Why isn't Julia Louis-Dreyfus in more movies?
Yes, there are likely personal and professional reasons that keep one of the funniest ladies in Hollywood away from the big screen, but allow us to throw up our arms and demand more. Louis-Dreyfus has dominated television since the '80s (revisit her “Saturday Night Live” work and prepare to go bananas), “Seinfeld” making her a household name and providing a curse that only she could break. The success of “The New Adventures of Old Christine” and “Veep” rests entirely on Louis-Dreyfus shoulders. Maybe the weekly format provides a comfort, maybe Hollywood just isn't writing roles for funny women (that's not really a maybe, but let's not digress), but we're tired of the small screen having all the Julia Louis-Dreyfus fun. Her latest accolade only rubs it in.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles announced Monday that Louis-Dreyfus would receive the 2014 Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy. Previous winners include Betty White, Ben Stiller, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and Sacha Baron Cohen. Louis-Dreyfus is no stranger to awards; She has been nominated for five Golden Globe, winning for “Seinfeld” in 1994), and is an 18-time Emmy Awards nominee with five wins under her belt.
“I am delighted that Julia Louis-Dreyfus has been chosen to receive the Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award this year,” stated BAFTA LA Chairman Nigel Daly in the official press release. “Her ability to create iconic, enduring characters like Selina Meyer, Christine Campbell, Elaine Benes, and her most recent role as Eva in 'Enough Said,' is such that it is impossible to imagine the last 20 years of comedy without her. We are delighted to have this opportunity to honor her extraordinary career at the Britannia Awards.”
OK, at least Daly name-checked Nicole Holofcener's “Enough Said,” where Louis-Dreyfus blends Seinfeldian neurosis with touching introspection. More of that, please. More grounded human roles like “Enough Said,” more “Deconstructing Harry”-like Woody Allen appearances, more voiceover work (“A Bug's Life” – it's better than you remember), more straight-up comedic appearances out of the “Chirstmas Vacation” playbook. Can't the next “Horrible Bosses” or “We're the Millers” costar Julia Louis-Dreyfus? Just, more Hollywood. Whatever it takes.
“Julia Louis-Dreyfus follows in the footsteps of Lucille Ball and other great comic actresses of our era,” Britannia Award Co-Chairs Bumble Ward and Deborah Kolar said in the statement, making all this gushing feel OK. “She is a truly unique talent and highly deserving of this honor.” BAFTA Los Angeles indicates that the Charlie Chaplin Award recognizes talent whose popularity and cultural impact exemplifies the uniquely transcendent quality of excellent comedy. Sounds about right.
Last month, BAFTA Los Angeles announced the year's other honorees, including; Robert Downey Jr. who will accept the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film; Mike Leigh, who will receive the John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Excellence in Directing presented by the GREAT Britain Campaign; Emma Watson who will receive the Britannia Award for British Artist of the Year presented by Burberry; Mark Ruffalo who will receive the Britannia Humanitarian Award; and Dame Judi Dench who will receive the Albert R. Broccoli Britannia Award for Worldwide Contribution to Entertainment.
Next up for Louis-Dreyfus? A fourth season of “Veep,” airing on HBO in 2015. We'll keep dreaming for that next big movie role.