This dialog with Julia Louis-Dreyfus is a continuation of an interview conducted at the Toronto Film Festival for Yahoo! Movies. Julia and I (and director Nicole Holofcener) are of the same generation: working mothers who went to college, had kids and are now, gradually, facing empty nests and, eek, what we see looking forward — and looking back — at midlife.
Here, I continue that part of the interview that was a little more personal, and more about mothers and professional women from our generation. Julia and I were discussing her character, Eva, who is having an awkward summer with her daughter as the pair prepares to separate when Ellen (Tracey Fairaway) heads to Sarah Lawrence in the fall. I said to Julia, about her character, “and she’s afraid…”
LOUIS-DREYFUS: She’s terrified.
Q: Nicole, the writer-director, is also someone who has gone through this transition or will be going through this. Her children are younger, right?
LOUIS-DREYFUS: Her twins are a year younger than my youngest. But still, she thinks about it a lot. And it’s very much on her mind, when her boys go off. And, what that means, and —
Q: Do you think that there’s now this generational shift? That our generation of women, who are writers and actresses and directors, who had kids, are at that point, where their kids are leaving, and are now going to re-embrace their careers with new vigor? Do you think there’s going to be this “Enough Said” renaissance?
LOUIS-DREYFUS: Jesus Christ, I hope so. I mean, the more voices of smart, experienced, women out there, the better for the world, I say, really.
Q: I’m there and, also, you have to be aware — just my personal drum to beat — is that there are, in fact, there were never many female film critics to begin with, and there are in fact less. And a lot of them who are our age have been furloughed off, and are floating, without the seniority that say, a Judith Christ had, or a Pauline Kael. And, just so you know, you need those people out there. We need those experienced women in print and online out there. We have to put that into the conversation too, because the things that we enjoy, and that could be “Enough Said,” or it could be “The Kids Are Alright,” or even “Bridesmaids” and “The Heat.” Male critics have a different lens, and we don’t want them to be the only gate keeper.
LOUIS-DREYFUS: Right. How are we going to do this?
Q: I’m fighting every day, that’s all I can say. I’m telling you and I’m writing about it, and I’m writing in a mainstream place, and I just didn’t — I’m not angry. I just write about you. I just wrote about Nicole. I write about the movies that interest me, and make sure that they are getting sung. And the movies of Catherine Keener; and you’ve done great work because you’re also doing “Veep” on HBO.
LOUIS-DREYFUS: Yep. Thank you very much.
Q: My all-time favorite TV show is Armando Iannucci’s “The thick of It.” And “Veep” is that show’s American cousin.
LOUIS-DREYFUS : “The Thick of It:” Amazing.
Q: Amazing. So, what do you think about the path for women are age. You’ve had success moving from TV to movies and back, but there’s a lot of resistance. I’m sure it’s hard.
LOUIS-DREYFUS : These scripts aren’t bountiful. You can’t just pluck them off trees. And that’s why I jumped when I read “Enough Said,” because it was like, holy shit, there’s nothing like this out there. I’ve got to do this. And, oh God, I’m so happy I did.
Q: Obviously, you’re looking for more. What’s your next project?
LOUIS-DREYFUS: My next thing? I’m leaving today to go shoot “Veep: Season 3.” So I’m in the thick of that. That’s what I’m laser focused on, at the minute, and also trying to develop something else for film. But I’ve got to keep my eyes on the prize of “Veep” right now. It’s a very demanding schedule, and even juggling this, the film festival, this interview, the premiere, I’m in the middle of “Veep.”