Louis-Dreyfus on 'Tuesday', Strikes & Learning from Elders

Louis-Dreyfus takes a heartfelt journey from comedy to drama.

by Nouman Rasool
Louis-Dreyfus on 'Tuesday', Strikes & Learning from Elders
© Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images Entertainment

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, best known for her comedic prowess, graced the Telluride Film Festival for the debut of the A24 film, 'Tuesday.' This dramatic fantasy, helmed by the promising first-time director Daina Oniunas-Pusi?, unveils a different facet of Louis-Dreyfus.

With a compelling giant macaw symbolizing the somber shadows of death, the narrative delves deep into the harrowing trenches of tragedy. In conversation with THR, Louis-Dreyfus candidly expressed the allure of this project.

The script came as a delightful surprise, an invitation to step outside her comedic cocoon. Enthralled by the depth of the story, she was especially moved by the film’s association with A24. She praised the production company, heralding them as curators of some of today's most artful cinematic pieces.

While fantasy-themed, 'Tuesday' revolves around the raw and oft-ignored theme of grief. When asked about her draw to such intense subject matter, Louis-Dreyfus reflected on personal losses, including her father and a sibling.

This story's motherly instinct resonated deeply with her, revealing the layers of her connection to the film. Shooting poignant dramatic sequences, especially towards the film’s climax, demanded emotional heft from the actress.

It necessitated her delving into somber depths of her psyche – a demanding yet cathartic experience. Integral to this narrative was the portrayal of death by the dynamic Arinzé Kene. His bird-like demeanor added layers to the visual tapestry, as animators meticulously transformed his performance to fit the story's needs.

Strike Challenges Premiere Plans

Premiering during the strikes brought its own challenges. Louis-Dreyfus initially expressed concerns, anxiously awaiting the Screen Actors Guild’s interim agreement. Its timely receipt allowed her the joy of proudly showcasing her work.

On this matter, the actress showed solidarity with her peers, lamenting the strain many face amidst the strike, particularly the financial implications. On observing 'Tuesday' with an audience, Louis-Dreyfus admitted to jitters, concerned about the reception given her comedic legacy.

To her delight, the audience's laughter transitioned into engrossed silence, indicating their immersion in the narrative's journey. Finally, the conversation touched on her podcast, 'Wiser Than Me.' Inspired by the influential Jane Fonda, the podcast gives voice to older women – a demographic she feels has been historically sidelined.

With this platform, Louis-Dreyfus amplifies the voices of these experienced, wise women, reinforcing the notion that their stories and insights are invaluable. In conclusion, with 'Tuesday', Julia Louis-Dreyfus has cemented her versatility as an actress, brilliantly transitioning from her comedic roots to a deeper, more dramatic realm. This, coupled with her activism and insights, makes her a beacon in contemporary Hollywood.