Julia Louis-Dreyfus 'still a little frightened' of breast cancer despite being in remission

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
Julia Louis-Dreyfus at the Veep seventh and final season premiere on March 26. (Photo: Angela Weiss / AFP)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus looks incredible on the cover of Vanity Fair’s awards season special issue — though, as she makes clear in the interview, how someone feels inside and how they look outside can be different things.

While it seems like a lock she’ll be making history at the Emmys this year, as a result of her final season performance in Veep, the actress also opens up about battling breast cancer ahead of that final season. After six rounds of chemotherapy and a double mastectomy, she’s in remission, but the disease still weighs heavily on her mind.

“I hate to have to think about it,” Louis-Dreyfus, 58, told the magazine. “But I’m very happy to be alive.”

While the interviewer said they talked at length about the highs and lows of her battle (the writer is also a survivor), as well as the procedures, maintenance drugs and side effects she dealt with, the actress didn’t want that included in the story for fear of making what the writer called “too cancer-y.” It was also noted that Louis-Dreyfus “still has work to do on herself,” perhaps referring to surgeries, “but she’s made the decision to do so privately.”

That said, Louis-Dreyfus did share that during her cancer fight, she faced her mortality.

“There is that moment that you have when you’re like, ‘Is this it for me?’ Because you know everybody here in this room is going to come across that moment in their life, but you never think you will,” the Seinfeld alum admitted.

As for whether her outlook on life has changed, “I’m still working it out, to be honest with you,” she said. “I’m glad I got through it, but there’s a part of me that’s still a little frightened, you know?”

Louis-Dreyfus said that returning to Veep after taking an 11-month break for her treatment “was wonderful” because “frankly, it was a distraction from the prior year, which had been so harrowing. To put blinders on and just focus on making the funniest f**king show possible was a great relief.”

Her co-star Tony Hale added that it was like “so much of her mental energy had gone into fighting cancer” that it could then “be redirected” back into work. “What a gift that was.”

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