'Seinfeld' Soup Nazi Says He's A Lot More Like His Iconic Character Than People Think
Actor Larry Thomas turned a bit role on Seinfeld into the memorable Soup Nazi character that fans cherish and distinctly remember for his famous line, "No soup for you!" It's difficult to imagine anyone actually seeing themselves in the militant and brash businessman he created — who thinks nothing of throwing George Costanza and Elaine Benes out of his shop when they don't show the proper respect toward his soup — but despite being quite amicable in real life, Thomas, who appeared as a special guest at Hulu’s Seinfeld Apartment Experience in New York’s Meatpacking District, told me he has more in common with the Soup Nazi than people might think. "I am a very impatient person and I do get frustrated easily and have a fairly healthy controlling attitude about certain things — not about everything," Thomas, 50, says. "I always say: you'd have to ask my son how much I'm like the Soup Nazi."
The actor, who has since appeared in Zero Dark Thirty and Arrested Development (he played Saddam Hussein, in what had to be a clever nod to the Soup Nazi), was relatively unknown when he auditioned for Seinfeld in 1995. The only thing he said he knew about the role was that it called for a Middle Eastern accent, so he came up with a character based on Omar Sharif in Lawrence of Arabia, donned a military uniform and beret, and knocked everybody's socks off at the audition — managing to make even Jerry Seinfeld laugh.
Thomas only appeared on two episodes of the show, but his delivery, mannerisms, and the way he turned the cast into anxious, subservient shells of themselves will forever be remembered.
You may be wondering why, out of the many minor Seinfeld characters that popped in and out during the show's nine-year run, did the Soup Nazi resonate with so many fans?
"I think that everybody secretly wishes they could have a life without a social face," Thomas says. "If you want to tell somebody off, tell them off. If they say something stupid, throw them out. The Soup Nazi did not have a social face — he was exactly who he was. That’s everybody secret wish — to not have to be nice to somebody if you don’t feel like it."
Thomas and the rest of the cast are about to be celebrated again — on June 24, Hulu will begin streaming all episodes of the classic sitcom. If you happen to be in New York City, you can even stop by Milk Studios from now until June 28 and visit an awesome replica of Seinfeld's apartment, complete with cereal boxes (of course) and other memorabilia from the show, including Puddy's New Jersey Devil's jersey, the Festivus pole, and this — the infamous Monk's Cafe booth where Jerry and George spent most of their waking hours:
The experience is the closest you'll get to living the Seinfeld dream — roaming around Manhattan, staying single forever, eating out all of the time, and having hilarious friends with whom you'll eventually spend the rest of your days in prison.
Images: Lisa Fogarty/Bustle