Old Elaine ready for new adventures
By Kathy Blumenstock
By Kathy Blumenstock
Forget Elaine. Julia Louis-Dreyfus' shiny new Emmy for her current role in "The New Adventures of Old Christine" has put to rest the "Seinfeld curse" and landed her squarely back in the prime-time spotlight.
The comedy features a divorced mom (Louis-Dreyfus) balancing the demands of a job, a young son, and a relationship with her ex and his new girlfriend, who just happens to share her first name. The show drew both viewers' and critical praise when it debuted in March, and this week it returns for a full season. Louis-Dreyfus, 45, talked recently about the show:
Q. What can viewers expect to see from Christine this season?
A. You'll see more of her personally. The issues she deals with in raising a child, and at her job at the gym and with her ex. ... I relate to a lot of what she goes through, the juggling. She and her ex are trying desperately to do right by their son.
Q. Yet your own family situation — a longtime stable marriage (to producer Brad Hall) and two sons, one a teenager — is very different from Christine's.
A. This all came from Kari Lizer, who created it. She's a single, divorced mom with three kids, whose ex lives a block away, and they work on this together. (On our show) there is a tone that is fresh; there's nothing like it on TV. It's very female. It's not anti-male, which I hate, but it is definitely a female point of view. A lot of men do work on the show — we have a male director, Andy Ackerman, with whom I worked on "Seinfeld," but it's a distinctive point of view.
Q. How does the woman's viewpoint affect the job itself?
A. The show is run by women, so we all know what is important to us. We want to get it done and get home. We don't normally have a late-night schedule. For example, most shows are normally shot at 7:00, but we shoot at 5. It's a huge change and is delightful.
Q. So is doing a weekly show now simpler than when you did "Seinfeld"?
A. We only did 13 episodes (of "Christine") last year, but the sitcom thing is, dare I say it, easier now that my kids are older.
Q. Do your kids watch "Seinfeld" in reruns or on DVD?
A. Not really, up till now. My older son is beginning to watch. You have to remember, it's pretty dicey stuff, pretty sophisticated. But now that he's 13, it's OK.
Q. You began your movie career in Woody Allen's "Hannah and Her Sisters." Any desire, or plans, to do more movies?
A. I really would have imagined that I'd have done a few more of those theatrical films, but the way things worked out, I probably have enough to do anyway, with my husband, my kids and all the things that I have done.
Q. For you, what's the best part of doing a weekly show?
A. Honestly, the actual performing. I adore it. I find it so satisfying ... It's like scratching an itch. I am happy to be making people laugh. You can't believe how much fun that is. It used to be an extracurricular activity, and now it's making a living ... I got the dream job, I really did.