Julia Louis-Dreyfus is undeniably awesome, but that’s something the Veep and Seinfeld star simply would never cop to, not even from behind her five Emmys. No, as former EW film critic Lisa Schwarzbaum learned while interviewing Louis-Dreyfus for our latest, Spring-inspired cover, the qualities that the rest of us would refer to as charm, excellent comedic timing, and unparalleled staying power, the actress just calls “doing her job.” “I’d love to tell you I have a grand plan. I don’t have an overarching idea of what it is I’ve done and where I’m headed,” she says in the cover story. “I just really enjoy working on a character [when I feel] like there’s a lot of mileage to be had. I like to go get that mileage.”
But still, the question remained: what has kept Louis-Dreyfus at the top of her game for more than two decades? It turns out the people she’s worked with, including Veep executive producer Frank Rich, the show’s creator Armando Iannucci, and Enough Said director Nicole Holofcener, have a much easier time explaining it. “In Julia’s case, she just keeps trying different things,” Rich says. “To me, it’s the test of a great actor in any medium that they don’t just play one role over and over again. Julia is a great actor as well as being a great comic actor.”
In addition to hearing her collaborators sing her praises, the latest issue of EW also reveals the origins and behind-the-scenes tales of some of Louis-Dreyfus’ most iconic moments, like Elaine’s dance and Selina Meyer’s extra-short do last season on Veep, straight from her. “I was fascinated by how people are so judgmental about how women look, and male politicians don’t get that s—,” she says. “A change of hairstyle often gets more attention than legislation they’re trying to put forth.”
You can read our entire story on Julia Louis-Dreyfus when the new issue of Entertainment Weekly hits stands on Friday. Until then, check out our behind-the-scenes video from the cover shoot below.