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Julia Louis-Dreyfus: ‘Humour has helped me through a lot in my life’

Julia Louis-Dreyfus: ‘Humour has helped me through a lot in my life’

Julia Louis-Dreyfus - actress, writer and breast cancer survivor - is the producer and star of the upcoming dramedy Downhill, a remake of a Swedish film (Force Majeure) in which a family on holiday survives a near death experience. During this crisis, the wife (Louis-Dreyfus) discovers some rather unattractive attributes about her husband (Will Ferrell).

Julia Louis-Dreyfus: ‘Humour has helped me through a lot in my life’

There’s a scene in your new movie, Downhill, when a very attractive guy flirts with you. How do you react when men flirt with you?

(laughs) Let’s see…. how do I react to men flirting with me? Listen, it’s nice to be flirted with but I don’t act on it. I’m very happily married so I don’t go around kissing guys who flirt with me. I can’t tell you of a particular story or moment when someone was flirting with me, nothing really comes to mind, and actually even if it did, I think I wouldn’t share it. (laughs) I respect my marriage and my husband too much to do so.

Fair enough. After your character has a fight with her husband, she takes a day to herself to recover. How much solo time do you get in your life? Or maybe you’re someone who doesn’t need it?

Oh, I think solo time, just being by yourself, is a necessity. It is for me. It doesn’t mean that I seek it out all the time. But I like quiet. Sometimes I drive in the car with no radio, no nothing and I actually do that more often than not and I am just in thought. Or I hike lost in thought. I think it’s an opportunity to regroup, regenerate and to kind of fuel up in a way.

This movie was shot in the Austrian Alps, and I was surprised to learn that the shots of you skiing was actually you skiing! Have you ever done that by yourself?

I have skied by myself, yes I have. I don’t do it tons, because I want to make sure I am with people. There is an element of danger in skiing so one needs to be careful, so I would never tackle any super arduous skiing by myself. But yes, I have skied by myself and I rather like it.

As a comic actress, do people expect you to be funny all the time?

Well, I think my family and my friends who know me really well know that I am not somebody that goes around making big jokes all the time. However, finding the funny in any situation is usually where I go, where I live, where my brain works. So there’s a lot to be derived from finding humour in any situation, particularly if it’s not a funny situation, frankly. Humour has helped me get through a lot of things in my life.

Downhill opens in theatres 5 March.

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