8:01am PT by Jackie Strause
Julia Louis-Dreyfus Feels "Strong" After Beating Breast Cancer, Says "Healthcare Should Be for All"
Julia Louis-Dreyfus told Jimmy Kimmel she beat breast cancer during an appearance for his late-night show's weeklong run in Brooklyn.
"I feel really good. I'm not just saying that. I'm good, I'm here," the Veep star told the Jimmy Kimmel Live! host on Thursday night. "I know we have to get this cancer shit out of the way, so bring on the questions."
When he continued to ask, she added, "I feel very strong. I'm back at work on Veep, which is amazing."
Louis-Dreyfus was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in September 2017. The forthcoming final season of Veep, on which Louis-Dreyfus stars as Selina Meyer, pushed production back to work around her recovery. The seventh season will air in spring 2019 and Louis-Dreyfus, also an executive producer on the HBO comedy, said they still have three episodes left to shoot.
As she underwent chemotherapy, she shared the steps of her treatment on social media. A choice, she told Kimmel, that she's happy she made in order to further spark a conversation about healthcare in America.
"We had to stall Veep production because of my situation," she explained. "A lot of people worked for me and I knew I couldn't really keep it private, because I had to tell everyone what was going on. And then I sort of embraced that. I got a lot of positive feedback. I think people liked the fact that I had a sense of humor about it and also, I think it's an important conversation to have about health and healthcare."
She continued, "I very much considered the notion that as someone battling this disease, the idea that I might not have health insurance — which I do, thanks to my great union — is completely terrifying. Healthcare should be for all. I believed that before, now I really know it."
Kimmel, who has used his late-night platform to educate viewers about healthcare issues ever since his newborn son, Billy, had heart surgery, agreed that it's devastating for families who aren't able to afford proper care. "I can't even imagine, frankly, that hardship," said the actress.
Louis-Dreyfus touted her recent work and PSAs for MultiplyYourVote.org, which she said is aimed at recruiting volunteers for the upcoming midterm elections. So far, they've recruited 10,000 people. In one of the ads, Louis-Dreyfus says, "I'm a cancer survivor, too, and I'm really lucky because I had access to excellent health insurance even with a preexisting condition, and that's the way it should be for absolutely everybody. It's not."
Turning talk to the forthcoming final season of Veep, the former Seinfeld star said, "It's bittersweet. I adore these people and I adore the show and what we've been able to achieve with it."
The seventh and final season will follow Louis-Dreyfus' Selina Meyer as the ex-president hops back on the campaign trail for another shot at the Oval Office. When Kimmel asked the star to name her favorite all-time Selina line, Louis-Dreyfus described a memorable season six scene with her and frequent scene partner Tony Hale, who plays her right-hand man Gary Walsh.
"The story is that [Gary] has had a heart attack and he's in this tiny little room in my basement and I'm kind of allowing him to stay there," she recalled of the season six, episode four episode titled "Justice."
"I make him dinner and bring it to him, and I get onto this little single bed with him and you can't imagine what it looks like — like spaghetti with cut-up sandwich on top. It's clearly made by someone who never made anything in her life. He's eating it — and I had to sit really close to him — and he goes (laughing), 'Mm. I love the blue cheese in here.' And I say, 'Uh, there's no blue cheese in there.' And then he had to continue to try to chew and swallow."
She added, "I don't have the blooper reel here, but you cannot imagine how long it took us to get that. We were howling!"
Watch her appearances below.