Julia Louis-Dreyfus: Surviving breast cancer crystallised my priorities


Julia Louis-Dreyfus: Surviving breast cancer crystallised my priorities

The Veep actress said the show was a ‘joyful distraction’ from the disease.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017 (PA)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017 (PA)

Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus has said going through six rounds of chemotherapy helped her work out what really mattered in her life.

The Emmy Award-winning US actress, who plays fictional vice president Selina Meyer in the satirical political show, was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2017.

She said the experience had given her a renewed passion for life and a “deeper appreciation” for the creative arts.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Ian West/PA)

She told Net-a-Porter’s magazine, PorterEdit: “[Cancer] finally crystallised my priorities, which didn’t really need that much crystallisation.

“But I would certainly say that I have an even deeper appreciation for the good stuff. That sounds corny, but it’s f***ing true.”

She added: “The effects of chemotherapy are cumulative, so I definitely felt that more towards the end, but going to work was a very joyful distraction, and I was so pleased to have the strength to do it.

“To be creative for a living, to make people laugh or cry, is a f***ing gift. I love it and I love hard work to that end.”

The 58-year-old actress also explained her decision to go public about her illness.

She added: “If I hadn’t had a show that was relying on me, I don’t know that I would have gone so public with it.

Armando Iannucci penned Veep (Danny Lawson/PA)

“But I had 200 people waiting to go back to work and I wanted to talk about it in a way that could maybe highlight something important.

“Universal healthcare was an important issue to me prior to getting this diagnosis, and it certainly is even more so now.”


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Veep was created by Scottish writer Armando Iannucci as a White House-set version of his British sitcom The Thick Of It.

Louis-Dreyfus, who played Elaine Benes in the US sitcom Seinfeld, also rubbished claims the show could see a reunion.

“I don’t want to sully it. It was pretty special and it’s been a long time now,” she said.

“You don’t want to f*** something like that up.”

Read the full interview in PorterEdit.

Press Association


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