The Deadline Team contributor Christy Grosz snagged an interview with everyone's My Girl, Anna Chlumsky, earlier this month. In "EMMYS Q&A: Anna Chlumsky Of ‘Veep’ On Playing It Straight," the actress discusses HBO's Veep, last year's Emmy nomination and what's it's like to be choosy on roles for the first time in a while.
It's been 23 years since Howard Zieff's My Girl hit the theaters and broke the hearts of America in a story of friendship, loss, and rebuilding. Everyone remembers sensitive Thomas J. (Macaulay Culkin) and his childhood love for tomboy Vada Sultenfuss.
Bees never look quite looked the same.
And Chlumsky won the hearts of America with her skill at acting out such rough, hard scenes dealing with a parent (Dan Aykroyd) moving on from her mother’s death years before and finding a new love (Jamie Lee Curtis).
As a teen and adult, she's consistently worked on television and movies.
Of course, one the biggest boons for the Cupid actor’s career was the opportunity to work on In The Loop (2009) with Armando Iannucci. Loop is a satirical black comedy about American and British governments considering war in the Middle East and a spin-off of Iannucci's highly successful BBC series The Thick of It.
In the film, Chlumsky plays Liza Weld, assistant to U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomacy Karen Clarke. The two women figure out a plot for war and battle the political field to stop war. You can guess the ending.
And you may have heard of the Minister of International Development's enforcer: Peter Capaldi premieres as the 12th Doctor this August.
Working with Iannucci was a lucky break since he's running HBO’s Veep. In the comedy, she plays Vice President Selina Meyer’s chief of staff Amy Brookheimer. Meyer’s portrayed by Seinfeld alum Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
How does she see Brookheimer? “I always find Amy to be more of the straight man” so the Emmy nomination was a welcome, well-timed surprise. “It came at a really nice time in my life because I had just had (my daughter) Penny, and it was my first week with her. To get that encouragement from my industry, it really couldn’t have come at a better time.”
Has the experience changed her career? She says “I’m a little pickier,” which is a good thing for time “but we’ll see what the wallet thinks.”
Of course, she also notes there’s another bonus. “When I go on an audition, I don’t feel like they’re testing my abilities as much as they’re just seeing if it’s a fit.”
Keeping a spiral notebook helps remember the story and character layers in Veep, even if fellow actors mock the idea. “Every season begins and I go back to those notes and embody who I’ve discovered her to be throughout these years.”
Cliff Notes aren’t just for high school.
At 33, Chlumsky’s just catching her career stride. Hollywood definitely better take more notes. Maybe she’ll lend them a notebook.