Emmy Talk: ‘Veep’ Star Reid Scott on Dan’s New Career and His Worst Audition (for ‘The Sopranos’)

Mandi Bierly
Deputy Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

For years, Dan Egan (Reid Scott) has been one of our favorite movers and shakers on HBO’s Veep, and this season, the relentless D.C. climber is finally getting his due in New York as a co-host of CBS This Morning. “Later seasons of a television show can typically go stale, and you’re trying to figure out what you want to say, and that’s never been the problem with Veep because there’s so much stuff to satirize in the world of politics,” Scott told us when he stopped by Yahoo TV earlier this week for our inaugural 2017 Facebook Live Emmy Talk. “And now that we’ve sort of broken up [the core characters and entered] the world of broadcast journalism, man, you guys are screwed.”

You can watch the full interview above where he answers the most commonly asked questions: Which cast member breaks the most (Tony Hale), who never breaks (Gary Cole), who’s most like his or her character (Cole and Kevin Dunn), etc. But here are a few choice highlights.

His reaction to learning that an Australian politician laughed so hard he choked and knocked himself unconscious while watching the Season 6 premiere sequence in which Dan busts cancer survivor Jonah (Timothy C. Simons) shaving his head for sympathy before goading the freshman congressman into an on-air meltdown: “The fact that we almost killed a guy, that’s so heartwarming. I’ve always wanted to almost kill a member of Australian Parliament. And I feel like now, to break through that glass ceiling, I don’t know what we could do from here.”

His reaction to hearing that Catherine (Sarah Sutherland) and Marjorie (Clea DuVall) would ask Dan to father their child this season: “I remember when they told us the storyline, that Dan was gonna be the sperm donor, I was like, ‘Ohmygod, we’re jumping the shark. This is so bizarre.’ But they’re like, ‘It’s not gonna work.’ That scene [last week, when the doctor informs Dan that his sperm motility is too low to conceive] was so fun because we were directed to keep it really small and really intimate. So my favorite moment — selfishly, of course, because I’m an actor and that’s how we all are — is when [Dan’s] reading the magazine and Marjorie suggests, ‘We could try having sex with the donor,’ and Dan just puts the magazine down and says, ‘Well, that’s interesting.’ And it was so Dan, like [snaps his fingers] that’s what gets him excited — that and the fact that he’s gonna get refunds for all those abortions. [Laughs] He’s terrible. Terrible.”

On whether he thinks Dan and Amy (Anna Chlumsky) will end up together: “They would be the worst couple ever! Why does everyone want that to happen?! [Laughs] The truthful answer is I really don’t know. I know it’s been really fun to play with the history that they’ve had and all the tension that that creates. All I’ll say, ’cause I don’t want to give anything away, is there’s a little something for you [shippers] in this season. So just sit tight.”

The story of his worst audition (which you need to hear, starting at 2:30 left in the video): “It’s still burned into my memory. I want to say I was 23, maybe I was 24. I auditioned for The Sopranos, and I was a huge fan. It would have been to play Meadow’s boyfriend. He comes in at the very end of this one season, and then you see him more in the [next] season. … He’s on a date with Meadow and he gets approached by some of Meadow’s dad’s thugs and he says, ‘What the f*** are you lookin’ at?’ And that was it. That was the only line. So I get brought in, and Georgianne Walken, who is Christopher Walken’s wife, was the casting director, and she was so sweet. She was like, ‘Reid, I really think you got a shot at this. You’re perfect for this part.’ So we tried [the line] a few times. She’s like, ‘That’s great. That’s great. Let’s go into the room.’ So we walk into this room. And it’s this white on white. … White leather couches, white rug, white walls, white mugs, and all the producers of The Sopranos are there and they’re all wearing ties and they’re all looking very dapper, and I’m terrified. Georgianne brings me in and she’s looking all very proud, and she says, ‘Whenever you’re ready.’ I go, ‘What the f*** you lookin’ at?’ And one of the producers goes, ‘Good! Again.’ ‘What the f*** you lookin’ at?’ Another guy is like, ‘Yes! More! Come on. Really bring it.’ ‘What the f*** you lookin’ at? What the f*** you lookin’ at?’ And I swear I must have said it 30 or 40 times, the same line, and then my mind just snapped, and I just went [dramatically points to horizon] ‘Watch out, Radioactive Man!’

(GIF: Yahoo TV)

Which, for anyone who’s a Simpsons fan, you know what I’m talking about. Apparently none of the Sopranos producers are Simpsons fans, ’cause they all gave me a look like…

(GIF: Yahoo TV)

And I look at Georgianne and she’s just shaking her head…

(GIF: Yahoo TV)

She’s livid with me, and I just went [nods], ‘I’ll show myself out.’ Needless to say, I didn’t get the part. I embarrassed myself in front of the producers of my favorite television show. And Christopher Walken’s wife probably hates me now. So, that was a good one.”

How Veep‘s colorful dialogue has seeped into his life: “The profanity has started to affect all of us. And I’m a dad now, too, so my wife and I have a swear jar. I mean, it started off as a joke, and then I was just constantly filling it. My wife isn’t a huge fan of this, but I tried to start a line of credit with the swear jar, so I just put like 50 bucks in it, and I figured now I can say whatever I want for the next six or eight months and should get away with that.”

His favorite insults that have been hurled at Jonah: “Jolly Green J*** Face. … That’s still, collectively, everyone’s favorite. But I just remembered calling Jonah a ‘Terrorist Chicken-F***er.’ I said, ‘We can’t have a terrorist chicken-f***er on our staff.’ There’s just something about the mouthfeel of ‘a terrorist chicken-f***er.’ Everybody at home, try that right now. Wherever you are, stand up, even if you’re at work, it’s fine, it’s fine, I vouch for this. Stand up and as loud as you can say, [shouts] ‘Terrorist Chick-F***er!’ It just feels good.”

His favorite Emmy memory (which is also worth watching him recount, at 4:00 left): “You only get bathroom breaks during the commercial breaks. … and you’ve got to go quick because when they come back from commercial, if you’re not back in your seat they lock you out. That’s where the seat-fillers and stuff come in. At one point, Tim Simons and I had to run to the bathroom. We walk into the bathroom, and it’s Tim and myself and Bryan Cranston. There’s no urinal, there’s just a stall. So we’re all just sitting there like, ‘Ohmygod, who is taking so long? We gotta get back.’ Someone is just, like, luxuriously taking their time. And the door finally opens up and this guy comes out and looks at us and says, ‘Hey, guys,’ and it’s Kevin Spacey. He’s like [points his finger], ‘See you out there.’ He ate up all this time and I don’t even know if he was going to the bathroom. I have no idea what he was doing. [Laughs] But he was just so elegant, the way he walked out and was like [points his finger], ‘See you out there.'”

Veep airs Sundays at 10:30 p.m. on HBO.

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