The small screen has had its fair share of memorable hair moments, ranging from Keri Russell’s momentous chop on Felicity to Robin Wright’s major brunette makeover on House of Cards. Now joining the list is Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ new power ‘do as president on the upcoming season of the HBO comedy Veep.
It’s a short hairstyle that’s every bit as straightforward as Selina Meyer herself, and a drastic cut that’s a far fry from the chin-length bob the actress sported in the show’s first season. Given that Louis-Dreyfus has engineered her career to precision over the past 25 years, it’s no surprise to learn she was the one who came up with the idea of her character going dramatically short.
“I was fascinated by how people are so judgmental about how women look, and male politicians don’t get that s - - -,” Louis-Dreyfus says. “A change of hairstyle often gets more attention than legislation they’re trying to put forth. Also, it makes sense that Selina might be trying to identify her character. So I thought, let’s give it a shot.”
For the record, the cut—which Louis-Dreyfus describes as “Dustin Hoffman”—isn’t exactly carefree. “It worked really well, but it did involve her wearing a very uncomfortable wig,” says Veep creator Armando Iannucci. “But it was a good look.”
The new, cropped cut couldn’t be further from the curly, shoulder-length locks that were Louis-Dreyfus’ signature on Seinfeld. Though Elaine’s corkscrew ringlets fit right in with her kooky personality, looking back, Louis-Dreyfus isn’t so fond of the look. “It doesn’t stand the test of time,” the Emmy winner says.
And forget about the possibility of Louis-Dreyfus wearing her thick waves au naturel on the satirical sitcom—it’s just not politically correct. “This kind of hair,” she says of her locks, “would never work in government.”
Reporting by Lisa Schwarzbaum