Julia Louis-Dreyfus recently confessed that she was unhappy during her stint on Saturday Night Live.
Louis-Dreyfus was a cast member from 1982 until 1985, and was the youngest actress to join the show at that time. She was 21.
Thirty years later, a now 52-year-old Louis-Dreyfus recalled her “difficult time” on SNL in an interview with SiriusXM Town Hall.
“I did not adapt well. I was pretty miserable. It was a very difficult time of my life,” she said.
“I went into that place green as green could be,” Louis-Dreyfus added. “I came out of a theatre background [and an] improv background that was very [much] ensemble and, ‘We’re doing this together! And we’re in it together!’ Which is great, but that’s not necessarily the culture at SNL when I was there at all.”
Before being cast in SNL, Louis-Dreyfus appeared in The Second City. She then appeared with the Practical Theatre Group, and her performance at their Golden 50th Anniversary Jubilee led to her being asked to join Saturday Night Live.
“It was very dog eat dog. I didn’t have a bag of characters that I could start pulling from. I didn’t have a writer that wrote for me. I wasn’t a stand-up. I was just this actress hoping to get material that I could then make funnier,” she said.
“I didn’t know how to work the system at all. Plus, there were a lot of drugs and I didn’t realize everyone was on drugs,” she confessed. “I was a little bit naive.”
But something positive came out of the experience. It was during her time on SNL that the Emmy winner met future Seinfeld collaborator Larry David.
The Veep star returned to host Saturday Night Live in May 2006, becoming the first former female cast member to return to the show in the hosting role. She parodied the “Seinfeld Curse” with co-stars Jason Alexander and Jerry Seinfeld. SNL invited her to host again in March 2007.