Julia Louis-Dreyfus: 1996, 'Seinfeld'

By Turchiano, Danielle | Variety, August 16, 2017 | Go to article overview

Julia Louis-Dreyfus: 1996, 'Seinfeld'


Turchiano, Danielle, Variety


JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS won her first Emmy for the role of Elaine Benes on "Seinfeld"in 1996, after being nominated - and losing - for four consecutive years. "If you were a betting person, your best bet would have been for me to lose, so I just figured I was going to lose again," Louis-Dreyfus says. Instead, she took home the gold for the first in what became a long list of wins but didn't share the honor alone: "I had keychains made up that said 'Thank you' for the whole cast and crew." danielle turchiano

What do you think set you apart in 1996 to push you through to the winners circle?

I had submitted an episode that haunts me to this day which is "The Little Kicks" - the episode where Elaine dances. I think people dug that humiliating display. Maybe the episode itself was what did it.

Did you have an acceptance speech saved up through the years?

No, I didn't! I remember very vividly when they announced the names of the nominees, the camera came to me in the audience, and I made a joke of crossing my fingers - "Oh please, oh please, oh please!"- almost making fun of what a loser I was. So I was stunned when they read my name, and I was quite unprepared in the moment.

How did it feel when you were finally on stage?

It's daunting to stand up there and hold the award. At the risk of sounding sappy, I was incredibly moved and desperately trying not to start crying like an idiot. I do remember thinking, "This trophy is really pretty! …

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