‘Veep’ Season 4 Is Almost Here And ‘It Could Be The Shortest Presidency In History’

Armando Iannucci, series creator of HBO's "Veep," writes deftly about a woman's rise in American politics. Native to Scotland, he had a bit to learn in converting the brand of humor he'd established while working on "The Thick of It," a look at the mechanics of modern British government. And yet, as we enter the fourth season of his show, starring masterfully comedic Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Iannucci delivers one of the most eerily accurate (and funny) versions of Washington to date. HuffPost Entertainment spoke with Iannucci about crafting the bumbling bureaucracy showcased on "Veep" and what to expect in Season 4.



How long did you know you wanted to make Selina Meyer president this past season? You could have played around a bit longer with her aiming for the office.
I think as soon as we started writing Season 3 we knew we were going to end with Selina [played by Louis-Dreyfus] in office. We decided it was finally time to just do it. We thought we could do a lot more with her in the position and decided not to lag through possibilities or leave room for predictions about what might happen. That's where the show was leading, and there's a lot to work with now that we've done it.

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You're a British man writing about a woman in American politics. What knowledge gaps did you confront with that entry point? What have you learned since starting the show?
We learned we needed to make Selina stronger. This is a woman who has run for and won a position in the senate. That has to come from somewhere. She has to have some foundation of wit and cunning based on that, if nothing else. So, we've added a bit to the character in that regard. She couldn't just be a bumbling idiot.

She definitely developed more of a cynicism toward the end of Season 1 and beginning of 2. She is less incompetent than she was earlier on.
Right. That's why you hear all these senators and people in office saying they had to talk to their families before they made the decision to run. It's a serious decision. It's a lot. They go for everything. Everything you've ever said, every video you've ever been in comes up. It takes a lot out of you and you have to have a certain disposition to handle it. There's also a lot for her to skewer with that mindset of being cynical about incompetence rather than just being incompetent.

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In that regard, obviously a huge part of the show is the insults. What's your recipe for crafting them? I know you've said they need to be "of the moment." How do you make sure that's the case with each jab?
Well, since we know what's going to happen, we work a lot with dealing in the situation. We bring in the cast for readings and that's where a lot of the changes to the script get made. I said to them, you know, "You've been living with these characters for several years. What is your worst fear as the character? What is the worst thing that could happen to them?" Much of that has made it into the script. Gary not having use of his arm, for example. That was his worst nightmare.

Is that usually part of your writing process or is it just something you thought was a good fit for this cast?
This is the first time I've done that, talked to the cast in advance of the show. It was an interesting process for everyone, because it made everyone really think hard about the character. I also worked for that season to make sure the characters were out of their comfort zone. You know, Selina, had to come up with a view on birth control, whereas in the past it's been okay for her to not say anything. I wanted her to be put slightly on edge this season.

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You know, often comedies are either praised for the acting or the writing. Here it's a clear mix of both. Not to take anything away from your writing, of course --
Oh no, that's great! We do so much work with the scripts. You know, rewriting, rewriting, rewriting, in order to arrive at something that's happening spontaneously in front of the cameras.

They all handle the material with such levity, though often the scripts are quite intense. I imagine that's not quite as easy as you all make it look.
It's that Gene Kelly thing. If it looks like you're working hard, then you're not working hard enough. Everyone in this cast are such talented character performers, with such a comedic sensibility as constant improvisors, that actually the more we get to know them as writers, the more we can write specifically for them. You know, the more more we're thinking, "Let's give Amy this, because we know Anna will have a great time doing that. Let's do this for Mike, because we know that Matt can really pull something out of the bag at this point." They're sort of testing us and we're sort of testing them simultaneously, which is great. It's the sort of thing you should be doing by the third season.

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Now, you've built this one version of Washington that sort of sits with other, much more foreboding, dramatic versions in pop culture. How do you think of your D.C. in conversation with the universe we see in, say, "House of Cards?"
I always thought you've always got the dark conspiracy view of Washington or the very noble, heroic version -- you know, the president leads the air force through an alien invasion type of thing. And I felt I wanted that dull, day-to-day existence of what D.C. is actually like, and get the vulnerabilities of these people, and trying not to treat them as black and white, but as very varied, fallible people. So, there's a sort of humanity there and, hopefully, a believability. Out of that, that's where the comedy comes from.

It's this vision that is certainly not how we hope to see the government, but something far closer to what it actually is.
I think so. And I think that's what people who work with me say about the show. It's a comedy, but it's kind of accurate.

And I know you're supposed to focus on Season 3 here, but what can you tell me about 4?
Well, she's president, but she's behind in the polls, and there are only eight months to go before the actual election. It could be the shortest presidency in history. But we see her on the world's stage. There's a visit from the Israelis, there's a trip to Iran. And then there's some new major figures in her horizon as the election comes near.

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This interview has been edited and condensed.

"Veep: The Complete Third Season" is available March 31 on Blu-ray and DVD; Season 4 premieres April 12 on HBO.
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David Beckham, James Corden Strip Down For Sultry (Fake) Underwear Line Ad

Everyone who's anyone is modeling underwear right now -- even "Late Late Show" host James Corden, who somehow persuaded soccer superstar David Beckham to join him in an over-the-top underwear commercial of his own.

The minute-long black-and-white ad features Corden and Beckham striking poses in their new "D&J Briefs." The fictional underwear line is made "for a man with a great body," says Corden, "and David Beckham."

The segment builds on a delightfully long bromance friendship between the two. In 2010, Beckham joined Corden for a lovely day of hair-styling, flower arranging, snuggling and sharing a bath together -- then produced a video of the activities to help raise money for charity.
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‘Game Of Thrones’ Actress Nathalie Emmanuel Sizzles In GQ

Winter may be coming on "Game of Thrones," but not for actress Nathalie Emmanuel, who dons a nude bodysuit in the April issue of GQ.

Emmanuel is best known as Missandei on the HBO series, the translator and advisor to Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke). The 26-year-old English actress was upped to a series regular on "Game of Thrones" this season, so you'll be seeing a lot more of her. Emmanuel, who made our Best Dressed list last week, is also making her major big screen debut this year in "Furious 7."

nathalie emmanuel

During her GQ photo shoot, Emmanuel shared some dating tips for women. "Don't date a guy who's intimidated by your power," she said. "You need someone who is going to encourage you to exercise that and to blossom and grow."

Watch the video below where Emmanuel also reveals which "Game of Thrones" character Missandei would date:



Check out more of Emmanuel's photo shoot and interview on GQ.com.
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Kylie Jenner Documents Her Life In A Bikini

Kylie Jenner grew up on camera and sometimes it seems there isn't a single moment in her life she doesn't want to document for fans.

On Sunday, the 17-year-old spent time with her older sister Kourtney Kardashian's boyfriend Scott Disick, enjoying a "pool day" and soaking up some rays in a tiny black bikini.

Jenner, of course, shared some photos of herself in said tiny bikini, because if you don't post something to Instagram, what's even the point?

thanks @goldteethgod for the necklace of my G wagon

A photo posted by Kylizzle (@kyliejenner) on




Ok I'm done

A photo posted by Kylizzle (@kyliejenner) on




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Watch Evan Rachel Wood Break Down Gender Stereotypes And Get Stoned With Grandmas

Is there anything Evan Rachel Wood wouldn't do? Apparently not.

In a new video produced for Willdfang, a tomboy-style clothing line, Evan Rachel Wood becomes #EvanRachelWould and says yes to every adventure she comes across. Her awesome escapades include:

Attending a book reading with Sonic Youth front woman Kim Gordon...
book reading

Participating in a mascot training camp...
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Smoking weed with a few badass grandmas...
grandmas

And singing with Beth Ditto in a karaoke bar where they come up with the perfect name for a band: The Lady Balls.
beth ditto

Wood also volunteers to direct a children's production of "Romeo And Juliet," where she oversees some tykes breaking down gender-based dress codes. When a young Romeo asks why Juliet isn't wearing a dress, mini Juliet -- who is wearing overalls -- replies: “Conventional femininity is a choice, not a mandate. Gender dress codes are social constructs that we all have a right to challenge."

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Preach, tiny Juliet.



Watch the full video above to see more of #EvanRachelWould's fearless adventures.
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Fifth Harmony Prove They’re ‘Worth It’ In Feminist New Video

In case you forgot about Fifth Harmony's "BO$$" status they established last year, here's a fierce reminder.

The girl group premiered their feminist video for “Worth It” featuring Kid Ink on the orange carpet of the Kids’ Choice Awards this past weekend, where they won Best New Artist. In the vid, Harmonizers get to see each of the girls in charge of some male employees in between shots of them dancing in front of a stock market ticker. As they show off their moves, messages like “women in power” and “feminism is sexy" scroll behind them emphasizing the video's message even more.

Talk about some major girl power.

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Angelina Jolie Gives Powerful Speech At Kids’ Choice Awards: ‘Different Is Good’

Angelina Jolie's speech at this year's Kids' Choice Awards had a simple, yet inspiring message.

The actress, making her first public appearance since writing a powerful op-ed about her decision to remove her ovaries, took the stage Saturday night where she accepted the award for Favorite Movie Villain for her role in "Maleficent." Speaking to the young audience, Jolie talked about feeling "out of place" growing up.

"I want to say when I was little, like Maleficent, I was told that I was different -- and I felt out of place, and too loud, too full of fire, never good at sitting still, never good at fitting in. And then one day I realized something, something I hope you all realize. Different is good."


Jolie, who brought daughters Zahara and Shiloh to the ceremony, also had an important reminder for the audience: "Cause a little trouble. It’s good for you.”

angelina jolie kids choice awards



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Henry Winkler Has A New Motto — And It’s Incredibly Inspiring (VIDEO)

Henry Winkler may be best known for his role as Arthur "The Fonz" Fonzarelli in the '70s sitcom "Happy Days," but the actor completely reinvented himself after discovering late in life that he had an undiagnosed case of dyslexia. He has since become an author of the beloved Hank Zipzer children's books, a series about a dyslexic boy and his adventures in grade school.

Winkler, who has said he never read a book until he was in his 30s because of his learning disability, says his new career is nothing short of amazing. "First of all, I'm amazed that I am a member of a team with Lin Oliver writing books in the first place," he tells #OWNSHOW. "Because remember, what I excelled at in school, really, was going home. I was great at lunch. But I mean, nothing in between. So to be writing in the first place, amazing. To be writing a character I understand very well, I think that's the only thing I could do."

Helping kids with dyslexia and other learning disabilities become excited about reading has been a truly rewarding experience for him. "To have kids write us and say, 'How did you know me so well?' To have parents write and say, 'Hey, you know, I walked by my kid's room and heard them laughing because they're reading a book for the first time, because they're reluctant readers.'"

As a writer, Winkler is now doing something in life that he never thought possible. That experience and shift in self-identity has given him a new mantra in life. "I used to say, 'I live by two words alone: Tenacity and gratitude,'" he says.

In the last month, Winkler says he's formed a new motto. "I'm gonna try."

"I tell every child that will listen, 'If it's in your mind, you can do it. You have to try,'" Winkler says. "Except you don't say that when it involves drugs," he jokes.

Winkler gives another example of how his newfound willingness to try has opened up new doors for him. "For years, I said 'No, I won't fly fish. I can't. The equipment, the technique; it's too complicated for me. I have a learning challenge, I can't do it. And I refused."

When he finally gave in and tried, Winkler was hooked. "But If I didn't say, "I know you think you can't do it, but you gotta try,' I would not be enjoying something that gives me such pleasure," he says.

More from Oprah.com's "Who Am I" series: Judi Dench on the unexpected result of never giving up.



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Pregnant Zooey Deschanel Misses Wine, Soft Cheese And Sushi

Mom-to-be Zooey Deschanel talked about pregnancy life on Thursday night's episode of "Jimmy Kimmel Live." The actress and her fiancé, producer Jacob Pechenik, announced in January that they were expecting their first child together.

Like Kimmel and his wife, Deschanel and Pechenik decided not to learn the sex of the baby, and the actress said her inclination about whether the baby is a boy or a girl goes "back and forth." The timing of Deschanel's pregnancy is particularly exciting because her older sister Emily Deschanel is also expecting.

Though Zooey Deschanel is no longer a vegan, she said Emily still follows a vegan diet, which led the TV host to pose an interesting question -- is breastfeeding part of a vegan diet? "It's an animal product," he said. While Deschanel couldn't provide a sure answer, she said it's hard enough keeping up with her non-vegan pregnancy diet. "You can't eat so many things when you're pregnant!" she said, adding that she misses soft cheeses, sushi, full cups of coffee, and wine.

"And you know what, your child won't appreciate it at all," Kimmel pointed out, adding, "I went months without getting hammered for you!"



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Khloe Kardashian’s Go-To Beauty Hack Is Not What You’d Expect

Khloé Kardashian is often referred to as the most well-liked member of her mega-famous family. She is hilarious, candid and isn't afraid to poke fun at the fam. Despite all of that, she still bears the Kardashian name, so the apple doesn't fall that far from the tree.

Kardashian chatted with Into The Gloss about her intense beauty routine, which includes favorite brands like Tom Ford and Kiehl's; an extensive collection of nude lip pencils; and a deep appreciation for dry shampoo.

The newly blonde bombshell also revealed the unconventional way she keeps her neck firm -- with a line of pregnancy products called Mama Mio, which was introduced to her by sister, Kourtney.

"I use one of their other products called the Pregnancy Boob Tube every day," she said. "It’s got avocado oil and shea butter so when your boobs are growing you don’t get stretch marks. I like it though, because it tightens your neck, too. I’ve been using it everyday for a year. Now people always ask me, 'Why do you have this?' Hinting as if I’m trying to have a baby, and I’m like, 'No, no. It’s just because I fuckin' like it.'"

Head to Into The Gloss to read the entire interview.
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