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‘Veep’ Adviser Gives Hollywood Notes

Amy Brookheimer, Chief of Staff to "Veep" Selina Meyer

They say the only difference between A-list stars and politicians is that politicians are better actors. So as Vice President Selina Meyer’s most trusted advisor, here are my seven tips on how to help your Hollywood Top Tier (or Terror) rock the Emmys — all STRICTLY off-the-record, of course …

1) Whether you’re dealing with A-list stars or politicians, you should get to know their moods. They may be grumpy — this means they want attention. They may be talkative — this means they want attention. Some days they may be weeping uncontrollably — this means they want attention. In short: They pay you money to pay them attention.

2) Going in and out of buildings, always take the talent in and out of a crappy back door rather than a well-maintained front door because “there’s too many people out the front.” This makes them feel important.

3) Your boss might have to make a big speech, or go to an audition. There are psychological tricks you can use to get them in the zone. Play them rousing music. Or tell them that if they get this wrong, then we are all totally screwed.

Completely and utterly and irreversibly screwed.

4) Working for prima donnas can be hard, but remember: The talent needs you, and they appreciate your efforts. If they don’t ever say it, or remember your birthday, or ask how you are after you return from a weeklong trip to hospital with appendicitis, it’s only because they have many important things to think about.

5) One of the things they’re always thinking about is their face. If you’re a big name, you’re constantly in the public eye. That’s why it’s incredibly important to SAVE YOUR FACE. Keeping a bright and cheerful look can be exhausting. You need to ensure that the talent get their “facial downtime,” a chance for the face to kick back, to relax into a frown. Or a scowl. So “turn that smile off a while.” Not that this should automatically be an excuse to snap irrationally at members of staff, or to say cruel and hurtful things to a long-suffering senior colleague. That is not happy-face sad-face yin yang. That is just losing your temper.

6) Still on the subject of faces: Don’t let them be pictured smiling within 48 hours of a major disaster. Get them to practice “Disaster Face.” This is even more important than their “I’m happy I didn’t win an Emmy” smile. Because when that Emmy envelope is opened, it’s a live-or-die moment for the nominees. Imagine a camera on the face of the presidential candidates the moment Ohio swings the other way.
Now that would be ugly.

7) If they do happen to miss out on that Emmy, just remind them that it’s really no big deal. Come on, the Oscars are the big night! The Emmys are just the midterms. Honestly, nobody outside of the Beltway/Hollywood cares AT ALL, so just tell your boss to enjoy themselves.

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