PaleyFest: 'Veep' Cast and Creator Tease Season 3, Reveal Why There Will Be No Politician Guest Stars
"Schwarzenegger," said Veep creator and executive producer Armando Iannucci when asked at Thurday's PaleyFest panel which actor he'd like to see playing the president on his show. "I always pictured Gary Busey," added Kevin Dunn.
It is unlikely that he or any other real-life politician, current or otherwise, will ever appear on the show, Iannucci told the audience at L.A.'s Dolby Theatre during the panel moderated by The Hollywood Reporter's senior editor Stacey Wilson. "I'll name no names, but there are various requests [to be on the show]," Iannucci said. "But if a living or recognizable politician shows up, it starts unraveling."
Iannucci and Dunn were joined by star Julia Louis-Dreyfus along with co-stars Tony Hale (who occasionally fell into character, appeasing Louis-Dreyfus as Gary), Reid Scott, Timothy Simons, Matt Walsh, Sufe Bradshaw and Gary Cole.
Season three of HBO's political satire comedy Veep begins April 6 and sees vice president Selina Meyer hitting the campaign trail to run for president. "This is about her going all across the country," Iannucci said; the season will take her out of D.C. and to Silicon Valley, Ohio and London, among other destinations. "It's all about putting the characters out of their comfort zone, personally and professionally."
Below are the highlights from the panel, as the cast and creator delved into the logistically complicated process of putting the show together (the writers are in London while the show shoots primarily in D.C.) along with the surprising reaction from political insiders.
1. Each actor has found his or her D.C. counterpart
When asked about the research that goes into the show, especially for the actors to find their characters, Reid Scott mentioned the time when they took a bunch of young D.C. hotshots out for drinks, and they were "all too willing to spill everything," he said. It's how the idea of having a second phone came about. Timothy Simons, however, said when people ask if he's met a Jonah, he hasn't, because a real-world Jonah wouldn't get invited to such an outing. "We want to give these guys an accurate representation, so let's not bring Jonah along," Simons laughed.
2. Favorite Jonah insult?
"Jolly Green Jizz-Face," Simons revealed. Second choice: being called human scaffolding.
3. Forget The West Wing; Veep is the most accurate
"You'll do a storyline, and you'll think it's the most ridiculous story you've ever come up with, and it comes out, and someone will say, 'How did you find that out?'" said Iannucci, referring to what D.C. insiders say about the show. Later, Scott said a D.C. insider once came up to him and said: "Scandal is the melodrama, and House of Cards is sinister. We think Veep is the most accurate." Dunn later joked: "People really want to deny even if they're aware that D.C. is a lot like that, because if they do draw connections, they'd be so depressed they would no longer engage in the political process."
4. Sometimes the fast-flinging insults land too hard
Scott discussed how in season one the cast would apologize after berating each other with insults on camera: "I'm so sorry." Yet now, in season three, there's a level of comfort with no apology required -- that is, except for one-time actors. Louis-Dreyfus once called an actor's character "Congressman No Chin." The actor later told her that his mother took great offense at that.
5. Bill Clinton is jealous of Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Why? "No term limit," the former president once told Louis-Dreyfus of what's great about her part.
6. House of Cards crossover?
"Maybe for Christmas!" proclaimed Iannucci when asked about the possibility.