Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the undisputed star of Veep, the forthcoming HBO comedy written by British comic Armando Iannucci. The comedy tells the tale of a fictional U.S. vice presidential candidate (named Selina Mayer and played by Louis-Dreyfus) and the series is scheduled to premiere on Hbo on Sunday (April 22, 2012) after a successful pilot last year.
Julia spoke to Usa Today about her character and her return to TV comedy, post-Seinfeld. Firstly, Louis-Dreyfus insists that the character is not based on Sarah Palin or Hillary Clinton. "It was never the intention for it to be a parody of any specific female politician. The appeal to me was the comedic possibilities. It's a powerful position, and then it's not a powerful position," said the 51 year-old actress, before continuing. "Inherent in that is great comedy. So that's what appealed to me about it, the idea of being highly ambitious and working so hard to make it and get ahead, and then you achieve the No. 2 spot." The article reveals that Iannucci wanted an actress with charisma as well as someone comfortable with improvising. "Julia knew that Selina had to be likable but also have an element of unlikable," he explains. "She can be harsh and cruel at times."
Of course, Julia has previous form when it comes to TV comedy, as she starred in the classic U.S. series Seinfeld, playing the role of Elaine Benes. She insists that she doesn't mind being asked about Elaine and is grateful for the legacy that has been created by the show. "I don't deny it, but I also don't resent it. It's opened so many doors, and I'm so happy to have been a part of that phenomenon. I'm just so glad I get these chances to keep working.," she concludes.