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|Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:50 am Post subject: Veep is not an American Thick Of It
|Armando Iannucci on transatlantic differences
|Armando Iannucci says his American political satire Veep is far removed from The Thick Of It.
He said the different sensibilities between Whitehall and the White House, meant the dynamic of the HBO show about fictional vice-president Selina Meyer – played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus – was different from the British equivalent.
‘The joke in The Thick Of It is that they don’t know what to do, so Malcolm Tucker bullies them,’ he said. ‘But the joke in Veep is that she used to be quite powerful in the Senate – and now, although she’s technically the second most powerful person on earth, but she doesn’t quite know what to do. She has to wait for the President to tell her.
‘Al Gore’s chief of staff told me that America is all about coming first. Being vice-president is like wearing a badge saying that you are second best. Everyone knows it, but no one says anything to you, because you could become President.’
He added that there was a lot more pomp surrounding the US vice-president compared to the British politicians from The Thick Of It.
‘When the vice president steps outside, she does so with 15 bodyguards and a motorcade, so already the scale is different,’ he said.
‘With this we had a bigger kit to play with… we reconstructed the entire vice-presidential suite in this warehouse in Baltimore. But the lesson you learn is to concentrate on being funny. You can spend many hours wondering about camera shots and lighting, but the more intimate it gets, the funnier it is.’
He also said he was grateful to have finally made what a successful show in America after some earlier attempts to cross the Atlantic had failed – and praised HBO network executives for their hands off approach.
‘I made a couple of mistakes earlier,’ he said. ‘Too many committees, too many people who were vice-president of whatever interfering.’
Veep has been snapped up by Sky Atlantic in Britain, to air as part of its new comedy line-up.
Chortle News Bot