Funny Business: Anna Chlumsky Talks VEEP

anna Chlumsky veep Amy Brookheimer

Anna Chlumsky stars on the brilliant HBO comedy, VEEP.  Chlumsky hilariously portrays Amy Brookheimer, the Vice Presidents chief of staff.  I spoke with Chlumsky about how her role will change if Selina wins the presidency, her favorite lines on the show, and where she sees Amy in five years.
 
You’ve won a bunch of young actor awards and starred in blockbuster films as a child.  What did you take with you from those early years of acting and apply them to your career now?
Anna Chlumsky: I think the best thing that I came into my career today with from my childhood experience was being able to deal with rejection better.  I think as a kid, no kid really has the thick skin you need for that kind of a business. You put yourself out there and sometimes you don’t get the role.  I think as an adult I knew that was going to be part of it so I needed to understand how to go into it and not take it personally, because I knew however I felt as a kid wasn’t really gonna serve me as an adult.
 
What did you bring to the character Amy?
The thing about working in a series is I think we all bring plenty to our character as we go.  The difference between a series or play or a screenplay is that it’s ongoing.  So we are always learning, both the writers and the actors are learning more about our characters as we move on.  Whoever Amy was on the page during the Pilot has certainly evolved into a really round being.  As much as she might not even like to admit that she’s anything other than her persona at work, she is.
 
I spoke with your costar Matt (Walsh) a couple of weeks ago and he said sometimes you guys ad lib or pitch an idea in the rehearsal.  Is there anything that you’ve pitched that’s made it to the show?
If I recall I think danteeksi, which was one of the things we played with in the Finland episode.  I remember when we were playing with that and somebody basically Google translated what I’m sorry would be in Finnish and it was anteeksi and so then I was like “oh well danteeksi” and that made it in.  That was kind of a real thrill, it’s not everyday that you can find delicious puns like that, especially inter-language puns. (Laughs)
 
Do you think Amy would ever settle down like Mike?  Would you ever want that to happen for her?
I would never wish her ill and so I of course as myself would want the best for her, of course I would want her to find love. I am skeptical that she is that personable and amicable to do well in a marriage however if she were to marry I think it would be one of delicious calculation where whoever Mr. Army would be; they would certainly see themselves as accomplishing more together than apart.  It would certainly be a marriage of wills and ambition.
 
Will we see Zach Woods’s character again on the show?
He’s coming back!
 
How do you think Amy’s role will change during Selena’s run for Presidency?  How would it change if she won?
Oh my gosh!  So much of that is up to Selena (Julia Louis- Dreyfus) and what kind of a team and cabinet she would want to build were she to win, I think no one is safe in D.C.  I think everyone tries to play their hand the best they can and everybody wants to be a part of that administration, should she win.  I think obviously we’ve seen Amy wants to be the orchestrator of such victory; she wants to run the campaign because she’s arrogant enough to think that she knows best for everyone.  (Laughs)  I think she would certainly would want a position of high power and high strategy, where she to accomplish such a victory for Selina.  She wouldn’t just go away and do the university circuit.
 
You guys recently shot an episode in London a while back; can you tell us anything about that episode?
Yeah, it feels like such a whirlwind because we got there and we still kind of weren’t exactly locked down on what we were filming.  It felt like the merry bandits of crazy people (Laughs) kind of descending upon the well assuming citizens of the UK.  It was a blast!  My birthday fell in that week so we at least were able to share a pint in a proper pub, which was nice.  That was socializing but the rest was all work all the time, which honestly our show work is fun.  It was really a blast to be able to be there again together. I love London!
 
Five years from now where do you see Amy?
Of course none of us know what will come, but if we’re positive then Selina will win and then Amy will certainly be pulling some strings in her strategic team.  I’m not sure if she would be chief of staff just because of her youth and the criticism she would come under for her youth.  To be presidential chief of staff Amy may want to be in some kind of more council position and strategic position, kind of what Kent (Gary Cole) does.  I think she’s putting out fires behind the scenes for Selina and the administration because we’ve got to stay positive and optimistic.
 
You can watch VEEP Sundays at 10:30 on HBO.  And you can follow Anna on twitter at @AnnaChlumsky

Victoria Nelli loves TV so much that she is paying $30,000 a year to learn about it in College. When she’s not learning about TV she enjoys writing about her favorite shows, interviewing anyone in the industry that will let her, and ranting about how underrated Parks and Recreation is. She is very much aware of her Netflix addiction, and no she will not be seeking help anytime soon. You can follow her on Twitter @VictoriaNelli