CULTURE

Julia Louis-Dreyfus Is Bonded to Larry David By Their Misery

One of TV’s funniest women for three decades going on the journey from “Seinfeld” to “Veep.”


Photographs by Mario Sorrenti, Styled by Edward Enninful.

Nearly two decades after “Seinfeld” went off the air in 1998, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is once again on what might just be television’s funniest show, HBO’s “Veep.” The comedic stalwart was a breath of fresh air when she first showed up on “Seinfeld,” even if she wasn’t meant to be there in the first place. “They had made the pilot of ‘Seinfeld,’ and then NBC said, ‘Put a chick in it,'” she recalls. Louis-Dreyfus hasn’t looked back since. For this year’s Royals portfolio, we paired her with Priyanka Chopra, the Bollywood star who swept into our televisions on ABC’s “Quantico.”

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

What was the very first audition that you did? The very first professional audition I had was for Second City in Chicago. I was still in college. I got in to the touring company. It was a big deal and it wasn’t super fun, to be honest with you. But then I subsequently went on to do theater with my friends who had started a theater company in Chicago. And that was gobs of fun.

Were you always interested in doing comedy or you would audition for both comedy and drama? I auditioned for everything. I studied to be an actress. I did dramatic roles and comedic roles. I just tended to get more roles that were comedic. Inexplicably.

[Laughs] And then from Second City you you went to “Saturday Night Live”? I actually went from doing a show with The Practical Theatre Company in Chicago to SNL when I was 21 years old. It was unusual to be that young and inexperienced and catapulted into this huge universe of SNL. During the mid-80’s, when I in junior high and high school, I was the audience for the original cast of “Saturday Night Live.” It sort of felt like Cinderella goes to the ball.

Did you have a favorite SNL player? I was always a huge fan of Jane Curtin when she did the news. And I was a huge Bill Murray fan. And Gilda [Radner], of course. I mean, I just loved it all. I thought it was all incredible. “Hamburger, hamburger, hamburger.” You know?

What was your first day like at 30 Rock? Did you plan an outfit? I’m sure I planned an outfit for my first day. I can’t remember what it was, but I’m also sure that it was hideous. Those were not great times fashion-wise. Although now I see looks coming back, which I can’t even believe what I’m looking at. But anyway, I remember we were asked to do some of the sketches that we had been performing in Chicago for the writers and cast. That didn’t work out very well. [Laughs]

They didn’t laugh? Oh, no.

Then you met Larry David there. I did. Larry was at Saturday Night Live my third year that I was there, and we became fast friends, bonded by our misery.

So when Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld were doing “Seinfeld,” did you have to audition? I sort of had to audition but kind of not. It was very relaxed — it was not your typical audition experience. NBC already knew me because of Saturday Night Live. And of course Larry knew me, so it was really a question of meeting Jerry and did we get along. Which we did. We read a scene together, just the two of us, and it felt very natural and good. Then we made a deal. It was really pretty lickety-split.

On “Seinfeld” there was kind of a curve. It started out being not terribly successful. I think you had the shortest pickup order of any show. Yeah. They had made the pilot of “Seinfeld,” and then NBC said, “Okay, look. We’ll order four episodes.” [Laughs] So it was a real seal of approval. And they said, you know, “And put a chick in it.” So that would be me, I wasn’t in the pilot. So I did the first four. And then after that we got an order of 13. And so after that we finally got a full order — and that was, you know, ostensibly year three. So it was kind of a slow to become the thing that it became. Which is fine. It felt organic, and it gave us a chance to sort of wiggle around in what it was we were trying to do, and I think that was nice. Success is fantastic, but it can be burdensome and it can have a cursed feeling to it. It can get in your way.

You could have segued to all kinds of things [after “Seinfeld”]. What is it about television that you really like? Well, there are three things I like. One is I like to be home. I had two young children. I was not interested in going away on location. I like the immediacy of television. And I know television, you know? I knew it. I know it. And it was a regular gig. It was pretty steady. And then you get these hiatuses that correlate with the kids’ summer breaks. It was good for my personal and creative life.

And now you have “Veep.” You’re in your character so much. You sell those lines completely Yeah, it’s so fun to be in the skin of that crazy lady.

Do you ever take her home? I certainly do not. As soon as that wig and those tight clothes come off, I’m in my Birkenstocks and I am out of there.

Well, her wardrobe is kind of brilliant. Everything does look like a second skin. The whole idea is to constrict. It’s a good metaphor for the character, who feels restrained in this powerful position.

The 2016 Royals: Priyanka Chopra, Cindy Crawford, Chris Evans, Kanye West and More

Priyanka Chopra wears Burberry XO Barneys New York dress. Beauty: Burberry.

Hair by James Pecis for Oribe Hair Care; Makeup by Aaron de Mey at Art Partner; Manicures by Honey at Exposure NY. Set design by Philipp Haemmerle.

Photographs by Mario Sorrenti, Styled by Edward Enninful.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus wears Carolina Herrera dress; Pomellato earrings. Beauty: Nars.

Hair by James Pecis for Oribe Hair Care; Makeup by Francelle. Manicures by Honey at Exposure NY. Set design by Philipp Haemmerle.

Photographs by Mario Sorrenti, Styled by Edward Enninful.

Irina Shayk wears Prada dress, harness, corset, belt, charm, agenda, tights, and shoes; Bulgari ring. Beauty: L’Oréal Paris.

Photographs by Mario Sorrenti, Styled by Edward Enninful.

Halle Berry wears Versace gown; Pasquale Bruni ring. Beauty: Revlon.

Hair by Castillo; by Aaron de Mey
 at Art Partner; Manicures by Honey at Exposure NY; Set design by Philipp Haemmerle.

Photographs by Mario Sorrenti, Styled by Edward Enninful.

Elle Fanning wears Gucci gown; Bulgari earrings; Dior Fine Jewelry rings; Marc Jacobs shoes. Beauty: Gucci.

Hair by James Pecis for Oribe Hair Care; Makeup by Fulvia Farolfi for Chanel;Manicures by Honey at Exposure NY. Set design by Philipp Haemmerle.

Photographs by Mario Sorrenti, Styled by Edward Enninful.

Jodie Foster wears Giorgio Armani dress; Harry Winston earrings; Mish New York cuff. Beauty: Giorgio Armani.

Hair by James Pecis for Oribe Hair Care; Makeup by Aaron de Mey at Art Partner; Manicures by Honey at Exposure NY. Set design by Philipp Haemmerle.

Photographs by Mario Sorrenti, Styled by Edward Enninful.

Kanye West wears Yeezy Season 3 hoodie and pants. Grooming: Clinique.

Hair by Ibn Jasper at Frank Reps. Makeup by Aaron de Mey at Art Partner; Manicures by Honey at Exposure NY. Set design by Philipp Haemmerle.

Photographs by Mario Sorrenti, Styled by Edward Enninful.

Chris Evans wears Berluti tuxedo; Simon Miller shirt; Tiffany & Co. watch. Grooming: Giorgio Armani.

Hair by James Pecis for Oribe Hair Care; Makeup by Aaron de Mey at Art Partner; Manicures by Honey at Exposure NY. Set design by Philipp Haemmerle.

Photographs by Mario Sorrenti, Styled by Edward Enninful.

Kit Harington wears Hermès suit; Vince hoodie; Boss T-shirt. Grooming: Aramis.

Grooming for Harington by Johnny Hernandez at Fierro Agency. Manicures by Honey at Exposure NY. Set design by Philipp Haemmerle.

Photographs by Mario Sorrenti, Styled by Edward Enninful.

Ethan Hawke wears Louis Vuitton coat; Simon Miller T-shirt; AMI Alexandre Mattiussi trousers; Church’s shoes. Grooming: Dior Homme.

Hair by James Pecis for Oribe Hair Care; Makeup by Fulvia Farolfi for Chanel; Manicures by Honey at Exposure NY. Set design by Philipp Haemmerle.

Photographs by Mario Sorrenti, Styled by Edward Enninful.

Rami Malek wears No. 21 sweater; Prada pants, socks, and shoes. Grooming: Chanel.

Hair by James Pecis for Oribe Hair Care; Makeup by Aaron de Mey at Art Partner; Manicures by Honey at Exposure NY. Set design by Philipp Haemmerle.

Photographs by Mario Sorrenti, Styled by Edward Enninful.

New Royalty: Television “When I was a teenager, I was a tomboy and had scars on my legs. But then I taught myself to take care of my body and my hair. It takes time, but if I can do it, anybody can. Today, my legs sell 12 or 15 products in my part of the world.”

Alexander McQueen jacket and dress; La Perla bra and shorts; Harry Winston ring.

Hair by James Pecis for Oribe Hair Care; Makeup by Aaron de Mey at Art Partner; Manicure by Honey at Exposure NY.

Photographs by Mario Sorrenti, Styled by Edward Enninful

Classic Royalty: Television “I don’t approach my work from a gender point of view. If people are talented, be they men or women or transgender, I’m into it. I want to play ball, and I want to play hard. And if you can do that with me, then we’re going to get along great.”

Oscar de la Renta dress; La Perla bra.

Hair by James Pecis for Oribe Hair Care; Makeup by Francelle; Manicure by Honey at Exposure NY.

Photographs by Mario Sorrenti, Styled by Edward Enninful

Classic Royalty: Superhero “In the 6th grade, I played the supporting lead in a play called “Crazy Camp.” I ended up dating one of the more popular girls as a result. The second the play was over, she dumped me. So, at a young age, I learned the power of getting a good role.”

Melet Mercantile T-shirt; Rag & Bone Standard Issue jeans.

Hair by James Pecis for Oribe Hair Care; Makeup by Aaron de Mey at Art Partner; Manicure by Honey at Exposure NY.

Photographs by Mario Sorrenti, Styled by Edward Enninful

New Royalty: Superhero “In Doctor Strange, I play Baron Karl Mordo, the first person to introduce Dr. Stephen Strange into a mystical, weird, and wonderful world. Mordo can transport between dimensions, and I studied quantum physics to understand the science behind his powers. Personally, I would rather be able to make myself invisible.”

Burberry jacket and trousers; Prada sweater.

Hair by James Pecis for Oribe Hair Care; Makeup by Aaron de Mey at Art Partner; Manicure by Honey at Exposure NY.

Photographs by Mario Sorrenti, Styled by Edward Enninful

New Royalty: Model “I hadn’t planned to be a model, but I went to beauty school and was discovered there. My big break was in 2007: the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Being Russian, I never imagined my career would involve swimsuits—I was raised with snow, and warm coats sounded a bit better to me. A swimsuit model has to stay in shape all the time. I love food, even though people think models don’t eat.”

Miu Miu dress, stole, and stockings; ring from Stephen Russell, New York.

Hair by James Pecis for Oribe Hair Care; Makeup by Aaron de Mey at Art Partner; Manicure by Honey at Exposure NY.

Photographs by Mario Sorrenti, Styled by Edward Enninful

Classic Royalty: Model “I grew up in a small town in Illinois, and I didn’t even know that modeling was a real job. My dad thought that ‘model’ was a nice word for prostitute. I did, however, have Calvin Klein jeans, and I knew about Brooke Shields and Seventeen magazine. That was my introduction to fashion.”

Stella McCartney dress; Curriculum Vitae bra.

Hair by James Pecis for Oribe Hair Care; Makeup by Aaron de Mey at Art Partner; Manicure by Honey at Exposure NY.

Photographs by Mario Sorrenti, Styled by Edward Enninful

New Royalty: Fashion “I have eight older sisters, so I started thinking about fashion when I was very young. I would customize clothes on my best girlfriend—­putting together a man’s shirt with a Victorian dress. And, being a classic Leo, I would always give my opinion to my sisters. I would watch them put on makeup, and I’d tell them what I thought, which wasn’t always welcome. Of course, now they all wear my clothes. They are obsessed.”

Tisci’s own Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci sweater.

Hair by James Pecis for Oribe Hair Care; Makeup by Aaron de Mey at Art Partner; Manicure by Honey at Exposure NY.

Photographs by Mario Sorrenti, Styled by Edward Enninful

Classic Royalty: Fashion “I didn’t mind putting my name on underwear. Jockey had its name on the waistband, so why shouldn’t I? My daughter, Marci, said in an interview that it was strange to have sex with men who had my name on their underwear. I told her, ‘That’s not funny.’ But it is funny—just not when it’s your daughter.”

Klein’s own clothing.

Hair by Thom Priano for R+Co at Garren New York; Makeup by Régine Thorre; Manicure by Honey at Exposure NY.

Photographs by Mario Sorrenti, Styled by Edward Enninful

New Royalty: Superhero “The costume for Supergirl is cute, but it’s difficult to put on. It’s not a one-person job: There’s a bodice on top of which muscles are added, because ain’t no way that I am that muscular. And the cape is its own special thing. The costume lives under lock and key. If I wanted to wear it for Halloween, I’d have to stage a mission to steal it.”

Valentino dress; Tiffany & Co. necklace.

Hair by James Pecis for Oribe Hair Care; Makeup by Fulvia Farolfi for Chanel; Manicure by Honey at Exposure NY.

Photographs by Mario Sorrenti, Styled by Edward Enninful

Classic Royalty: Superhero “I loved being Catwoman. I was a gymnast growing up, so I got to use all of those skills for the role. I hated cats going into it, but I learned about the psychology of them—and I came out of that movie a die-hard cat lover.”

Alexandre Vauthier dress.

Hair by Castillo; Makeup by Aaron de Mey at Art Partner; Manicures by Honey at Exposure NY.

Set design by Philipp Haemmerle.

Photographs by Mario Sorrenti, Styled by Edward Enninful

Classic Royalty: Television “On Game of Thrones, there were a couple of weeks when it looked like I was going to die. I thought, Maybe this is it. Then I found out I wasn’t going to die, so I had to keep this massive secret from everybody. I did tell my parents, though: ‘All right, Mom and Dad, you’re in on this now.’ They then went about lying to everyone. They relished it, I think. They’re quite dramatic, my parents.”

Derek Rose pajama set.

Grooming by Johnny Hernandez at Fierro Agency; Manicure by Honey at Exposure NY.

Photographs by Mario Sorrenti, Styled by Edward Enninful

New Royalty: Television “I am a troublemaker, for sure. I have a pretty cool scene coming up in Mr. Robot, and I’ve already talked to my makeup artist about bringing something that is not going to go over too well with the costume department: blood. A lot of blood. Our costumes are one-of-a-kind, so I could get into a lot of trouble. But you’ve got to take some risks in life.”

Prada pants, socks, and shoes.

Hair by James Pecis for Oribe Hair Care; Makeup by Aaron de Mey at Art Partner; Manicure by Honey at Exposure NY.

Photographs by Mario Sorrenti, Styled by Edward Enninful

New Royalty: Renaissance Woman “My parents always encouraged us to do what we believed in. There’s a funny interview from when I was 5 or 6 years old: My dad is interviewing me, and my mom walks in and says, ‘You are Wonder Woman.’ That’s one of my most vivid childhood memories.”

Chanel Haute Couture dress; Cartier bracelet; Chanel flats.

Hair by James Pecis for Oribe Hair Care; Makeup by Aaron de Mey at Art Partner; Manicure by Honey at Exposure NY.

Photographs by Mario Sorrenti, Styled by Edward Enninful

Classic Royalty: Renaissance Woman “I don’t think I’m particularly brave. I’m confident in my opinions about making films, but there are tons of things that I’m really just a child about. For instance, I have a fear of picking up the phone and asking someone, ‘Would you like to have lunch with me?’ Little things that other people learned in Adolescence 101 have always scared me.”

Saint Laurent jacket and trousers; Boss turtleneck; (right hand) Repossi ring.

Hair by James Pecis for Oribe Hair Care; Makeup by Aaron de Mey at Art Partner; Manicure by Honey at Exposure NY.

Photographs by Mario Sorrenti, Styled by Edward Enninful

New Royalty: Independent Film “I was 10 years old, going to a small public school in Palestine, Texas, when casting directors came through and asked kids to audition for a movie. The film was The Tree of Life, directed by Terrence Malick. They saw around 10,000 kids, and I ended up getting the role. I’m 19 now, and I have been acting ever since.”

Prada jacket and pants.

Hair by James Pecis for Oribe Hair Care; Makeup by Fulvia Farolfi for Chanel;Manicure by Honey at Exposure NY.

Set design by Philipp Haemmerle; Lighting technician: Lars Beaulieu; digital technician: Johnny Vicari; photography assistants: Felix Kim, Javier Villegas; fashion assistants: Ryann Foulke, Dena Giannini, Sam Walker, Anastasya Kolomytseva Anita Lau; hair assistants: Adlena Dignam, jennifer kim, dale delaporte; makeup assistants: Tayler Treadwell, Mariko Hirano, Robert Reyes, Takahiro Okada; set design assistants: Theo Volpatti, Ryan Stenger, Valentin Haemmerle, Matt Solis; special thanks to Highline Stages and Spring Studios, New York.

Photographs by Mario Sorrenti, Styled by Edward Enninful

Classic Royalty: Independent Film “I did Born to Be Blue, the story of Chet Baker’s midlife crisis, because it was something I could relate to. I was 18 when Dead Poets Society came out, and that success didn’t leave me far to go. We all like to feel that we’re growing better and stronger and improving every year of our lives, but when you peak at a young age, you have a long way to fall.”

Jil Sander sweater; AMI Alexandre Mattiussi trousers.

Hair by James Pecis for Oribe Hair Care; Makeup by Fulvia Farolfi for Chanel; Manicure by Honey at Exposure NY.

Photographs by Mario Sorrenti, Styled by Edward Enninful

Classic Royalty: Renaissance Man “To me, Will Ferrell is royalty. He is one of my personal gods. I would like Will Ferrell to play me in The Kanye West Story. Can you make that happen?”

Yeezy Season 3 sweatshirt; Hoorsenbuhs necklace.

Hair by Ibn Jasper at Frank Reps; Hair by Ibn Jasper at Frank Reps; Manicure by Honey at Exposure NY.

Photographs by Mario Sorrenti, Styled by Edward Enninful

New Royalty: Society “Growing up, we lived in the Waldorf Towers. My classmates used to call my sister, Paris, and me the Eloises of the Waldorf. If there were events in the ballroom, we were always sneaking in and spying on people. We did everything but order room service. Room service was off-limits.”

Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini cape and dress; Nili Lotan dress (underneath); Chopard earrings; Harry Winston necklace; Chanel Fine Jewelry rings; Wolford tights; Miu Miu pumps.

Hair by James Pecis for Oribe Hair Care; Makeup by Fulvia Farolfi for Chanel; Manicure by Honey at Exposure NY.

Photographs by Mario Sorrenti, Styled by Edward Enninful

Classic Royalty: Society “I have always loved fashion and was lucky enough to live through the era of great couture designers. In the early ’80s, Azzedine Alaïa took a piece of jersey and draped it on me. He then took chalk and marked out the dress on my body. When I received the finished dress, it was stitched where he had placed the chalk marks. It fit like a glove then. Now it fits more like Spanx.”

RR 331 by Ralph Rucci coat and top; earrings from Stephen Russell, New York; Munnu the Gem Palace bangles; Perrin Paris gloves.

Hair by James Pecis for Oribe Hair Care; Makeup by Aaron de Mey at Art Partner; Manicure by Honey at Exposure NY.

Photographs by Mario Sorrenti, Styled by Edward Enninful
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