Last September, Julia Louis-Dreyfus revealed in a tweet that she was diagnosed with breast cancer. In the following months, the actor kept her followers updated on every stage of her treatment, writing that she was "ready to rock" after undergoing surgery, and celebrating the completion of each round of chemotherapy with posts on social media.
Now, in an interview from the red carpet at a celebration in honor of the 20th anniversary of Key to the Cure this week, Louis-Dreyfus opened up about why she decided to be so candid about her experience.
"Originally, I'll be honest with you, something like this journey I'd been on, I normally wouldn't share such a private thing publicly," she told Entertainment Tonight.
But Louis-Dreyfus knew "it would get out there because I knew we had to shut down production [on Veep] for a number of months in order to accommodate my situation." Although, of course, she should be able to decide what to do with this kind of private information without outside pressure, she said she was able to build something good out of the experience.
"I thought, 'Well, I'm just going to embrace this and attack it and try to do it with a sense of humor,'" she explained. "I was really pleased with the reaction." The Emmy winner noted that she received messages from others letting her know that her candor about her diagnosis and treatment had been "buoying to people that are battling cancer."
Over the course of the last year, Louis-Dreyfus has shared many of the encouraging videos her friends and family have made for her. One funny video from her Veep co-stars helped "psych her up" for her third round of chemo, and one from her sons celebrated the end of her chemotherapy treatment with a dramatic lip-sync to Michael Jackson's "Beat It." Louis-Dreyfus said, "It had a sense of humor and it had a kind of 'kick cancer in the ass' kind of point of view."