How I Found Susie’s Style on ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’

How I Found Susie’s Style on 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'


Contrary to well known belief, Susie Essman is nothing at all like her Suppress Your Enthusiasm character (who, not-so-coincidentally, is also named Susie). Equal parts brash and outspoken, with a penchant for lousy-mouthing Larry David, Susie Greene has graduated from supporting character to lover preferred over the displays 21 several years in existence, not the very least because of her garish outfits, which have been called every little thing from “ridiculous” to “deranged”—particularly in the most current period. In this article, Essman talks to ELLE.com about Susie’s wild feeling of model, designer closet, and earning Larry snicker.


Larry by no means experienced enter into my outfits. Only when he states, “No. It’s too substantially.” Sure, he’ll comment on my outfits, but in all 11 seasons, I only bear in mind 1 time that he manufactured me change. I really don’t keep in mind what [the outfit] was—I just try to remember he appeared at me and said, “You search insane. You went much too significantly.” I feel at this stage he accepts it. [The clothes are] element of the character and who she is. It is comedy!

As a female stand-up comic, how I dressed on stage was always extremely vital to me, ‘cause the male comics would seem filthy, soiled, and disgusting. I generally felt like I was presenting myself I would never ever do a program with no getting some makeup on. The obstacle was placing a balance concerning seeking good and not too sexually provocative, since it’s way way too complicated for men in the audience—they really do not know if they want to giggle or if they want to fuck you. So I test to glance quite and pretty, but not as well sexy, any time I execute. I would in no way use anything as well small or with a ton of cleavage.

Susie’s design and style has absolutely developed above the course of the show. In the initial time, the Greene’s residence was extremely stark and fashionable with black leather home furnishings. Susie was screaming and yelling and cursing in her initially scene. I recall thinking, This lady normally takes likelihood. She thinks she has the greatest taste in the total globe and listens to no one—no decorator, no stylist, no just one. She doesn’t see any demarcations—it’s all part of her individuality: big, choose-no-prisoners, no second views. She’s completely safe about just about every impression and every option, primarily when it arrives to vogue.

Susie Essman and Cheryl Hines, who plays Larry David’s spouse, Cheryl, on Curb Your Enthusiasm.

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Style is Susie’s artistic outlet. That is how she expresses herself. She’s very above-coordinated—everything is matchy-matchy. But at the identical time, she contrasts. She’s received her very own sense of what is effective. What will come to intellect is that cowboy outfit in episode five exactly where she’s obtained the fringed denim with the cowboy boots. She enjoys a concept. She thinks Cheryl is the dullest dresser ever—no individuality, no pizazz.

And by the way, Susie’s clothing are all very highly-priced. I recall providing [costume designer] Wendy [Range Rao] an notion of how I desired her to gown, and she asked, “Where am I gonna uncover that things?” I mentioned, “Well, you’ve gotta go to the back area of Loehmann’s.” So we took a very little subject journey and I confirmed her the variety of things that she would use and [Wendy] was like, “This location is a goldmine.” Then [costume designer] Christina Mongini came in, and she received it. And [costume designer] Leslie [Schilling] actually receives it. She places it all out there and lets it fly.

Generally, how it functions is Leslie and I begin with a person piece and create the outfit from there. She’ll bring a full bunch of things to a fitting and we’ll play gown-up. My fittings can very last for hrs and hours and hours. We snicker the full time. Then, we mail images to our EP Jeff Schaffer and he either approves or disapproves—but I have under no circumstances known him to disapprove. And then all the outfits are ready for me in my trailer the day I clearly show up to work. It’s constantly a point when I wander on set. It is normally a presentation.

susie essman curb your enthusiasm
Susie Essman as Susie Greene on Curb Your Enthusiasm.

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I really do not know if there is anything at all Susie would by no means put on. She would not have on fur, since she’s really political. She’d dress in fake fur. She attempts to always acquire points that are sustainable, blah blah blah. She offers her clothes absent, primarily to her housekeepers. In excess of the decades, sure matters have progressed out of requirement. For case in point, about 6 a long time ago I broke my ankle, so I can’t put on heels any more. Now I have bedazzled slip-on sneakers.

I believe Susie got additional and much more assured in her look as she grew to become a extra crucial part of the cloth of the Control family. There’s an unconscious safety net there, so she’s gotten more outrageous with her selections. The other point to contemplate is that Jeff [Garlin, who plays Susie’s husband, Jeff Greene] is serially dishonest on Susie, so section of her deal with that is, she doesn’t give a shit: give her the jewelry, give her the dwelling, give her the bags, give her regardless of what she would like. That’s her factor. She will spend absurd quantities of income on her clothing.

There have been so lots of outfits that I beloved, it is tough to select a favored. I bear in mind a person period, I had these Versace pants with a gold appliqué belt. It was so terrible, but it was fantastic. Or individuals bedazzled sweatshirts from year three. I really do not keep any of my wardrobe, but I often maintain 1 piece as a memento. An expression Leslie and I have is “just all-around the residence,” but it’s even now Susie Greene. It’s not one thing I would ever use.

susie essman curb your enthusiasm
Susie Essman on year 11 of Suppress Your Enthusiasm.

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I really do not gown like Susie at all in serious lifestyle. As a issue of fact, I have to be extra thorough, since in some cases I’ll see one thing, like a cute leopard-print sweater, and I’m just like, “No, I simply cannot. It’s also Susie Greene.” I’ve gone the other way completely. I’m a jeans and T-shirt type of girl. I preserve it basic. The problem with Susie is that really often one particular piece is great, but it is the combo. It’s layering just one on leading of the other on top of the other and just likely and going. I’m watchful not to gown like her, simply because as it is, people by now consider I am her, and I’m almost nothing like her. I’m acting. I never require to put that out into the world.

We in no way know period to season if we’re coming back—that’s all Larry. If I was a gambling particular person, I would say we are. The cause I imagine so is mainly because we seriously have pleasurable. It’s all about building Larry chuckle. He has these types of a joyous giggle his full experience lights up. And I make Larry chuckle, which is quite blessed for the reason that which is why I have been doing work for the previous 21 a long time. If I did not make him laugh, I don’t know if I would’ve at any time had this part.

This interview has been evenly edited and condensed for clarity.

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