Anna Chlumsky has come a long way since her days as a child actor in the movie My Girl. She says that her hit HBO show Veep is all about collaboration and team effort.
Anna Chlumsky was the cute blonde girl who starred opposite McCauley Culkin in the film My Girl way back in the 90s. Yet today that selfsame little girl has become a beautiful woman and she is playing a role in HBO’s Veep.
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She is the vice president’s chief of staff in the drama series. And she is a solution finder and busy body who tried her best to keep the second in command out of harm’s way.
She is an Emmy winner and also made an appearance in NBC’s Hannibal. Chlumsky admits that she loved the change in routine. It did her good and brought her out of her comfort zone which is a little like flapping your wings for the first time.
Anna Chlumsky describes how she and the costars work things out for the Armando Iannucci's Veep. They read the scripts and then act out the various scenes. Finally the time for improvisation begins.
"We’re unlike any television show that I’ve heard of (because) we actually workshop the episodes first. We all get into a room with the writers and read whatever draft we’ve got of each episode. Then after we read the draft, we get up on our feet and we work out scenes," Chlumsky told Deadline.
"Improv goes into those sessions and the writers are just furiously taking notes. A lot of times that stuff will end up in the production draft and (then) onscreen. So it’s all about collaboration, which is probably the reason why I have vowed that I will follow Armando Iannucci anywhere. It’s just the most delicious way to work."
And five years back, Armando Iannucci also employed the same process for In the Loop. It is a method acting technique that works wonders and is almost like magic in its level of effectiveness.
Her role of Amy on the Veep has undergone several evolutionary (and revolutionary) changes. She has bent like the willow instead of breaking like the oak.
She actually carried a notebook with her when she was playing the role of Amy. And the result was that many of her colleagues smirked and laughed behind her back.
"It’s really served me — with Amy especially — because even for our first season we had to go back and shoot the pilot. I was so grateful that I actually kept the scenes, and I knew what I did," said Chlumsky. "
I definitely have a page that I will refer back to on days that I’m a little bit more tired or a little bit like, “Oh, my gosh. What is she up to? What would she do?” Every season begins and I go back to those notes and embody who I’ve discovered her to be throughout these years."
This habit of her has paid off well since she has gained skillfulness and excellence in the field by taking notes repeatedly. Chlumsky confesses that the dialogue can get a little like rapid and so she has to adapt to it on a short notice.
"I’ve certainly gotten to a point where I’m a little pickier, which may or may not be a good thing. I feel like it’s a good thing, but we’ll see what the wallet thinks," she said.
"People have gotten to see some of what I do, which is what’s so nice. I’m not a stranger now. The big difference with the recognition is that 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. So that’s nice."
As for the roles, she is a little less enthusiastic about them since she doesn’t go for every fad in the marketplace. And she also gave birth to her baby daughter around the same time when she received an Emmy so it came as two pleasant surprises in one.