For Julia Louis-Dreyfus, playing U.S. Vice President Selina Meyer in HBO's new sitcom Veep feels like a homecoming. "I'm familiar with the culture of Washington because I grew up there," says the graduate of the tony D.C. private school Holton-Arms. "[First Daughter] Susan Ford and her Secret Service went to my high school, and Amy Carter went to my sister's. So I know that area."
An SNL/Seinfeld/New Adventures of Old Christine alum, she's got a master's degree in comedy, as does British creator Armando Iannucci, known for politically incorrect satires like 2009's Oscar-nominated In the Loop. "We're very simpatico in terms of what makes us laugh," says Louis-Dreyfus.
Not that some jokes weren't initially lost in translation. "Englishisms would creep into the script — 'It would be awfully keen if...'" she recalls. "I'd always ask the cast to point those out," says Iannucci. "They'd emphasize it by putting on terrible Cockney accents."