We have something of a thespian in our midst.
Washington Managing Editor for The Hill Bob Cusack has been quietly filming segments for HBO’s Veep. He’s had to keep the whole thing under wraps because he had to sign a contract agreeing to not reveal anything regarding the plot or his character. The episode with Cusack airs Sunday night. Considering the voluminous decibel level of Bob’s voice, we can only assume his role involves a loud human being who occasionally loses his temper. He also purchases his ties off the street next to the hot dog stand. So maybe they helped him out on that front. We caught up with him to dig out what we could without him getting into hot water.
Come on, would you want Julia Louis-Dreyfus mad at you?
How did you land a part in the first place? Can other Washingtonians do this?
In the fall of 2012, I was called to audition for a speaking role. I didn’t get that one, but a year later, the casting agent called and said they wanted me to portray another character. Needless to say, I was a quite excited though it crossed my mind that someone was playing a prank on me. Most Washingtonians can’t do this and here’s why: Show business is a bit of a Catch 22. You have to be in Screen Actors Guild to land a major part, but you (generally speaking) can’t get into S.A.G. unless you land a major role. Prior to “Veep,” my biggest role was being in a diapers commercial when I was a baby. That got me into S.A.G. In between diapers and “Veep,” I was an extra in about 30 commercials and feature films. You can spot me in about five, including “Clear and Present Danger.”
Where did the filming take place?
In Columbia, Md.
What do you think of those semi-nude photos of Julia going around? Are they real?
I believe so. But for the record, I wasn’t involved in any nude scenes.
On a scale of 1 to 10 is this the highlight of your week or year or how does this stack up?
A 12 for both.
What’s it like to work with Julia?
Amazing, and I’m not just saying that. She is such a talented actress and it was quite an experience to see her incredible facial expressions up close. The whole cast and crew were very friendly, including actors Matt Walsh and Tony Hale and director Becky Martin and executive producer Armand Iannucci. What was most impressive? They came up and introduced themselves to me.
Do you like the role they gave you? (Share as much as you can…)
This is a tough one to answer because I’m sworn to secrecy. I can say the role I have is very political and controversial.
Are you excited for people to see it or nervous or both?
Definitely both. Acting is much different than talking about politics on television. But having experience in front of the TV camera helped me on “Veep.” I haven’t seen the episode and won’t until Sunday. I am especially interested in how it was edited and which takes they used.
Will you appear in future shows?
It’s possible this character could return.
Was it difficult memorizing your lines? Did you practice?
I was on the set for three days and they gave me more than enough time to memorize my lines in the scenes. I have to admit that during one rehearsal, I blanked on my lines. But when the cameras were rolling, I remembered them.
(Full disclosure: Bob is a former editor of mine. So I know first hand how far his voice can project.)