Catch more in the full episode of Entertainment Weekly: The Show, available now on the new People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the free app on your Smart TV, mobile and web devices.
It’s getting harder and harder to parody politics. Just ask Tony Hale, who stars alongside Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus on HBO’s satirical Veep.
The actor discussed the political discourse in Washington, D.C., at the moment during a visit to Entertainment Weekly: The Show. “The crazy thing about what’s happening in politics now is that people are saying… a person is saying stuff in the media that, if Veep had written a character like that years ago I think HBO would’ve been like, ‘Nah, it’s too broad. No one’s gonna believe that someone would actually say that or do that in the press,’ and then some of that has been happening, so it’s a little crazy,” he said.
It’s unclear whether he was referring to Kellyanne Conway, whose comments continue to raise eyebrows (and eye rolls) during television appearances. Perhaps White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who The Washington Post reported “spent several minutes hidden in the darkness and among the bushes” before addressing the press after Trump fired F.B.I. director James Comey. Perhaps he’s referring to someone else entirely. That’s the essence of Veep.
“One thing I think we pride ourselves on Veep is that you never know which party [Dreyfus’ Selina Meyer is] in,” Hale explained. “And so, there’s fans of the show that are in each party, but each party thinks it’s about the other party. So, it’s crazy, but I think everybody can somehow — especially people in D.C. — can kind of relate to the show ‘cause it kind of shows maybe a behind-the-scenes look of what’s really going on.”
In April, Veep showrunner David Mandel commented on the problems with spoofing the Trump administration in light of Spicer’s Hitler comments being made into Veep-inspired memes.
“It does raise the stakes. I think what helps us, though — because believe me, our guys are as incompetent as ever — but what helps is that we went down this path of leaving the White House,” he told EW. “The surroundings have changed so that Mike McLintock [Selina’s former press secretary, played by Matt Walsh] can be as incompetent as ever, but he’s not being incompetent behind the official White House podium — so it doesn’t look exactly like what’s going on on television now.”
Watch more of Hale in the clip above.