As Emmy season continues — final voting runs through Aug. 29 — Yahoo TV will be spotlighting performances, writing, and other contributions that we feel deserve recognition.
Season Five of Veep has been a roller coaster of anger, insult and emotion. Selina Meyer’s last ditch effort to retain a spot in the White House — even if it meant she would have to eat crow and return to the vice presidency — often resembled a slapstick version of Hitler in the bunker at the end of the war. And like the leader of the Third Reich, President Meyer was going to take everyone down with her.
Naturally, these high-stake hilarities netted the series, crew and actors twelve nominations for the 2016 Primetime Emmy Awards, including a fourth Supporting Actor nod for Tony Hale’s performance as Gary Walsh, the bag man and floor mat to Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s President Meyer. Hale’s ability to hold back and be seen, but not heard amongst a cast that is constantly running their filthy mouths is a feat in and of itself, but his character, Walsh, was finally given the opportunity to unleash his true feelings that he’d kept hidden for years. The passion with which Gary spits out “You f—ers” reveals the full force of his anger at Meyer’s team of buffoons, who have consistently ridiculed Gary despite their own mistakes and flaws.
Gary Walsh “worships the ground [Selina Meyer] walks on, and when she doesn’t become president, not only does she lose what she’s been going for, Gary feels like he’s losing his identity,” Hale says. Meyer’s staffers “don’t realize the diamond before them that they could easily give to the nation. In reality, she’s an awful human being; in Gary’s world, she’s Jesus.” Hale let us into the process of rehearsals that the showrunners afford the Veep actors to nail down scenes like this. And clearly, they have paid off as Hale, Louis-Dreyfus, Matt Walsh, Anna Chlumsky, and Martin Mull were all nominated for acting awards this year.
Tony Hale: Who is the Donald Trump of ‘Veep’?
Donald Trump has changed the nation and the nature of politics, and this has to be inspiring, or at least befuddling, the Veep writers as they go into another season of the HBO series. We asked Hale about who he believed was the closest in personality to the divisive GOP presidential nominee, and without even taking a beat, he answered the former White House liaison turned New Hampshire congressman, Jonah Ryan.
Jonah “has those elements of a clinical narcissist. It’s like child behavior and childlike reactions.” Ryan, who is expertly played by the lanky Timothy Simons, bum-rushing a focus group tasked with evaluating his image definitely brings to mind Trump and his thin-skinned responses to any sort of criticism about him.
The 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards will air Sunday, Sept. 18, on ABC.