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Interview

Emmys 2014: Anna Chlumsky on the ‘Veep’ Finale Stunner

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Emmys 2014: Anna Chlumsky on the ‘Veep’ Finale Stunner
Photo Source: Paul Schiraldi/HBO

Over the course of three seasons, “Veep” fans have learned to love the foul-mouthed, grasping, manipulative employees of the foul-mouthed, manipulative, flailing vice president (played impeccably by Julia Louis-Dreyfus)—but Anna Chlumsky’s Amy has earned a special place in fans’ hearts. Perennially stressed out and stunned into near silence by the male stupidity around her, she’s addicted to the job and incapable of stepping back. And now Chlumsky is Emmy nominated once again, for what is surely the wildest, most unexpected season of “Veep” yet. Warning: Spoilers below!

Were you stunned by the final episode, when Selina becomes the actual President? What did you think when you read the script?
Oh my god. I’ll say this: We didn’t read it. [Armando Iannucci] actually warned us. Our creator warned us first. And we were all pretty stunned. We still are! Even though we know scripts have been written [for Season 4] and we know stuff is gonna happen, none of us know what’s gonna happen. When it aired, I had this kind of like, drop in my gut when it aired the same way I did when we filmed it. Totally stunned, still stunned.

That really speaks to the team behind-the-scenes; not many shows would be brave enough to reboot like this.
And being able to trust that it will be good! I think that if this was going on in the hands of anybody other than Arm, I think we would be even more nervous. But he kind of thrives on putting himself in these situations where it seems impossible but then making it possible. I just know it’s going to be delicious to play. And I can’t wait to find out what happens!

Which episode did you submit for nominations?
I submitted six [“Detroit”]. We figured Amy’s arc of the season is five, six, seven, where she’s trying to be campaign manager but she doesn’t get it. And six, so much happens in that episode and you get to see her in a lot of different situations but you get to see the Amy of sure defeat. She’s always gaming something but in episode six she’s kind of going for the ride and resenting the crap out of everybody and still loyal as can be and probably doesn’t even know why she’s still loyal as can be!

You’ve said before that you were reluctant to return to acting after years away. Has this vindicated that return?
That was vindicated quite a while ago. I think when I got my Equity card and then after that when I got my first pilot and then after that, “In the Loop” and obviously “Veep” is a direct descendant of my being in “In the Loop”—all of those things have convinced me that I’ll eat, that even though we don’t know what the future holds, this is how I make my living. And happy doing so. But with this nomination, it really feels like I’m digging my heels in!

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