“Veep” premiered Sunday night on HBO, a new workplace comedy that just happens to be set in the Vice President’s office. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is Vice President Selina Meyer, who is surrounded by a quirky band of cohorts.
Zap2it spoke with Matt Walsh, who plays Selina’s press secretary Mike McClintock, about how the office of Vice President is an interesting dichotomy of a rather silly job but at the same time, one heartbeat away from a very serious job.
“It’s kind of like – nobody aspires to be Vice President,” says Walsh. “But at the same time you’re so close to being the most powerful person in the world, you can’t turn it down.”
“I think it must be tough – you can’t really have your own agenda. You’re constantly serving what the President wants,” he continues. “So you might have to put down your tax cutting ideas and go get your picture taken at a pie-eating contest.”
When we meet Selina, we certainly see that struggle. But you can tell she genuinely loves her job and the people around her. And they love her back.
“Mike has loyalty to Selina. I think he genuinely loves Selina,” says Walsh. “But he’s been around a long time. I think he’s a survivor. There’s a certain group mentality that you don’t want to stick out too much, you don’t want to piss people off too much because you’re gonna be around and they’re gonna be around a real long time. He’s learned not to draw lines in the sand and not overreact to whatever today’s crisis is.”
The new kid on the block on “Veep” is Dan Egan (Reid Scott), who rather sneakily moves himself from Senator Hallows’ staff to Selina’s staff. And it seems like he might be after Mike McClintock’s job.
“I think at first he’s a big threat to me,” says Walsh. “As the season goes on, I realize this guy will either take a job in the private sector or he’ll make a colossal screw-up and I’ll still be here. In some ways, I know Selina better and I know the game better than him. He is much more adept at scheming and conniving, though.”
In putting the scheming, conniving and political maneuvering of Washington D.C. into a comedy, star Julia Louis-Dreyfus has said the show won’t be revealing the political party of the Vice President nor will we meet the President (at least not for awhile). Walsh tells us that that is what makes the show more universal.
“I think it speaks to bigger truths by keeping those specifics vague.
It’s a workplace comedy about people who have ideals and are trying to
make change in a very difficult situation and a very bureaucratic environment,” says Walsh. “I think it applies to all people, all politicians. I don’t think it’s either side. I think the truths apply to both sides.”
What did you think of the “Veep” premiere? Will you be tuning in next week?