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Julia Louis-Dreyfus Reveals How SNL's 'Sexism' Changed Her Life

Few actresses have had a TV career as amazing and graceful to that of Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who is now starring in her third TV series, VEEP. 

The fifty-five year-old Seinfeld actress has won every major award for TV acting and hows no plans on slowing down. During an interview with the New York Times, Louis-Dreyfus talked about why her early years on Saturday Night Live were not that successful and why she doesn't view herself as a leader for other female actresses. She recalls that working on SNL wasn't the best place for female comedians, saying “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.” She continues, “I was on it for three years, and when I left, I made this conscious decision that I would not take any jobs that didn’t seem as if they would be really fun. 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.” Louis-Dreyfus is one of the few actresses who plays a lead role in a series and is above the age of thirty. However, she admits that she doesn't focus on her age or the lack of diversity for women on TV, explaining “I don’t think of it like that. I’m happy to have a job. Really, I’m not kidding. I’m certainly happy to be playing a woman in a powerful position in politics, even though she’s a buffoon. And I don’t say that apologetically, because think of all the buffoons in politics right now. She’s our buffoon.” In addition, she points out that she doesn't see herself as a leader. “I don’t think of myself as a pioneer. I’m not sure that I am. Opportunity for women in television has increased. It’s because the landscape has widened. More women got on the playing field. But opportunity for women in film has not increased. I just think it’s that simple. By the way, I’m certain that there’s more much more in television that can be done. And I’m trying to do it. But I’ve certainly seen it change in my lifetime.” Ultimately, it sounds like Louis-Dreyfus is committed to acting and improving conditions for all women in the film industry one TV show at a time. Via New York Times

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