Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ narcissistic vice president on HBO’s “Veep” is only in favor of pressing the flesh and smiling brightly when it benefits her – the kind of lead you just love to see fail. Luckily for “Veep” auds, Louis-Dreyfus is very willing to let that happen with VP Selina Meyer.
“She’s power hungry, so seeing as how this is a comedy show, even if things go her way you can bet good solid money it won’t work out,” Louis-Dreyfus said at the April 9 season two premiere of “Veep” at Paramount Studios in Hollywood.
Even real-world conversations, like the on-going debate about whether career-minded women can really have it all, are addressed with a comical tone.
“We don’t have a political point of view on our show,” Louis-Dreyfus said. “We’re not trying to address social, cultural, political issues. We’re really just trying to make a funny show. Now, out of real circumstances, when it seems credible, the comedy will come. The fact that she is a woman trying to break through, trying to be heard, that’s real and I identify with that. I’d like to think I’m not as narcissistic and arrogant and egocentric as she is … she’s not Rosie the Riveter is what I’m saying.”
This year, Selina may find herself bested by Gary Cole’s Karl Rove-like strategist, Kent Davidson.
“It’s not that he’s not nice, he has limited people skills,” Cole said of his character. “I don’t know if he’s consciously an asshole, but I think he comes off that way to a lot of people because he’s not comfortably social because he deals in very concrete mathematical precision and ideas.”
But Selina still has many allies in her own camp – provided they can stop fighting with each other first.
“I’m her lapdog,” said Tony Hale, who plays Selina’s personal aide Gary Walsh, adding “If somebody would say to Gary, ‘Gary, you’re free,’ I think honestly he would stay exactly where he is because that’s his life.” (Hale does stress that these traits have not carry over to his personal life; he does not hold wife Martel Thompson’s purse the way Gary follows after Selina with an ever-ready bag full of supplies).
And, in the race for pathetic characters, Gary is neck-and-neck with co-star Matt Walsh’s long-suffering communications director, Mike McLintock.
“Ultimately, what they want is Selina’s love and respect and adoration and I don’t think they’re ever going to get that,” said Walsh.
The battle begins Sunday, April 14.