Almost 20 years after its final episode graced the small screen, Seinfeld still reigns as one of TV’s biggest triumphs. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who won a myriad of honors for her performance as the smart but slightly neurotic Elaine Benes, reflects on the final days of the ’90s sitcom in a new interview with PEOPLE and EW editorial director Jess Cagle.
“At the time, I was ready to take a break. I had two very young kids. I had a baby and a 5-year-old. I wanted calm, and [to] just sort of hunker down at home,” Louis-Dreyfus explained of Seinfeld’s end after nine seasons. “It was definitely bittersweet though. That night of our last show… was very emotional. The motto of our show was ‘No hugging, no learning,’ which is true. We were never trying to teach or [be] sentimental, but in fact, we were very sentimental. That night when we all bid goodbye was unbelievably wrenching.”
Since Seinfeld, Louis-Dreyfus has gone on to score a heap of successful roles, most recently on Veep, HBO’s critically acclaimed political satire for which she’s earned four consecutive Emmys for her gig as Selina Meyer.
Veep’s season 5 returns Sunday at 10:30 p.m. Check out the full interview with Louis-Dreyfus below, and listen to it again on Sirius XM’s Entertainment Weekly Radio (ch. 105) this weekend.