In the least surprising development of Emmy nomination morning, Julia Louis-Dreyfus was nominated for lead actress in a comedy series for her performance as Selina Meyer in the final season of HBO’s “Veep.” Sure, that seems like a given, but the nomination means that Louis-Dreyfus has now been nominated in the category for every single season of “Veep,” and is now teed up to become the first actor ever to win the acting Emmy for every season of a long-running series.
But even this doesn’t quite capture how much the TV Academy (rightly) adores Louis-Dreyfus.
It’s not so much that Louis-Dreyfus has won 11 total Emmys, or the fact that she’s won six of those Emmys for consecutive seasons of “Veep.” It’s more than Louis-Dreyfus has been nominated for every single season she’s been a regular on a television show since the third season of “Seinfeld” in 1992.
That means that Louis-Dreyfus was nominated for the supporting actress Emmy for the last seven seasons of NBC’s “Seinfeld” (winning once) and for lead actress all five seasons of CBS’s “The New Adventures of Old Christine” (winning once) even before beginning on her “Veep” streak of sheer dominance.
David Mandel, her showrunner and fellow producer on “Veep,” had this to say about Louis-Dreyfus following her historic nomination.
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“I had the pleasure of working with her for so many years, when you add up three years of ‘Seinfeld,’ a season of ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm,’ and now three seasons of this, and yet I’m constantly stunned,” Mandel said. “No matter how I think she’s going to play a scene, she just plays it in a different way or just finds that other spot.”
But his first reaction was far more recent.
“Look, you can’t separate these things My head was instantly thrown back to the cancer diagnosis, and I hate to say that. She might be upset that that’s where my head went, but that’s where my head went, you know what I mean? I can’t not [think of that].” Mandel said. “It’s not like she should get it because of cancer — that’s the craziest thing in the world. It’s just amazing that she did what she did in a way that a 100 percent healthy person couldn’t have done it.”
Heading into this year’s Emmy ceremony is bound to be beyond meaningful for Louis-Dreyfus, even after winning for the last six years. After all, the seventh season of “Veep” was delayed so the actress could undergo treatment for breast cancer. She has since announced that she is now cancer-free, but the battle, coupled with the end of the long-running comedy, is sure to make September’s Emmy ceremony a tearjerker one way or another.
And also, for the veteran competitors and hardcore statistics geeks, with Louis-Dreyfus currently tied with Cloris Leachman for most Emmy wins by a performer with eight. A win at the Emmys means that Louis-Dreyfus would be the single most awarded performer in Emmy history and the burden could then move 93-year-old Leachman to up her game.
Ball’s in your court, Cloris.
[Editor’s Note: This story was updated after its first publication with David Mandel’s statements.]