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“Veep” Stars Walk the Carpet in D.C.

Julia Louis-Dreyfuss

The cast from HBO’s upcoming series “Veep” were in town yesterday to promote the political comedy with a screening at the U.S Institute of Peace.

It was mostly peaceful, but packed which made for dicey moments on the red carpet.

“Veep” focuses on a clueless vice president, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, and her bumbling staff.

FBDC asked the show’s starring actors about their thoughts on the D.C. culture and what parts of it were amplified in the series.

“The closer you are to the popular kids, the more powerful people feel,” said Tony Hale, who plays a personal aide to the Vice President. “[It's] just like high school. There’s a lot of high school happening in both here and L.A.”

Timothy Simons took special note of Washington’s crappy sense of style. “There’s a fashion sense from 10 years previous,” said the actor who plays the White House Liaison to Dreyfuss’ character. “A general sense that nobody has time to ever buy new clothes. So I think it’s like the clothes you have in college, you just hope that those fit you until you’re 35. And at that point you would have time to shop for new clothes.”

Simons said he prepared for his role by reading “D.C. Interns,” a popular blog about interns in Washington. He said the blog taught him about about “calling interns out on wearing their intern badges” at inappropriate places.

Matt Walsh plays the Communications Director in “Veep.” He told us the first thing he learned about the D.C press corps in preparing for his role is that “the best play in any crisis or any gaffe is to not say anything [else] and to smile your way through it.” Smaller blogs break the stories now, he said, “so you really have to watch every word that you say. You can never be off camera. You’re never off the record.”

NYT's Frank Rich

 

Sarah Palin is famous for her media mishaps when she was the Republican vice presidential candidate. We asked Dreyfuss if she did any media prep for the show. She said she spent more time trying to “pull back the layers of politics” than news media, but that “it really is extraordinary now how every move a politician makes is documented. And one false step and they’re screwed.”

Space on the red carpet was tight (and even tighter with the five-person crew ABC’s Amy Walter and Yahoo! NewsDavid Chalain had in tow) but went smoothly enough.

The actual screening was like an oversold flight. More tickets than seats were handed out and many attendees were left standing.

“Veep” officially premiers April 22.

Notables:

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Dana Bash (sans John King); Politico‘s Jonathan Martin; Mother Jones‘ (and alleged public tantrum thrower) David Corn; New York magazine’s Frank Rich; HOH’s Warren Rojas; MPAA Director Chris Dodd; The Hill‘s Judy Kurtz (aka Howeesha); The Washington Examiner‘s Nikki Schwab and Jenny Rogers; Glittarazzi‘s Ali Lewis and Greg Blakey.

Quotable:

“They just want him to get off.”– An apparently perturbed videographer remarking on the news that George Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder.

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