During a recent appearance on Howard Stern, Seinfeld alum Jason Alexander divulged the reason why Susan, the fiancée of his character George Costanza, was killed off by in a freak envelope poisoning incident before she and George could get married.
Rumor has it that the actress who played Susan, Heidi Swedberg, was killed off the show because Jason Alexander, in Howard Stern’s words, “couldn’t stand working with her.”
Alexander assures Stern that he liked Swedberg very much (“I love her. She’s a terrific girl. I love her!”), but struggled to work with her:
“I couldn’t figure out how to play off of her...Her instincts for doing a scene, where the comedy was, and mine were always misfiring. And she would do something, and I would go, ‘Okay, I see what she’s going to do — I’m going to adjust to her.’ And I’d adjust, and then it would change.”
And then there’s this little backhanded compliment:
“But what [Larry David] said was what Heidi brought to the character is that we could do the most terrible things to her and the audience was still on my side. She wasn’t playing a bitchy character or anything, but they knew it wasn’t a good fit.”
But even a good bad fit can’t last forever:
“I kept saying, ‘I’m going out of my mind, you guys. I can’t figure out how to play off of this girl. This stuff is not working. It can’t be.’ And they’re going, ‘It works great. You don’t know what you’re talking about. Blah blah blah.’
“I was the only actor doing scenes with her and then finally—and they didn’t know how the season was going to end. Was George gonna marry her? Was she gonna leave him? What was going to happen?
“And finally they do an episode where Elaine and Jerry have a lot of material with her. And they do the week and we get to the restaurant afterward and they go, ‘You know what? It’s fucking impossible.’ It’s impossible. And Julia [Louis-Dreyfus] actually said, ‘I know. Don’t you want to just kill her?’ And Larry went BA-BANG, ‘Now we gotta kill her!’”
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image via NBC.