Julia Louis-Dreyfus calls stint with 'sexist' 'SNL' a 'brutal time'

Dreyfus joined the cast of 'SNL' in 1982 and stayed on for three years

Comedian and "Seinfeld" actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus opened up about her time as a cast member on NBC's "Saturday Night Live," calling the show "very sexist" and a "brutal" experience.

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Dreyfus, who starred in the HBO hit "Veep," sat down with late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert on Saturday at an event at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center for Montclair Film, where she spoke candidly about topics ranging from how she got her start, her time with "Seinfeld" and her three-year stint with "SNL."

 Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic)

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"I didn't understand how the dynamics of the place worked," she said, according to northjersey.com. "It was very, very sexist. People were doing crazy drugs. I was oblivious; I just thought, 'Oh, wow, he's got a lot of energy.'"

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Dreyfus had left Northwestern University after her junior year of college to join the cast in 1982.

"It was a pretty brutal time, but it was a very informative time for me," she said, according to the Daily Mail. "I just felt like, 'I don't have to; I don't have to do this, I don't have to walk and crawl through this kind of nasty glass if it's not ultimately going to be fulfilling.'"

"It was very, very sexist. People were doing crazy drugs."

- Julia Louis-Dreyfus, speaking at New Jersey Performing Arts Center during Montclair Film event

There, she met Larry David, who was a writer for the show at the time.

"We bonded because he was as miserable as I was," she said. "He would write these sketches and they would not see the light of day. I would go into his office and cry a lot."

Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine Benes during a 2016 "Saturday Night Live" appearance. (Dana Edelson/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

Years later, David asked her to audition for his new show "The Seinfeld Chronicles," which was officially named "Seinfeld." The series became a small-screen hit that ran for nine seasons, with Dreyfus starring as Elaine Benes alongside Jerry Seinfeld as himself. The show wrapped in 1998.

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Julia Louis-Dreyfus at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards in September 2019. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

In 2017, after several acting roles, she made history for winning "the most consecutive awards by an actor for the same role," according to HBO.

Dreyfus, who is reportedly worth an estimated $200 million, recently wrapped seven seasons of HBO series "Veep," in which she stars as U.S. President Selina Meyer. The hit show was nominated for nine Emmys before its series finale in May.

The Montclair Film event was not the first time Dreyfus has criticized her time with the longtime NBC show. In 2016, she told The New York Times SNL did not treat women as equals to men "at all."

"I didn't do anything particularly great when I was there," she said, according to the Times. "I learned a tremendous amount. It was a very sexist environment. Since I've gone back, I can tell you it's much more of an equal-opportunity environment."

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