Creator of “Veep” on how the real and the pretend come together in the hit HBO comedy

Jim Avila, Richard Coolidge, and Jordyn Phelps
Power Players
Creator of “Veep” on how the real and the pretend come together in the hit HBO comedy

Power Players

As the hit comedy show "Veep" draws to the end of its second season this weekend, the show's creator talks about the show's success and says he's tried to strike a balance between truth and fiction.

Executive producer Armando Iannucci tells ABC's Senior National Correspondent Jim Avila that he's gone to great lengths to "get the facts right" and make the show true to life, while also keeping it accessible to audiences outside the Beltway.

"We have researchers who are based in D.C. who will tell us as we write, ‘Well, we wouldn't say this, we refer to it as that,"" Iannucci tells Power Players. "On the other hand, I didn't want people coming to it thinking they have to have a degree in politics to understand it. I just wanted it to feel real. Then we make it all up.”

While the story lines are made up, Iannucci says the tension portrayed between the president and vice president is steeped in reality.

Speaking of the relationship between President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, Iannucci says, “Various members or ex-members of their teams told me, even though they get along really well, there is always that unspoken thought…When they are together, they’re both thinking, 'I know that you think you can do this job better than me.'"

Iannucci says he also tried to make the set look as realistic as possible.

“We built an exact replica of the vice president’s offices, and we built a very true-to-life-set to the West Wing” Iannucci says, going on to recall the cramped quarters of the West Wing.“I remember seeing you know, a desk that was big enough for four people with eight people around it, because people love to say they work in the West Wing.”

As for this Sunday's season finale, Iannucci wouldn't spoil the ending except to say that “there is a bit of a game changer.”

“It’s all about spies and who was spying, and was Congress informed, and why weren't we told sooner, and so we wrote that months and months ago, but it seems to be playing out now for real, in the real world,” he says.

For more of the interview with Iannucci, and to hear why he says he chose to make the vice president a woman, check out this episode of Power Players.

ABC's Eric Wray, Alexandra Dukakis, Serena Marshall, Melissa Young, and David Girard contributed to this episode.