Julia Louis Dreyfus talks HBO’s ‘Veep’ (and Meerkat) at SXSW

"Veep" actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus shows off the Meerkat app on her smartphone during a SXSW panel Monday. Photo by DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

“Veep” actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus shows off the Meerkat app on her smartphone during a SXSW panel Monday. Photo by DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Time/date11 a.m. Monday

The gist: “Veep” actors Julia Louis Dreyfus, Matt Walsh and Sam Richardson fielded questions from Marie Claire editor Anne Fulenwider.

Takeaways: The vice-president uses Meerkat. Well, Louis-Dreyfus, who plays her on HBO’s “Veep,” does. She began the discussion by holding up her phone and announcing she was using the video app to stream the panel.

What followed was discussion of Louis-Dreyfus’ childhood and, ultimately, how the show came to be.

Unusually, the most enjoyable portion of the event might have been at the end, when audience members asked questions. What threatened to evolve into a photo request session (can we please nip this trend in the bud?) Led to a couple of great questions, both with ties to Louis-Dreyfus’ classic turn as Elaine Benes on “Seinfeld.”

“Which politicians would Selina Meyer find sponge-worthy?” one man asked, referencing the Benes’ characters hoarding and judicious use of contraceptive sponges when they were going off the market.

“I sense I could get into trouble for answering this,” Louis-Dreyfus said. “I’d have to say Woodrow Wilson. And Teddy Roosevelt was pretty sexy.”

Another crowd member, referencing Benes’ herky-jerky dance floor moves, asked her if she could, in fact, dance. “Yes,” Louis-Dreyfus answered. “I can dance.”

Would she take over for Jon Stewart?

“That ’s not in my skill set and that would be a problem for ‘The Daily Show.’ But thanks for thinking of me,” Louis-Dreyfus said.

More sober questions inquired about real-life politicians appearing on the show. Louis-Dreyfus said that although real-life politicos have approached, it would shatter the completely fictional political landscape they’ve built for the show.

Finally, an audience member inquired how long the show could go on, given the Meyer character’s ascendancy to the Presidency.

“I feel that there is a lot more story to be told,” Louis-Dreyfus said. “You can rest assured that there will be a series of humiliations for you to enjoy.”

Perhaps the biggest takeaway was this advice from Louis-Dreyfus: “Have fun at all costs.”

Hashtag#MCxVeep


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