On hiatus from playing ever-furious, always-funny Susie Greene on the HBO comedy series Curb Your Enthusiasm, comic Susie Essman was visiting her mother one weekend when the phone rang. It was series creator and star Larry David. "Listen, I have a sinus infection," he said without preamble. "What should I do?"
"So I recommended nasal irrigation and getting a Neti pot, and he said 'OK, thanks, bye,' and hung up," Essman recalls.
As the daughter of a doctor -- her oncologist father passed away in 2001 -- as well as a self-described hypochondriac, Essman is used to being consulted by friends and colleagues about their medical problems. Now, she's sharing her insights on everything from menopause to raising teens in her new book, What Would Susie Say: Bull**** Wisdom About Love, Life and Comedy, due out this month.
Susie Essman on Anger Management
Married for the first time in 2008 to commercial real estate broker Jim Harder, Essman became a newlywed, a new mom (to Harder's four kids, now in their late teens and early 20s), and a menopausal woman all at the same time. "It's a wild ride," she says of menopause. For hot flashes, "I tried apple cider vinegar -- two tablespoons in water," she says. "And they went away. I don't know if it was because of that or not, but I kind of err on the side of things I know aren't going to interfere with my biology. Apple cider vinegar -- how bad can it be?"
Essman cites her Curb role as a reliable stress reducer -- the new season kicked off Sept. 20 and will feature a five-episode run reuniting the four leading actors from Seinfeld. "On days when we are shooting scenes where I have to really scream and yell at Larry, which is a lot of the time, I go back to the hotel room in L.A. after shooting, and I'm so relaxed," Essman says.
"I've been screaming and yelling and angry all day, and nobody got hurt and I got paid. It's healthy. A lot of women tell me Susie Greene has given them permission to express their anger, and that's really gratifying to me. This whole ladylike thing is just destroying us internally."