Julia Louis-Dreyfus beat breast cancer, but her health scare spurred her and her husband, Brad Hall, to reflect on their lives.
Speaking exclusively to Us Weekly at the Veep final season premiere in NYC on Tuesday, March 26, Hall called his wife’s breast cancer battle “very challenging, but I think in the end she came out so well. We’re blessed and grateful, she’s got great health care… that, for us, was a wakeup call.”
The ordeal certainly made the couple, who got married in 1987, appreciate life more. “I think that’s really true,” Hall told Us. “Definitely you go, ‘This isn’t a permanent condition, life.’ And so you do sort of take stock.”
Louis-Dreyfus, 58, announced in September 2017 that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. After undergoing multiple rounds of chemotherapy and surgery, the Seinfeld alum announced a year later that she had beat cancer and felt “strong” returning to work in her Emmy-winning role of Selena Meyer in the HBO hit.
“She was really happy to get back to work, she loves that, and the show and the character,” the 61-year-old TV writer told Us on Tuesday. “It’s a real family, this show. So that’s hard to say goodbye to.”
But while he’s ready to move on after the show’s seven seasons, he recognizes it’s not as easy for Louis-Dreyfus. “Well I get my wife back! But it’s was such a once-in-a-lifetime thing for Jules, so I’m totally thrilled. But yeah, it’s bittersweet.”
He went on to joke about barely seeing the actress during her intense filming period: “It’s been about six years and I remember her from then, and she was great! So I’m assuming she hasn’t changed very much.” The couple share sons Charlie Hall, 21, and Henry Hall, 26.
The Veep cast also supported its star through her treatments. Gary Cole, who plays political strategist Kent Davison, told Us at the premiere about doing table reads for four months while filming was on hold during Louis-Dreyfus’ treatments. “We read once a month… but those particular four moments were very special because she addressed everyone when they came in,” he recalled. “And she made a vow, ‘I’m not sure when we will return but we will, and I can’t wait,’ are the words that she used.” Getting choked up, Cole, 62, continued. “Those four readings were maybe some of the most joyful times because we knew what she was enduring during that period, and this was just a little bit of diversion from that. For us, it was everything because it was a chance to support her and help her out and it was also a release for everyone.”
As for the actress herself, filming the last scene of the series was emotional. “I wept like a baby,” Louis-Dreyfus told Us on the carpet. “I was hysterical!”
And while she added that it’s hard to not see her castmates every day — “What I’m going to miss the most is being with all these wonderful people who I adore more than I can possibly articulate” — it will be, perhaps, more difficult to say goodbye to the beloved but reviled Selena. As the SAG winner said with her trademark sense of humor, “I’m going to miss playing a hyper dysfunctional, narcissistic, underdeveloped, ruthless human being.”
The final season of Veep premieres on HBO Sunday, March 31 at 10 p.m. ET.
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With reporting by Nicki Gostin
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