In 1998—Seinfeld’s last year—New York magazine sat down with Julia Louis-Dreyfus to discuss her now-iconic role as Elaine Benes. While Elaine certainly had a reputation for being quirky (and yes, slightly un-datable), what Louis-Dreyfus had to say wasn’t exactly complementary…
2. Elaine is totally desperate.
“I think Elaine would go out with anyone if they showed interest in her. She’s nuts. The woman’s nuts…I’m sure it’s a self-esteem problem. I mean, she’s hanging out with these three guys, in that ratty apartment — where’s the self-esteem there? Elaine should be looking for an analyst, is what she should be looking for.”
3. A woman with Elaine-like qualities is no good. Neither is the man who wants to date her.
“If you hear a man say he’s looking for an Elaine-type woman, run in the opposite direction of that man. I am not kidding. Run! That man is a moron.”
4. Elaine isn’t such a great example of the single woman.
“…I don’t think she’s made it cool to be single and neurotic. People don’t look up to these characters. Of course Seinfeld is funny. But beyond that, single viewers can say ‘That is bad! These people are not where I want to be! I will laugh at them!’ It’s kind of like watching Jerry Springer.”
5. Showcasing a “real” representation of a woman would be boring. (Well, at least in the context of Seinfeld.)
“This revolving door of dates is very helpful in the comedy department…If the show were real, I don’t think it would be that funny. If Elaine were sitting around, really concerned because she wants to have kids, she’d like to have a stable life — then it’s time to turn the channel: What have they got on CBS?”
6. It would appear, however, that Julia Louis-Dreyfus is kind of amazing at dating herself:
“I had a date with a guy once, and he was so dull. He took me out to dinner, and I couldn’t wait to get out. So I changed my watch under the table, as he was talking. Then I sort of glanced at my watch and went, ‘Oh, my God! I had no idea it was so late! I gotta go, man. Thanks a million!’”
Here’s the entire New York magazine piece, titled Single (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!).