Julia Louis-Dreyfus: seeing a beach closed for pollution was shocking

OMGsh, I love the People cover photo of Julia Louis-Dreyfus. I think she’s beautiful in general but whoever did her makeup in that shot did everything right. Anyway, in addition to looking nice, Julia also looks healthy, which is wonderful to see given that just two and half years ago she was battling breast cancer. If you remember, once diagnosed, Julia used her popularity to bring attention to and raise money for research. Since her recovery, Julia has kept the spotlight on cancer research but has also started speaking more and more on environmental issues and climate change (in addition to taking a jab at the current president when she can). Julia said that facing a possible grim outcome in her cancer struggle reignited her passion on the environment.

After she survived a stage two breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, Julia Louis-Dreyfus says her perspective changed.

“I never thought I was immortal, but you don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the end of your life,” she says in this week’s cover story of PEOPLE’s first-ever Earth Day special issue. “But once you’ve faced a near-death experience like that, you do begin to realize that, at some point, you’re going to be out of here. We all are. So, how best to spend my remaining time on this planet?”

For Louis-Dreyfus, the choice was simple: help preserve the planet for her sons Henry, 28, and Charlie, 23. So last year, the acclaimed star of hit comedies including Seinfeld and Veep joined the Board of Trustees at the Natural Resources Defense Council, the leading environmental advocacy group working with top scientists and health experts around the world to protect the earth.

“I’m keenly aware of the burden that my children will have, and their children will have, if this challenge doesn’t get met,” she says. “We can do it arms linked.”

The actress, 59, first got involved in environmental activism when her sons were young.
“I had kids, and I wanted to take them to the beach,” she says. “They’d just go down and play for an hour and a half. But there was a beach closure, and I thought to myself, ‘That can’t be right. They close the beach because of pollution?’ It was happening in my own backyard.”

She joined Heal the Bay, a nonprofit devoted to protect California’s coastline and waterways.

“Through that organization I met many members of the NRDC. They often worked together,” she explains. “And that’s how I first became involved.”

She adds, “I’m keenly aware of the burden that my children will have, and their children will have, if this challenge doesn’t get met. I see it as my responsibility to try and right this ship. My life will be well-spent doing that.”

[From People]

Like Julia, it was a planned beach day with my kids that really woke me up to protecting the environment. I remember being horrified by 1) the amount of trash in the water and 2) the tar that blackened their feet. I’d considered myself as environmentally conscious prior, but I think I was doing the bare minimum. I take it much more serious now. I believe Julia lives in southern California, in the Santa Barbara area, but I’m not sure if her boys went to school in CA growing up. I bring this up only because CA schools are very good about getting kids into environmental responsibility. Courteney Cox discussed how her daughter Coco really elevated her own understanding of the environment from what Coco brought home from school. My kids did the same for me. So I imagine Julia’s boys inspired her environmentalism in a few ways. I’m sure the environmental impact on cancer rates was also eye-opening for her. No matter how she came by it, what she’s saying is vital… and timely. With the earth’s small unexpected rejuvenation from humans in lockdown, we have the unique opportunity to build on a more environmentally sound globe than before. If anything good comes from this pandemic (beyond the examples of human kindness) maybe it’s a chance to really make some profound changes to the environmemt.

And speaking of the pandemic, Julia recorded this funny PSA about staying home to flatten the curve.




Photo credit: Twitter, WENN/Avalon and YouTube

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7 Responses to “Julia Louis-Dreyfus: seeing a beach closed for pollution was shocking”

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  1. FHMom says:

    Her comedic timing is brilliant. I didn’t realize that on Seinfeld, but on VEEP she deserved every award she won. If you need a good laugh, you should seriously check it out. I was last In CA about 8 years ago. I was shocked at how dirty the beaches were. We usually go the the Jersey shore, and laugh if you want, but the beaches there are pristine.

    • CommentingBunny says:

      Hard agree! Her work on Veep is so good. I went back and watched Seinfeld recently and she is hilarious on it.

      This will forever be one of my favourite lines in comedy: “He took.” Two short breaths to clean glasses. “It out.”

    • sa says:

      She’s great! She was also on a show called The New Adventures of Old Christine (which I highly recommend to anyone who hasn’t seen it). There were times on that show where you could easily predict what line was coming, but her comedic timing & delivery still made me laugh every time.

  2. JaneDoesWerk says:

    I grew up in California and it has been shocking to me to see the difference in environmental related education between myself and people I know who grew up in the midwest. Even down to learning about animals and the ocean let alone recycling.

    • Dazed and Confused says:

      I can tell you that as a science teacher in the midwest, I get push-back from parents if I speak about the environment or climate change. They often complain to my principal and bypass me entirely. Their fallback position was always that I am pushing my “beliefs” despite the science being very clear. It’s not as bad now as it was 10 years ago but at least one parent each year will say something.

  3. Alexandra says:

    FYI, most tar balls on Southern California beaches are from natural seeps