Julia Louis-Dreyfus had a life-changing moment when she stood up to Warner Bros. and told them to “f–k off.”
Louis-Dreyfus, 62, shared that the studio threatened her with a lawsuit during the time in her life between starring on “Day by Day” and “Seinfeld.”
“I was really scared because it was Warner Bros. and I was just this girl who was an actress,” she admitted recently on the “Podcrushed” podcast. “I felt very small. Because I was.”
The “Veep” star revealed that around the same time she was sent the scripts for “The Seinfeld Chronicles” by Larry David — otherwise known as the pilot for Jerry Seinfeld’s long-running sitcom — she had a development deal with Warner Bros. that had “a creative out based on the material that was being developed.”
That development deal ended up not working out, and Louis-Dreyfus “did bow out,” but she claimed that the studio threatened to sue her because they mistakenly thought that she violated the agreement.
At the time, she wasn’t quite yet the star that she became post-“Seinfeld” — so she felt intimidated by the studio’s threats.
“I had representatives who were saying to me, ‘You better just give them their money back. Give them their money back.’ You know?” she shared. “And I said, ‘But if I give them the development money back, won’t that imply that I did something dishonest? That I broke the contract?’ And they were like, ‘Just do it, just to get rid of the problem.’”
Louis-Dreyfus wasn’t comfortable listening to her reps when she knew she did nothing wrong, so she called up “Day by Day” creator Gary Goldberg for advice.
“I called [Gary Goldberg] because it didn’t sit well with me,” she said. “He was a huge force at NBC and in television specifically, and I called him and told him this story.”
She continued, “He said, ‘You know what? I don’t respond well to bullying so just tell them to f–k off and don’t give them their money back.’”
Louis-Dreyfus took the “Family Ties” creator’s advice and stood up to her bullies.
“It really emboldened me to stand up for myself, and so, that’s what I did,” she said. “And they just went away, that was the end of it … That was a seminal moment for me when he said that. Because it was bullying by the way.”