the red car­pet at Veep’s fi­nal-sea­son pre­mière she tipped her hand when a re­porter asked her whether she thought she’d see a fe­male pres­i­dent in her life­time. “I fuck­ing bet­ter,” she said.

Louis-drey­fus has been one of Hol­ly­wood’s most con­sis­tently vo­cal en­vi­ron­men­tal ac­tivists, and she re­cently took on a big­ger role on the board of the Nat­u­ral Re­sources De­fense Council, which has sued the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion at least 100 times to block ac­tions that are poised to threaten species or speed up cli­mate change. “The truth is, the planet is going to be fine—be­cause it’s going to erad­i­cate the hu­man pop­u­la­tion if we don’t get our shit to­gether,” she says. “There has to be a com­plete re­cal­i­bra­tion of how we con­duct our­selves and do business.” On the health-care front Louis­drey­fus used her so­cial-me­dia ac­counts as her me­ga­phone dur­ing her ill­ness, re­peat­edly push­ing for uni­ver­sal cov­er­age. “I had felt strongly about the is­sue be­fore, but now, here it was, stark and real,” she says. “The no­tion that some­one might have a di­ag­no­sis like that and have no in­surance, no means to get treatment, was in­con­ceiv­able to me.”

Since her re­cov­ery Louis-drey­fus is find­ing her­self “even more laser-fo­cused” than be­fore in most ar­eas of her life. “I’m keenly aware of the fact that I’m not im­mor­tal,” she says. She has learned Tran­scen­den­tal Med­i­ta­tion and stepped up her work­out reg­i­men, now ex­er­cis­ing “like a ma­niac.” For any­one who sees her in Os­car de la Renta at a pre­mière these days, it’s hard to be­lieve how re­cently she was sick—or that while grow­ing up in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., she thought of her­self as the fam­ily’s ugly duck­ling. “Well, I was,” she says. “I didn’t have a nor­mal, beau­ti­ful look. I’m sort of, you know—big nose, mas­sive head.” When did she start to re­al­ize she was at­trac­tive? “Maybe, like, an hour ago?” She laughs and adds, “Hon­estly, I think it truly started to change in my 30s and 40s.”

Al­though co­me­di­ans aren’t known as the world’s most stylish bunch (their bad rap is “prob­a­bly de­served,” Louis-drey­fus says), over the years she’s been an el­e­gant and in­creas­ingly en­thu­si­as­tic adopter of looks from mar­quee de­sign­ers such as Nar­ciso Ro­driguez and Bran­don Maxwell. “I do love fash­ion,” she says. Point­ing to the high-waist Hel­mut Lang army fa­tigues and Blund­stone boots she’s wear­ing to­day, she adds, “Clearly, I also like to be com­fort­able. It’s nice to get dressed up for the red car­pet, but when you get home, it’s also nice to take those clothes off and just wear com­fort­able shit.”

Louis-drey­fus has been in a fa­mously happy mar­riage to fel­low Satur­day Night Live alum Brad Hall for al­most 33 years. They have two grown sons, sev­eral beau­ti­ful homes, etc., etc. As we fin­ish our cof­fees, I ask if there’s any­thing that magazine ar­ti­cles tend to get wrong about her. She’s silent for a while.

“I think some­times it seems like my life has been, you know, easy livin’,” she says.

“Maybe I come off as cav­a­lier about things. But I’ve re­ally worked hard.” She pauses again, as if set­ting up a joke. She’s smil­ing, but the punch line doesn’t come.

“That’s all,” she says. Then she hugs me good­bye and heads to her next meet­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.