×

Julia Louis-Dreyfus in ‘Veep’

Road to the Emmys 2012: The Actress

She may be a veteran at comedy but she’s brand new at portraying a politician.

Yet, not surprisingly, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is receiving strong notices for her latest comedic role as Vice President Selina Meyer, an ambitious yet frustrated understudy to the most powerful man in the world on HBO’s comedy series “Veep.”

Previously Louis-Dreyfus plied her trade on broadcast television, with her iconic role on “Seinfeld” and then showed additional longevity as the title character in CBS’ “The New Adventures of Old Christine.”

She took on the role in “Veep” before there was even a script after meeting with the creator Armando Iannucci, who had garnered an Oscar nod for co-writing the 2009 British political spoof “In the Loop.”

“We just had that instant connection,” says Iannucci. “Within 15 minutes, we were already thinking of ideas for other episodes, and further developing the character. She has that creative, comic sensibility and also that professional approach.”

Appearing on pay cable — as she did a few years ago in guest spots on Larry David’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” — offers Louis-Dreyfus more creative latitude than before, not to mention the freedom to drop some unbeeped f-bombs as she navigates the political mine fields in Washington, D.C.

“It is a very powerful position, and yet at the same time, I don’t think there’s a politician out there that you would say that they aspire to be vice president. So it’s a strange paradox in that sense,” she told the Television Critics Assn. earlier this year.

“Veep” offers room for improv.

“For this season we had about a month and a half of rehearsal. And during that process everybody on the show was extremely capable at improvisation,” says Louis-Dreyfus. “There were scripts in place, and we worked with them and improv’d with them and without them. New scripts came along as a result, so it’s a very meshed process of the written word and the improv’d word.”

More TV

  • THE BLACKLIST -- "Cornelius Ruck (#155)"

    'The Blacklist' Bosses on 'Clue' Inspiration for Standalone Whodunnit Episode

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Cornelius Ruck (No. 155),” the 12th episode of “The Blacklist” Season . Viewers that needed a bit of a respite from the real world on Friday night probably embraced the light-hearted nature of “The Blacklist’s” “Cornelius Ruck” episode, a concluding installment to the previous week’s [...]

  • APA Logo

    APA Sets Salary Cuts and Furloughs in Wake of Covid-19 Pandemic

    Following in the steps of several agencies dealing with the coronavirus, APA has informed all offices of upcoming salary cuts along with possible suspensions and furloughs for employees due to the pandemic’s economic effect on the industry. APA board of directors will make the largest financial sacrifice. The move has been made to avoid layoffs [...]

  • SAG-AFTRA HQ

    DGA, SAG-AFTRA, WGA Scramble to Keep Residuals Flowing During Coronavirus Pandemic

    Hollywood’s creative guilds have been working overtime to keep residual checks going out to members during the coronavirus crisis. Even though most of the staff members of the Directors Guild of America, SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America West have been working remotely, the guilds have stepped up efforts to maintain the flow of [...]

  • Steven Universe Series Finale

    The Radical Empathy of 'Steven Universe' (Column)

    The last epic battle of “Steven Universe” isn’t one between friends and foes, but between Steven Universe and himself. After six years and nearly 200 episodes, both the show and character took the time to ask themselves some crucial, existential questions: What happens to a hero after they’ve already saved the day? Who is Steven [...]

  • A view of the stage at

    Television Academy's Emmy Calendar Shift Lauded by Networks, Studios and Streamers

    The Television Academy’s decision to push back this year’s Emmy Awards voting calendar, and eliminate officially sanctioned campaign events, was applauded on Friday by many network, streamer and studio execs — several of whom had been asking the org to do such a thing. “People are happy they acknowledged the situation,” one network exec said [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content