Cheryl Hines Got Cast In Curb Your Enthusiasm By Suggesting Someone Drink Their Urine

Cheryl David, the now-ex wife of Larry David on "Curb Your Enthusiasm," is played by the ever-funny Cheryl Hines. Her character on "Curb" is a saint for putting up with Larry's shenanigans for as long as she has. Between having to listen to Larry squeaking around the house in his new orthotics and getting trapped inside a functioning car wash after doing a colon cleanse that put her in desperate need of a bathroom, this woman has been through a lot. It's a wonder she's even retained the ability to laugh after living with Larry and his neuroses for so long. 

Even though Hines' character is now with Ted Danson (one of Larry's many arch-nemeses on the show), Cheryl is still crucial to the show's comically insensitive plot lines and finicky main character. Hines is a master at bringing Cheryl to life, and without her calm voice of reason, the show would be drastically different. Before "Curb," Hines was relatively unknown in Hollywood, and when she auditioned, no one had ever heard of her before. Still, she wowed them with her quick wit (much like the show, all the "Curb" auditions are improvised), but it was one very specific line that landed her the coveted part: She suggested that someone drink their own urine.       

Would you like some urine with that improv?

In an interview for The Hollywood Reporter, one of the show's directors, Bob Weide, recounts that fateful day in the audition room. The scene Hines was asked to act in involved an employee training seminar in which one of the trainers asks the new hires what they would do if disaster were to strike the workplace. Weide went on to explain:

"[The trainer] would say, 'OK, so there's been an earthquake and the water is cut off, there's no running water in your office and you can't escape. You're thirsty, what do you do?' Cheryl pipes up, 'Well, I suppose if push came to shove you could drink your own urine.' The room just goes real quiet, and everybody stares at her. And the guy stares at her and says, 'Well, OK, I was thinking more about having water stored in the room or, you know, possibly detaching a hose from the back of the refrigerator and drinking the water that way.' Cheryl goes, 'Oh, well, yeah.' And then I remember the line that really killed me: 'Well, I did say if push came to shove.'"

Hines explains that she "didn't know what I was auditioning for, because it was all very vague," but her quick wit and ability to improv landed her this monumental role. It helps that she also has amazing chemistry with David on screen so that even if they sometimes seem like a mismatched couple, their ease with one another lends a reality to their fictional marriage. "I met Larry, and I really sparked with him," Hines said. 

To this day, Weide remembers Hines' off-kilter suggestion that another actor drink their own urine. It's the kind of audition you don't really forget. Weide says, "I just [thought] this girl's really, really funny. And that line, 'I did say if push came to shove,' gave [Hines] a career."