Julia Louis-Dreyfus Thanks Tony Hale and Timothy Simons for Inspiration During Cancer Battle
As Julia Louis-Dreyfus continues to battle against breast cancer, she says that her Veep co-stars have been an inspiration to her.
In an Instagram post this week, the 56-year-old actress said that she had just finished a chemotherapy session and wanted to thank Tony Hale and Timothy Simmons for “their hilarious and loving inspiration.” Tony Hale plays Selina Meyer’s personal assistant Gary Walsh on Veep, while Timothy Simmons plays Congressman Jonah Ryan.
In another Instagram post on Friday, Louis-Dreyfus posted a video that Tony Hale and Timothy Simmons evidently recorded in order to lift their co-star’s spirits. In the video, Hale plays Julia Louis-Dreyfus while Simmons plays cancer, with the two of them lip-syncing to Katy Perry’s “Roar” as Hale pretends to punch Simmons. The video ends with the text “We love you Julia” appearing on screen.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus announced last month that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, with this news coming just a day after her historic win at the Emmys. The actress received a flood of support after revealing this news, including from the actors and actresses with whom she has worked on Veep for five years.
Tony Hale wrote on his Twitter account at the time, “We love this woman.” Timothy Simons went into a bit more detail, writing, “Julia is one of the most talented, most giving, most empathetic people that I’ve had the pleasure to meet. That she takes this news and turns it to help others is of no surprise. Get well, Boss. We love you.” Louis-Dreyfus also received words of love and support from her Seinfeld co-star Jason Alexander, as well as from politicians like Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden.
HBO had previously announced that the upcoming seventh season of Veep would be its last, with the writers and producers deciding that the story had come to a natural end. When Louis-Dreyfus revealed her cancer diagnosis in September, HBO said that they would adjust the production schedule for Veep Season 7 as needed. Shooting on the final season was originally expected to begin on Oct. 16.
“Our love and support go out to Julia and her family at this time,” HBO said in a statement last month. “We have every confidence she will get through this with her usual tenacity and undaunted spirit, and look forward to her return to health and to HBO for the final season of ‘Veep.'”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus and her co-stars are evidently close even when they’re not shooting Veep. Back in 2016, Timothy Simmons posted on Instagram that Louis-Dreyfus had sent him a bottle of wine for his birthday, along with a vulgar card that sounds like something her character would say to his on the HBO series.
I got a lovely birthday gift from @officialjld and Brad. It came with this card. It was from a wine store in my neighborhood. I realized after a few minutes that meant that someone at the store would have had to have written this out. I texted Julia how happy that made me. She responded 'Yeah. I had to spell it out for them.' That's J-I-Z-Z-F… This note is as much a birthday gift as the wine. EDIT: She also had to specify if it was one or two words. The gift that keeps on giving.
Simmons has also called Louis-Dreyfus a tough person and a trooper, and that was before she began her battle with breast cancer; he was referring to the fact that Louis-Dreyfus held it together to attend the Emmys in 2016, even though they were held two days after the death of her father.
“I think that there is something about Julia, like she is just the kind of person that can do something like tonight under those circumstances,” Timothy Simons told PEOPLE at the time. “It’s amazing. I mean, it’s amazing. She is a trooper.”
Tony Hale has also praised Julia Louis-Dreyfus, saying that she’s the reason why working on Veep is such a great experience.
“Whoever’s number one on the call sheet, who’s the star, sets the tone,” Hale told CBS in 2016. “And she’s so giving and kind and a team player — and that makes a massive difference.”