Dan started out the season trying to be Selina's right-hand man, but now he seems to be losing confidence in her. What's changed?
Dan's the kind of guy who doesn't know what to do when he's not climbing ladders. And his bully tactics don't seem be working as well since he's in such a lame duck office. For the first time, he's completely out of his element - a non-entity in the political world - and he finds that very frustrating.
Is he surprised to find the end game might be the Veep's office? Did he think it would help him climb further?
He still does think he can climb from there, actually. He's the kind of guy who looks at everyone and everything as a stepping stone. To him, everything's a chess move - he has no real loyalty anywhere.
Speaking of stepping stones, why can't he get the attention of the Pol Pot of pie charts?
It's like the dating world - when you have a crush on someone and you're so hot and heavy on ‘em, you reek of desperation. I think that's how Kent sees him - "Wow, you want this WAY too much. There's gotta be something wrong with you."
There's a deleted scene where Kent tells Dan the VP's office is the top of his bounce - is that true?
I don’t think so. I think Dan has some tricks up his sleeves – he’s the kind of guy that if you beat him down, he’s going to work ten times harder and come back out of nowhere to take the lead.
Dan was working pretty hard a few episodes ago to get Amy’s attention – do you think there’s any kind of future for them?
I don’t think there’s anything romantic in their future, but from Dan’s point of view, because of their history, their relationship is something he can draw on because he knows how to manipulate her. But it’s not a Sam and Diane kind of thing where they’re going to be falling in and out of bed with each other.
Is there anything about Dan’s character that you identify with? Or that you enjoy playing?
Oh, I enjoy everything about him; it’s so fun to play the sinister guy with the dark, mean streak. And I do identify with him a little bit [laughs], which I’m not necessarily proud of. I see his point of view; the minute I read the pilot, I saw who Dan was and what he was after and knew the kind of things that he’d be willing to do to get what he wants. Since those are all the things you put into building a character, I realized, “Oh god, oh no, somewhere in me there’s a Dan Egan. This is terrible."
Is there anything you’d like to see the show explore with Dan in future seasons?
I like how the show has slowly teased out a little bit of each character’s personal life – we’ve seen Jonah and his roommates, Amy and her family, Selina and her ex-husband – but the one thing we haven’t seen yet is any of Dan’s personal life. I have a ton of ideas of where I think he comes from, what his apartment is like, what his family’s like, who the girls are that he dates – stuff like that. I’m really excited to get into that side of Dan.
And one last question – Selina orders him to the Bastardmobile in the “Shutdown” episode – what’s that come equipped with?
I'm sure it has mirrors everywhere, like little vanity mirrors. And it probably has some really lame Sting soundtrack in the CD player [laughs].
If I were president, my pet cause would be: The environment, for sure.
What's in my Leviathan: It's pretty sparse - I'm no Gary. One pen of every color, a bunch of pencils, a notebook, and a pack of gum.
_________ was the worst job I ever had: Oh god. Washing dishes at Applebee's.
My perfect day off would be: One at home with a book (hard-boiled detective noir) and my fiancé, and my dog.
The person I admire most is: J.J. Abrams. He's someone that I'm looking towards for inspiration because I write a lot and the transition he's made from actor to writer has been nothing short of spectacular. He gives hope to people like me who're angling for the hyphenate career.