“It was not a happy experience. It was so misogynistic and not female-friendly whatsoever,” the 58-year-old told Net-a-Porter. “But I was also 21 and unprepared to be there as a performer. A mash-up of those two very negative things made it a hard time, but I learned a lot.”
The breast cancer survivor starred on the sketch comedy series for three seasons (1982-1985) and was, at that time, the youngest woman to join the cast. During her time on the show, she starred alongside icons like Eddie Murphy, Jim Belushi, Billy Crystal and Martin Short.
Something positive did come from Julia’s time on SNL. She went on to marry one of her costars, Brad Hall, in 1987. Julia went on to win America’s heart as Elaine on Seinfeld (1989-1998) and as Christine on The New Adventures of Old Christine (2006-2010).
Plus, Julia — who originated characters like televangelist April May June and superhero Weather Woman — did return later. She returned to her old stomping grounds in 2006 to host an episode, becoming the first former cast member to do so. Julia hosted again in 2007 and 2016.
These days you can catch the mom-of-two playing Selina Meyer on Veep, back for its final season. On it, Julia stars as a vice president who ascended to the Oval Office only to lose the presidency. Now, Selina is back on the trail trying to snag the country’s top job yet again. In a way, this series has helped the 11-time Emmy winner tackle what constitutes a strong female character.
“My agenda was only ever to make an exceptionally funny show, but wouldn’t it be nice if it further opened up the conversation about powerful women?” Julia rhetorically asked. “Why is a powerful woman a complicated thing? Why is asserting ourselves so hard? I feel it myself; any time I assert myself in a strong way, or I feel highly opinionated about something in a work environment, there is a voice in my head that is questioning it, wondering if I should rein myself in.”
SNL may have been a low point, but we think Julia has risen as high as one can go!