Whenever Larry David and Julia Louis-Dreyfus get together, it’s easy to expect greatness will happen. In a new interview with GQ, the two got together to talk about their decades-long careers while being hilarious, as they are both wont to do. They cover a lot of ground, including their early days at Saturday Night Live where they first met in 1984, and how David approached Louis-Dreyfus to do a little show called Seinfeld.
As it turns out, the future and only Elaine Benes didn’t think too much of the show in the beginning:
… [W]hen NBC decided the man-heavy pilot of a show then called The Seinfeld Chronicles could not survive as a series without a female voice, Larry sent Julia a few scripts to try to persuade her to join as Seinfeld’s ex-girlfriend Elaine.
“I left [the studio], and I remember you came running after me down the street. Do you remember that?” she asks. She’d just left a meeting with Jerry Seinfeld, the first time she met him. He ate cereal. “You said, ‘What do you think?’ and I said, ‘It’s fun!’ ” Three decades later, she can be more honest. “I thought, Well, it’s never gonna make it, but I’ll do it ’cause it’s a lot of fun.”
Well, that’s a vote of confidence. But at the time, how were they supposed to know that Seinfeld was going to be groundbreaking? More great points about the show are made throughout the interview, including how it paved the way to have a show without a straight leading man (meaning all the lead characters, including Jerry, were weirdos — not that there’s anything wrong with that). Not only did David and Louis-Dreyfus specialize in oddball characters (on Curb Your Enthusiasm and Veep), but they made them so memorable. These are two people who should able to work forever on whatever crazy stuff they want.