"Veep" star Julia Louis-Dreyfus got some help from famous friends before taking on her new role on HBO's "Veep" (premiering Sunday, April 22 at 10 p.m. ET).
In a new The New York Times Magazine interview, Louis-Dreyfus, who plays "Veep's" Vice President Selina Meyer, revealed she spoke to Al Gore, various chiefs of staff, speechwriters for vice presidents and fellow "Saturday Night Live" veteran Senator Al Franken about everything -- including whether the Secret Service goes to the bathroom with them.
Besides the probing questions, Louis-Dreyfus also observed hand gestures, especially one gesture only politicians seem to use while giving speeches.
“It's not a fist, and it's not a finger-point," Louis-Dreyfus told NYT Magazine. “You could call it a 'thist.' You make a fist and then you move your thumb on top of the bent fingers, like you're ready to have a thumb fight with someone. It's not a natural human gesture. It tries to straddle both sides, you know? To be powerful, but not aggressive."
In "Veep," Louis-Dreyfus' Selina Meyer is new to the job and quickly learning it's not exactly what she thought it would be. "Veep" comes from the mind of "In The Loop" co-writer Armando Iannucci and also stars Sufe Bradshaw ("Overnight"), Anna Chlumsky ("My Girl"), Tony Hale ("Arrested Development"), Reid Scott ("My Boys"), Tim Simons ("Days Together") and Matt Walsh ("Outsourced").
"I feel like I’ve been preparing for this my whole life,” Louis-Dreyfus said about her new HBO role. “Everything that I’ve done up to this point has helped me in this particular moment."
With two Emmys, multiple series regular roles and a bevy of other TV and film credits, the "Seinfeld" star said her lengthy time in show business helped her prepare. "There is an authority to this character that I feel I have because I've been doing this a long time, " Louis-Dreyfus explained. "There's also an insecurity underneath that authority, and that's something I'm very comfortable with. I don't feel that secure, you know."
"Veep" premieres Sun., April 22 at 10 p.m. on HBO.