- Last Updated: 12:17 AM, April 9, 2012
- Posted: 12:17 AM, April 9, 2012
Every new TV Guide features Julia Louis-Dreyfus starring in yet another hit show. “SNL,” “Seinfeld,” that new old Christine Adventures thing, now she’s a USA VP on HBO’s series “Veep,” which premieres the 22nd.
“It’s true,” she laughs. “On the street people call out, ‘Hi, Elaine’ or ‘Hey, Christine’ or think I’m someone from ‘Friends.’
“For this new show, I did considerable research. I met with chiefs of staff, senators, schedulers, speechwriters, VIP ladies to get the real feel of the grittiness. To protect their privacy, I’m not mentioning names. And no one’s being parodied. We created this character of Sen. Selena Meyer.
“We shot in Maryland, a friendly state for filming. With proximity to DC, many Baltimore exteriors look like DC. Also, I’ve lived in the area from age 8 on. One warehouse used as a sound stage almost doubled as Eisenhower’s old building.
“Lots of comedy playing someone who’s powerful but who’s without lots of power and who’s juggling public schedules, home life, political fires, plus having to defend the president while trying to improve their dysfunctional relationship.
“We rehearsed six months before filming. We actually added improv. Our great writer Armando Iannucci is comfortable with this style and discarded written material occasionally in favor of loosening up, so in this way people were talking freely over one another. Like one cursing swearing moment when I’m screaming at my chief of staff. From my Chicago theater days experience, I’m comfortable using improv.
“Working 14-hour days is hard, but with a support system in place I flew home to LA, my husband and children, weekends. The producers were generous in helping me so I could see my family. It’s easier on location when you have all the time to wrap yourself in work. My one day off I went back to the set because I didn’t know what else to do.
“Also, it’s only eight shows. No way I could do this for 22 episodes. If we’re picked up, then we’ll probably do another eight. On ‘Seinfeld,’ I at least got to go home at night.”
And what’s she do for survival or to reward herself after it’s all done?
“Chocolate. And I go running. But really it’s chocolate, chocolate, chocolate.”
ICELAND’s First Lady Dorrit Moussaieff taped a Martha Stewart TV segment to talk about “A Mother’s Courage,” a new book with which she’s involved. It deals with an autistic boy, and Kate Winslet narrates it. Dorritt was to ride onto the set on an Icelandic horse. Icelandic steeds rate tops in the world. I’ve reported that. But I reported that before the actual taping. I now tell you about the taping.
They had to stop and do a retake. Iceland is famous for ducks. Ducks are famous for eiderdown. This wife of --lafur Ragnar, Iceland’s president, had tucked it under her saddle. On account of loose feathers kept fluffing out from under her behind, the audience started laughing. The laughing frightened her horse. Result? The first lady’s mount “suddenly made a spectacularly large poo on the set in full view of the people and the cameras.”
SATURDAY. Camp Pendleton, Calif. US Marine base. A military ceremony. Front-paged Corporal Megan Leavey formally adopting her adored beloved partner in combat Sergeant Rex. Marines plus their highly trained canine unit members all standing in formation for this heroic German shepherd.
Artillery rumbles. Blue skies. White puffs overhead from military exercises. Dogs at regal attention in salute to their fellow four-legged Marine, who’d done four tours in Iraq, saved his handler’s life by stepping on an IED and suffered injuries that now slow him. New Yorker Megan wiped tears when, finalizing the transfer, her commander put Rex’s leash in her palm. The crowd applauded.
Easter, no longer in a kennel, Sergeant Rex lounged on his luxurious overstuffed doggy bed in the Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel. Staffers lined up to greet him as he entered the hotel. Corporal Megan and Sergeant Rex, both Purple Heart recipients, then walked along California’s surf. The Power Above, the sun setting behind them, was blessing both heroic Americans.
ADVICE to one political candidate about another: “Do not argue with an idiot. He’ll drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.”
A KITCHEN appliance was due for its year’s maintenance checkup. The Service Dep’t said there’s a $200 service charge. Told, “Why? Nothing’s wrong with it. It’s just the year checkup under the warranty. Why are you charging?” Whispered the nice lady: “Make something up.” Mumbled the owner: “Well . . . OK . . . the thing makes a grinding noise.” Replied the lady: “Good enough. No charge.”
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