The Veep star talks to PEOPLE about pressure in Hollywood: 'I don't quite feel it the way I used to'

By Aurelie Corinthios and Aili Nahas
Updated August 18, 2015 12:00 PM
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Credit: Williams & Hirakaw

Julia Louis-Dreyfus admits she sometimes feels burdened by Hollywood’s youth- and beauty-obsessed culture – but not quite as much as she used to.

“I do feel the pressure. I’m not going to lie to you and say I don’t feel the pressure,” the Veep star, 54, tells PEOPLE. “But I would also say I don’t quite feel it the way I used to. There’s a part of me that’s like ‘Who gives a s—?’ “

While the actress does own up to her “share of vanity,” saying she “likes to look nice,” she doesn’t plan on “pulling [her] face back behind [her] ears.”

“I haven’t done that, I don’t have a plan to do that,” she says. “I realize as I say that it sound I’m disparaging to those who have, but I don’t want to be. My point is that I’m glad to be the age I am and to have had the career I’ve had and am now having. It’s like, ‘Yeah, I’m here, I’m still doing this, and my plan is to continue to do it for quite some time.’ ”

“I’m scared of surgery,” she continues. “I have TMJ, and I just had to have an injection into my jaw to try to make the inflammation go down and just getting that flipped me out.”

Louis-Dreyfus says “there is a very ageist and sexist culture in show business,” which she has encountered firsthand.

“On multiple occasions I’ve had to stand my ground. I’ve had to persevere,” she says. “There have been numerous occasions in my life and my career where I’ve had to push really hard, harder because I’m a woman and because my point of view or my instinct wasn’t being taken quite seriously enough because I was a woman and that’s just a fact.”

Louis-Dreyfus says “remains to be seen” if Hollywood, and society as a whole, can overcome this subconscious discrimination – “but I certainly hope so.”

Despite all this, the actress – who has won five Emmys for three different series (and scored 16 nominations overall, including her most recent nomination for outstanding leading actress in a comedy series for her role on Veep) – says she feels “very lucky” for her experience thus far in entertainment.

“I really hope that good luck continues because when you have a great gig and you’re working with people you love, you can’t beat it.”

RELATED VIDEO: See Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Changing Looks, Pre-Seinfeld to Now!

For more on Julia Louis-Dreyfus and more of this year’s Emmy-nominated actresses, including exclusive portraits, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE