Paleyfest: D.C. insiders say ‘Veep’ most accurate Washington show

Scary as it may sound, the very not-politics-at-its-finest “Veep” paints an honest picture of life in D.C. “Veep’s” creative talent, speaking at Paleyfest Thursday night, have been startled by how close they are getting it right from the feedback they’ve gotten from Capitol Hill staffers.

“It’s been gratifying to hear people who are watching it say it’s accurate – frightening – but gratifying,” said Armando Iannucci, the show’s executive producer, director and writer. “I’ve been told by Obama’s press office that they’ve just come out of a meeting and there were two Jonahs and three Dans there.” (Played by Timothy Simons and Reid Scott, respectively)

“But the worst piece of feedback we’ll get is when we actually think that we’ve come up with the most ridiculous story… and we do it, and then we get a call from Washington where they’ll ask, ‘How did you find that out?’” Iannucci said.

And maybe even more surreal, there are times when the reverse happens, and Capitol Hill proudly imitates the TV world. Simons, Scott and fellow cast member Matt Walsh were hanging out at a Washington Wizards basketball game with D.C. staffers, when the three actors posed the question, “So what drew you to politics?”

The response: “We got into it growing up and watching ‘The West Wing.’”

The real-life staffers also offered that they also loved “Scandal,” describing it as melodramatic, and “House of Cards” as sinisterly dramatic. “But they said that we all think that ‘Veep’ is the most accurate,” Reid laughed.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who plays title character Selina Meyer, has also had an amusing run-in with real life when she recently met President Bill Clinton at Variety‘s Unite4:Humanity event. The former POTUS said that he loved the show, adding “You know, what’s great about your part (as VP) is that there are no term limits,” she recalled.

That may change, however, at least for her character, as Meyer begins gearing up for a run for the presidency at the start of season three, which premieres April 6 on HBO.

In other fun reveals, the cast talked about who they’d want to see play the show’s president, who has still yet to be seen on the series. Iannucci threw out Arnold Schwarzenegger; recent cast addition Kevin Dunn offered up Gary Busey.

In truth, Iannucci indicated that the president will likely remain hidden for some time. “I like the image we build up around him,” he explained.