Julia Louis-Dreyfus isn't accustomed to being recognized in public, not even after a three-season stint on NBC's "Saturday Night Live." But she's realizing her days have anonymity are all but over since she went prime-time as co-star of NBC's hit Thursday night comedy series, "Seinfeld."
Louis-Dreyfus stars in the sitcom as Elaine, the neurotic ex-girlfriend of comic Jerry Seinfeld.
"It's really weird," she says. "Just last week, I was with a bunch of friends having dinner at a Mexican restaurant and suddenly the guy at the table next to me gives me thumbs up."
Louis-Dreyfus misunderstood the guy's intentions. "I thought he was referring to the fajitas he was having, like they were really good," she says, laughing. "It took me a while to figure out he was talking about the show because who really walks around thinking about their jobs all the time?"
The producers of "Seinfeld," she says, approached her to do the series. "It was really, really nice," Louis-Dreyfus says. "It was one of the more relaxed auditioning experiences I ever had."
Working on "SNL," though, was anything but relaxing. "It was a good experience because it opened doors for me," Louis-Dreyfus says. "I learned how the business works in a very short period of time and I mean the hard part of it too. It was sort of like boot camp. It was hard as a woman and hard as a performer. It's a very difficult working environment because you are scrambling every week to get on the air the next Saturday."
Her role on "Seinfeld" has lead to her being cast in Danny DeVito's film, "Jack the Bear," which begins production next week. "He plays the host of a creature-feature show and I am his producer," she says. "It's a really good film."
And a much bigger part than she had in Woody Allen's "Hannah and Her Sisters."
"If you blinked or went to the bathroom," she quips, "you might have missed me."