For seven glorious seasons, HBO’s Veep has turned political ambition and human frailty into comedy gold. And it’s provided some of the most brilliant performances ever on television, including the scene-stealing work of actor Tony Hale, who plays the long-suffering Gary Walsh.
Hale has been nominated for an Emmy six times for his work on Veep, won twice, and this weekend stands win a third time at the 71st Emmy Awards.
On screen, Hale’s character is single-mindedly, pathologically devoted to President Selina Meyer (played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus). “I always describe him as kind of a dog returning to its vomit,” he told Yahoo Finance’s Jen Rogers, laughing. “He gets abused and he's like, ‘Let's get abused again!’”
Off screen, Hale is incredibly self-reflective, the antithesis of Gary. He has given a lot of thought to the Veep characters and to the larger meaning of the series itself. “I got kind of intense sometimes with the morality of it,” Hale said. “But then we joke about it.”
Hale says the most chilling lessons come from the fictional POTUS: “There's something about the show where, here's a woman who is so awful, and she's in a high position. She's backstabbing, she's bitter, she's trying to get ahead. It's all about her,” he said. “But at the end of the show, she has a life of isolation. That's the end result. And I say the lesson that I think from Veep is... if you want to sow a life where you sow all these seeds of bitterness and narcissism and stuff, you're going to reap isolation. That's going to happen.”
This interview was conducted for My Three Cents with Jen Rogers, a weekly interview series that explores celebrities’ history with — and relationship to — money and career. Find it exclusively on Yahoo Finance.