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Think HBO’s Veep is a broad satire on D.C. politics? Think again.
Star Tim Simons, who plays White House liaison Jonah Ryan, tells The Hollywood Reporter that Washington insiders have admitted to him that the scathing comedy is frequently spot-on.
“We’ve heard this not just from the vice president’s office but from a few different offices: The government employees will go through a day and it’s like, ‘Man, that was a Veep-ish moment,'” Simons laughs.
Co-star Matt Walsh — who with Simons stopped by to tape a sidesplitting THR Audition for The Social Network — adds that the show’s signature rapid-fire dialogue, penned largely by series creator Armando Iannucci, was much easier to tackle in the second season.
“The rehearsal process was mind-blowing the first year because the scripts would change every day and we were getting ten drafts. And this year we were completely fine with getting sides the day of,” Walsh says.
Walsh also has heaps of praise for star Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who nabbed an Emmy for best actress in a comedy for her portrayal of the harried, potty-mouthed Vice President Selina Meyer. The former Seinfeld star has a sixth sense for finding the funny.
“I noticed the first year she’s so gifted at creating moments in text that you wouldn’t see,” Walsh explains. “She’s good at finding the joke on the way to the joke.”
As for the direction of the madcap second season — the veep already has caused an Internet uproar over a song insulting Europeans, and was groped by the First Husband of Finland (Dave Foley) — Walsh says there’s much fun to be had with the addition of several new characters from the office of the president, or “POTUS,” in Veep-speak.
“Now we have some presence with Gary Cole and Kevin Dunn, and [Jonah] kowtowing to them,” Walsh explains. “There’s more weight from the presidential side to push down on Selina.”
“If I have a personal arc,” Simons adds, “you can see shifts in power as to who Jonah is sucking up to. Just like a barnacle, I latch on to anything I can.”
Veep airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on HBO.
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