Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Fresh and Funny Take on Healthy Living

The Seinfeld and Veep star shares her thoughts on Spanx, spinning, and having it all.


julia-louis-dreyfus
Cliff Watts
Within minutes of sitting down at a Santa Monica coffee shop with her nonfat latte, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is dumping two sugars into the cup. "Yeah," she laughs, "speaking of health. Caffeine and sugar—it's magic. It makes me happy."

And that's not her only reason to smile. She kind of has it all. Take her career: after nailing her previous television roles (Elaine on Seinfeld and Christine on The New Adventures of Old Christine), in the past year, Julia won her third Emmy, this time for playing the hilariously neurotic Vice President Selina Meyer on HBO's Veep. And, as anyone who has watched her rocking Selina's impossibly fitted pencil skirts can attest, she is—at 52—shockingly hot!

Her secret? "Exercise," she says, plain and simple. "I think I'm a little bit addicted to that post-workout high." Plus, all is good at home: Julia has been married for 26 years to former Saturday Night Live co-star Brad Hall. They have two sons, Charlie, who's in high school, and Henry, who's off to college. Oh, and as for what she thinks about women having it all? She gives that one a big ol' "Ha!"

Check out this video of our cover shoot with Julia Louis-Dreyfus!  

What's the most fun thing about playing Selina Meyer?
Her ego is in full bloom and that makes it crazy fun! And there's a lot that I bring to it from my experience in the entertainment business in the last 30 years. I've made a career for myself, but there are jobs I didn't get. In this business, you're constantly trying to keep your head above water and get good work. So there's always a feeling of desperation.

If you could do your own career all over again, is there anything you'd do differently?
No. Because I had children when I was working, there were a lot of things I didn't do because I didn't want to travel. Had I made different choices, my career would have gone another direction, but then I wouldn't have been able to look after my kids in the same way. I feel very lucky, knowing that nothing is perfect. And you can't have it all.

Well, that's a hot topic, since the Sheryl Sandberg book, Lean In, came out.
Of course you can't have it all. That's absurd! It doesn't mean you shouldn't pursue what you desire. It's not possible to do and have everything all the time. So you have to make choices. And I don't think that's an antifeminist statement. I don't mean you have to sacrifice who you are or cower in a corner because of some stupid-ass glass ceiling. But if you realize that, then I think you can free yourself up to prioritize.

What are you prioritizing now?
Being home. Getting my work done in time so I'm able to pick up my son after his volleyball practice. I've been gone a lot this year, and it has been hard. And so now I want to be home, home, home, home.

What makes you feel healthy?
Exercise—anything that gets my heart moving. I run, I hike, and I take these classes where you get on the treadmill, then you do these things while on a BOSU ball, then you get back on the treadmill.

What is the workout that you loathe the most?
I hate bike riding. I took a spin class once—I've never been more miserable. I don't know why. Maybe it was because I was late to learn how to ride a bike? I can't stand it.

I guess it is odd that you're sitting down and exercising...
Yeah, and you're working out just from the waist down. I want to work out everything. It drives me crazy—much to my husband's dismay, because he is a huge bike rider. He wishes I would bike with him.

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Amy Spencer
Last Updated: June 10, 2013

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