There are few stars - men or women - who have experienced the level of fame and fortune on television as Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Best known for her work of Seinfeld, she also has served as a cast member of Saturday Night Live and starred on her own series, The New Adventures of Old Christine, for five years.
Now she leads Veep, an HBO series in which she plays the Vice President of the United States, Selina Meyer. Meyer is a real peach of a woman, a nasty piece of work who the actress describes as an "asshole".
"Yeah, she's kind of an asshole," she said. "And I think that comes to me naturally. I didn't say to myself, 'I'm going to play an asshole,' because you can't start there. That wasn't the intention. But she's extremely driven, extremely vain, narcissistic and all of that stuff gets in front of her good intentions, which are somewhere down there. Deep, deep down. She doesn't mean to do the wrong things. It's a dog-eat-dog world and she feels that. I'm not going to say she's a victim -- she's not -- but she's definitely reacting to a political universe she's been a part of for twenty-something years."
Joining the program this year is Gary Cole, playing a nemesis to Meyers.
"Oh, what a nice guy he is! Both Gary and Kevin [Dunn], I've known them for years and years, so it was a complete treat to work with both of them all season long. Gary Cole plays a senior strategist to (president of the United States), this sort of Dick Morris, James Carville type. He's without emotion and is just a numbers guy. That's all he does. It's really fun, he did it brilliantly," Louis-Dreyfus said.
While the show paints politics in a negative light, the actress does not shame its cynicism.
"No, I'm not. I'm a hopeful person. Our intention is not to skewer politics so that people lose hope or something -- our intention is to make a funny show," she said. "Irony and sarcasm are of course a part of that ... If we were depicting an earnest place where people were trying their absolute best to do the absolute right thing all the time -- believe me, I know for a fact that those people exist in Washington -- I'm not sure how funny that would be. So, I think that's probably why you don't need a lot of characters quite like that in the show. But I do believe those people are all over the place in Washington. I have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for what they do. It's a huge sacrifice and service that those people do."
The series returns tonight at 10 p.m. to begin its second season.