The ‘Seinfeld’ Cast Hated Working With Susan, So They Conspired to Kill Her
UPDATE: Seinfeld star Jason Alexander has apologized for his comments, saying in a lengthy Twitter post, “Ok folks, I feel officially awful [...] I and the cast really liked and like Heidi [Swedberg]. She is a kind, lovely person who undoubtedly worked really hard to create Susan and that character was clearly what Larry [David] and Jerry [Seinfeld] wanted her to be for George.”
Seinfeld is truly the gift that keeps on giving, whether bestowing all its episodes on modarn platforms like Hulu, putting Jerry and Elaine on the road together, or unveiling surprise stories of the past. Latest from the treasure trove is Jason Alexander’s explanation of Heidi Swedberg’s Susan Ross, whom the cast apparently hated working with, and conspired together to kill off.
For those of us raised outside the essential pop culture lexicon of Seinfeld, actress Heidi Swedberg recurred multiple times throughout the NBC series as George’s on-off girlfriend (and NBC executive) Susan Ross, who in Season 7 actually agreed to marry him. George’s doubts about the pairing ended up moot by the finale, in which Susan fatally succumbed to licking toxic wedding invitations, though apparently behind the scenes, the Seinfeld cast were to blame for the demise.
Speaking to Howard Stern (though the story has floated around via DVD commentary for a few years now), Jason Alexander relayed the inspiration behind Susan’s death, adamantly insisting that for as pleasant and talented as Heidi Swedberg was, he’d always had difficulty finding comedic rhythms in a scene with her. Alexander fretted over the notion of creator Larry David bringing Swedberg on for a whole season, but it wasn’t until Jerry Seinfeld and Julia Louis-Dreyfus first shared a scene with Susan that they’d come to understand Alexander’s trepidation.
Not only that, but Louis-Dreyfus apparently provided Larry David with an ending to the season (and Susan’s character) over dinner with the cast, jokingly suggesting “don’t you just wanna kill her?”
Whether or not the story had become common knowledge, it’s at least refreshing to hear Alexander so defensive of Swedberg, while still acknowledging the cast’s difficulty working with her. No doubt more stories will emerge as all episodes arrive on Hulu in June, and Dreyfus herself moves toward the fourth season finale of HBO’s Veep. In the meantime, you can listen to Alexander’s story for yourself above, and decide if Seinfeld gave the best end possible for Susan Ross.
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