Anna Chlumsky landed Emmy nominations for her supporting role in the HBO comedy “Veep” for the last two seasons, and it only took one scene in Episode 5 this year to make her a strong contender for a third. In a season bursting with great moments, Chlumsky’s epic takedown of Julia Louis-Dreyfus‘ Selina Meyer stands out as one of the greatest.
“You are the worst thing to happen to this country since food in buckets — and maybe slavery” was only one of the lines in the scene, which came when Chlumsky’s chief of staff, Amy Brookheimer, found herself being pushed out of Meyer’s inner circle, and quit in a hysterical rant that laid her bosses’ shortcomings bare.
Amy spent the rest of the season as a lobbyist, though a reconciliation in the season finale suggests she’ll be back on Team Selina come Season 5. She spoke to TheWrap about that scene, and about the prospect of facing an upcoming season without the show’s departing creator, Armando Ianucci.
TheWrap: What was the toughest thing you had to do this season?
Anna Chlumsky: Being in the car in the finale was kind of tough. Just because I don’t think Amy would have done that in front of [presidential assistant] Sue in previous years. I had to really get into that place and realize where she was at in her mindset to justify the fact that she was singing along to the election in front of Sue.
What was the most fun thing you got to do this season?
Episode 5 was super, super fun. Cause gosh, it was so high-pressure, and it was just fun to let it go. They had warned me that there would be some kind of a standoff coming, so I was kind of expecting it. But when I got the script, I was so excited and grateful and absolutely jazzed to be able to do that.
Let’s assume that somebody has never seen your show. What would you say to persuade them to watch it?
If you’re smart and you want to laugh, you should watch the show. That’s enough for me.
I guess we have to disqualify Julia because she’s already won a bunch, but who else on your show really deserves an Emmy, and why?
Oh god. The honest answer is, I do believe everyone deserves one. It’s such an ensemble show. Yes, definitely Julia and Tony [Hale]. But, oh gosh, I think Tim Simons’ job is always very award-worthy. ‘Cause they give him some really difficult things to tackle, and he plays it as such a real human being, yet a completely despicable human being.
But it’s hard to single people out, because then I could go to Matt [Walsh], who is just brilliant. He’s funny because you believe him. And then there’s Kevin Dunn, the most relaxed and effortless performance. It’s a nice problem to have, that I can’t single anybody out.
If you could add any new category to the Emmys, serious or silly, what would it be?
Now that we just had that last conversation, I feel that best ensemble would be a nice category to have.
Are you a binge watcher, or a once-a-weeker? And what have you binged on lately?
“Orphan Black.” If its binge-able, I will binge it. I can only watch a certain amount of hours at night, so I try to get through things as quickly as possible. Some of the stuff I watch now, we’re back in the serial mode. But I do like binging.
This is probably an easy question for you this year: If you’re nominated, which episode would you submit to the Emmys, and why?
Yeah, it’ll be Episode 5, the speech. It’s the climax of Amy’s arc, and it shows Amy at her most naked, I think. I think that’s worth it.
I’ve also got couple of bonus questions. What do you think shooting the show will be like without Armando?
A big change. But we have three of the same writers, which is a blessing. It’ll be a new setting, new leadership. I don’t know if I have a great idea of how it will be, but it feels like it’ll be really fun. Everyone in the writers’ room, they’re just having a blast. So if they’re having this much fun, this is only a good sign that we’re gonna have good stuff to play.
For much of the season I found myself thinking that Amy and Selina belong together, and that Selina belongs back in the vice president’s office. Am I jumping the gun to think we might see both those things next season?
We would both be jumping the gun, because I have no idea what’s to come. The writers are good at not letting us know anything until we get in to start workshopping it.
So I have no idea. I mean, I would never have considered she would even be president, considering the title of the show.