From 1982 to 1985, Julia Louis-Dreyfus was a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” and perhaps best remembered for the skit "Big Zit," where she refuses to go to her prom because of a giant pimple. Classic, right?
But according to the "Veep" star, things were decidedly less funny behind the scenes. In an interview with The New York Times, Louis-Dreyfus describes her stint on the late-night comedy sketch series only as "fondly-ish" because of the lack of equal treatment for female cast members.
"I did not come out of 'SNL' as any kind of name," she said. "I didn’t do anything particularly great when I was there. I didn’t. It’s fine. But I learned a tremendous amount. It was a very sexist environment. Since I’ve gone back, I can tell you it’s much more of an equal-opportunity environment."
Her unfortunate tenure on the Studio 8H stage, however, propelled her career in a new direction, leading Louis-Dreyfus to pursue roles that made her happy, instead of famous. Considering she recently took home her seventh Emmy for her performance in "Veep," it seems she's moved on to greener pastures.
"I was on it for three years, and when I left, I made this conscious decision that I would not take any jobs that didn’t seem as if they would be really fun," Louis-Dreyfus said. "That’s very simplistic and Pollyannaish sounding, but really, I noted that. I’m not doing this unless I can have a deep sense of happiness while doing it. I’ve applied that, moving forward, and it’s worked. So in that sense, I have 'SNL' to thank."
Louis-Dreyfus will return to her roots this weekend to host "SNL" with musical guest Nick Jonas for the third time since she left the series. Despite her experience in the ’80s, the actress says she still feels a certain connection to the many great talents that she met during her time there.
"'Saturday Night Live' is like its own university. Once you’ve been there, there is a kinship with everyone who’s been there and everyone who is there," she said. "Your eyes lock and you both know that you have this in common. Tina and Amy [Poehler] and I are friends. I met them both when I hosted, and we’ve been in touch since then. I like those guys. I feel a connection to them."