Marisa Tomei Says She’s in ‘Seinfeld’ Because of the Sound of Her Name


  • Marisa Tomei appears as a love interest for George Costanza in season seven of “Seinfeld.”  
  • The Oscar-winning actress says she was cast because Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David loved her name. 
  • Tomei plays a version of herself on the show with a thing for “funny, quirky, bald men.”

Marisa Tomei says she was cast in “Seinfeld” because her name sounded musical to the show’s co-creators Jerry Seinfield and Larry David. 

She told Insider they appreciated her name’s “rhythm” in an interview promoting her partnership with Briggs and Riley. 

Tomei plays a version of herself on the show with a thing for “funny, quirky, bald men” in episodes 14 and 15 of season seven back in 1996. Her name appears around 30 times in the script and George Costanza (Jason Alexander) repeats it often after Elaine Benes (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) tells George he’s the type of her friend, the Oscar-winning actress Marisa Tomei. 

Marisa Tomei

Marisa Tomei attended the Hammer Museum Gala in Garden wearing a tiny bag but she travels with deep luggage.

Donato Sardella/Getty Images for Hammer Museum

Tomei told a similar story about her name being the reason she got the gig in a 2016 interview with Marie Claire.

“When I got there I did ask Larry David, ‘How did I get so lucky? How am I here?’ He just said, ‘Well, when you say your name over and over it just has a really strong rhythm: ‘Marisa Tomei. Marisa Tomei,'” she said.

“I was very excited to be part of something that was so treasured and had made me laugh so much over the years,” Tomei told Insider during our interview. Her character delighted in George’s manure jokes, but socked him in the eye when she found out he was engaged.

“It was really a thrill,” she added. 

The storyline of the hit series reminded Tomei of one of her favorite shows “I Love Lucy.” 

“Lucille Ball used to have all those different guest stars on it. So I was really thrilled to be part of some very special television,” she continued. 

marisa tomei

Marisa Tomei won an Oscar for her role in the 1992 film “My Cousin Vinny.”

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

“Seinfield,” which ran from 1989 to 1998 on NBC, touched on everyday events like the banalities of airline travel, something Tomei can relate to as a professional actress who travels often. The character Seinfeld (famously played by Jerry Seinfeld) also had a favorite T-shirt he nicknamed “golden boy” on the series, and Tomei said she carries preferred outfits on trips just like the character. 

“I had my couple of favorite dresses that I wore again and again, and which I really love to do actually,” she told Insider.

“But sometimes if I have to go to events there’s a pressure to always be wearing something different,” she continued. 

“I love having that treasured item that has history, so that has made packing a little more difficult because of the demands of work, actually,” she said. 

VENICE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 05: Marisa Tomei attends the "Don't Worry Darling" red carpet at the 79th Venice International Film Festival on September 05, 2022 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images)

Tomei dazzled the shoe cam at the 79th Venice International Film Festival this year.

Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images

She said the Briggs & Riley luggage she’s promoting is also deep enough to help her fit the footwear required for any climate her roles might take her to. 

“They’re extra deep so I can fit even more things in, but it’s still as compact,” she said. 

“The shoe dilemma is ongoing,” she added. “How to get the right shoe for all the different outfits and still be able to walk in a city in a cute pair of kicks, and still be able to take a hike, and go to the beach. It’s a lot.” 

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