Julia Louis-Dreyfus told Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David to write additional lines for her in the first season of 'Seinfeld': 'I need to be in this show more'
Julia Louis-Dreyfus says she had to speak up in the early days of "Seinfeld" to get more screen time.
"I need to be in this show more," she recalled telling Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld to The Daily Beast.
It led to her being nominated for seven consecutive years at the Emmys. She won once.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus' "Seinfeld" character Elaine Benes is one of the best in the history of comedy television.
But looking back now, Louis-Dreyfus revealed she had to push the show creators to get more worthwhile screen time.
"I wanted to just play ball with everybody," she said in a recent interview with The Daily Beast when asked if there was pressure playing the only female character on the show, which was created by Larry David and its star Jerry Seinfeld.
"I'm not going to lie, in the beginning, I didn't always have a lot to do in certain episodes," she continued. "And I would go to Larry and Jerry multiple times and say, 'Hey, you guys, write me more, I need to be in this show more.' That's what I just kept doing. And they did."
In fact, Elaine wasn't even in the pilot. She doesn't show up until the second episode of the first season.
But her persistence led to not her character becoming one of the reasons why the "show about nothing" became the most-watched series on television for its nine seasons.
Individually, the role launched Louis-Dreyfus into stardom as she was nominated for an Emmy for seven consecutive years, winning outstanding supporting actress in 1996.
She believes the reason Elaine's character worked so well was because she wasn't written specifically as a woman.
"They just wrote for me, for this character, as opposed to this gender, which I think is instructive in a lot of ways from a writing point of view," she told The Daily Beast.
After "Seinfeld" ended in 1998, Louis-Dreyfus went on to find herself the lead on another hit show, the HBO series "Veep." She won six consecutive Emmys for outstanding lead actress from 2012 to 2017 for the role of Vice President Selina Meyer.
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