How Richard Lewis Felt About Curb Your Enthusiasm Using His Real Name


The fact that so many of "Curb Your Enthusiasm's" recurring actors are themselves is fascinating. Ted Danson plays Ted Danson, Cheryl Hines plays Cheryl Hines. The actors often use the same names even when they are portraying fictional characters: Jeff Garlin is Jeff Greene and Susie Essman is Susie Greene. This strange mix of reality and fiction results in a bizarre blend. We know that Lin Manuel Miranda isn't a real-life petty man who engages in physical duels with his main character in "Hamilton", but the storyline of his film is full of humor based on the notion that he is like this in reality.

Larry David has often said that he feels a certain freedom when he plays himself. He can be as petty and selfish in his real life but the results of this behavior are not visible outside the studio. Richard Lewis who tragically died at the age of 76 from a fatal cardiac arrest, said that playing himself had a completely different feel. In a recent Vanity Fair Interview, he said:

I'm not like Larry in this case. On screen I do not see any difference, other than the occasional moment when I am a bit harsher. "Generally, however, I am myself."

Larry's Idea

Lewis explained that "[Larry] was at my home and said that he wanted to see me play myself." "He wanted this relationship." This decision seems to follow the rules for the show: The closer the actor's relationship is with Larry, the higher the likelihood that they will be portraying themselves. From Larry's point of view, it would be strange to have to pretend that Richard Lewis is not his long-time friend.

Lewis added, "It is a truly unique experience to be able be in a situation where the other actors don't act like themselves while I am myself." It's an odd feeling. Lewis was always happy to show the audience these exaggerated glimpses of his friendship with Larry David, despite their strangeness. Lewis confirmed that they'd known each since the age of 12, which allowed them to be honest and petty with each other. In a 2023 conversation, he stated that "he knows my buttons emotionally." When he teases my on his show it is exactly what he will do in real-life.

Despite their many grudges over the years, Lewis maintained to the end that he was honored to be Larry's occasionally-antagonistic friend, be it on or off the camera. Lewis said in a tweet after filming the final scene of "Curb", last year, "It's hard to believe that we began our journey back in 2000." The cast and crew knew they were working with a genius. No one takes that rare moment for granted. We love you LD."

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