Julia Louis-Dreyfus on Her SNL Years: 'It Was a Very Sexist Environment'

Illustration for article titled Julia Louis-Dreyfus on Her iSNL/i Years: It Was a Very Sexist Environment

Though she spent three years as a cast member on Saturday Night Live, sketches like “Big Zit” didn’t make Julia Louis-Dreyfus a household name in the 80s. No, that came later. In an interview published today in the Times, Louis-Dreyfus (who hosts Saturday’s SNL) was asked whether she looked back at her prosthetic pimple days fondly, and she replied, “Fondly-ish.” She added:

“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.”

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She said the experience made her decide to refuse all jobs “that didn’t seem as if they would be really fun.” A solid—if lofty—goal, but one she has managed to achieve over the span of her many decades in the business.

“That’s very simplistic and Pollyannaish sounding, but really, I noted that. I’m not doing this unless I can have a deep sense of happiness while doing it. I’ve applied that, moving forward, and it’s worked. So in that sense, I have SNL to thank.”

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In the iconic March 2016 issue of Vanity Fair, Jennifer Garner said, “I take umbrage. I refuse to be the ashes.” (I keep that paragraph taped to my work monitor because it will never not delight me.) So, apparently, does Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who has, despite working in a sexist industry, created not one, but three iconic comedy roles in her still-thriving career.

Jerry and Jason? They’re still just Jerry and George. But Julia? She’s Elaine, Christine, and Selena—all in equal measure.

Image via NBC.

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Staff Writer, Jezebel | Man

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DISCUSSION

She had the resources to turn down jobs that weren’t “fun.” Most of us don’t have that luxury.