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Julia Louis-Dreyfus On Acting, Parenting, and Going Green

Former Seinfeld star Julia Louis-Dreyfus juggles life as a working mother with a passion for environmental activism.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus on divorce

“I come from divorced parents,” she tells WebMD, “and it wasn’t always amicable. There were major complications at the time. Divorce wasn’t nearly as prevalent as it is now. I had no friends whose parents had split up. I grew up living with my mother and stepfather in Washington, D.C., and visited my father and stepmother in New York on weekends. It seems antiquated now, but I had to learn how to deal with it.”

Is she currently close with both sets of parents? “Yes, very,” she says emphatically. And it’s one of the reasons she loves Christine. In it both parents strive to put their child first, making for funny and compelling situations when it comes to juggling new love interests, homework assignments, and conflicting opinions on how to raise their son.

M. Gary Neuman, LMHC, family and divorce expert and New York Times best-selling author of Helping Your Kids Cope With Divorce the Sandcastles Way, believes that putting your child first is the only way to maintain his or her long-term emotional health.

“When you criticize your child’s other parent, you criticize your child’s very DNA,” he says. “Like it or not, what we do for and around our kids in childhood impacts them for the rest of their lives. Parents who are divorcing must take the high road with each other. When you swipe at or about your former spouse, your child stops sharing his or her emotions with you. You are shutting down trust and leaving your child with a situation he or she cannot resolve.”

 

Julia Louis-Dreyfus on fitness

Great marriage, healthy kids, and successful career aside, Louis-Dreyfus is known in Hollywood for something else, too: Looking fantastic. She turned 48 last month, and she’s still inciting Internet bloggers such as Perez Hilton to post photos of her red-carpet moments with comments like this: “Julia: So sexy! Everything’s tight -- including her bod!” Louis-Dreyfus giggles when this is read back to her. “I’m a big believer in moderation,” she says, when asked for her fitness secrets. “I like good food, good wine. I try to limit my intake of everything, but I enjoy everything, too. And I really do love to exercise. I go hiking a few times a week, I go running. … The red carpet is daunting, but I try not to let it get under my skin. I’m not Heidi Klum. I still suck it in!"

“But I’m really lucky,” Louis-Dreyfus adds. “Because I have a nice family that helps me stay focused on what’s important. Hollywood’s trappings are not my focus -- I just really enjoy my kids and my husband.”

As if on cue, the sirens sound again and Louis-Dreyfus mentions she’s nearing home. It’s clear she’s already switched her focus to the fires engulfing her neighborhood and how they might impact her loved ones. Montecito and the nearby city of Santa Barbara would lose more than 200 homes that day and in the days that followed, many burnt to ashes. While hers was thankfully spared, it’s tough to imagine this actor-activist has ever met a fire she didn’t want to put out.

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Reviewed on January 15, 2009

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