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Interview with Anna Chlumsky

Amy on phone

HBO

In episode 206, we finally get to meet someone Amy's dating - Ed Webster. Dating isn't normally a big focus of her life - what's changed?

Anna Chlumsky

This whole season, Amy is exploring the place where's she's at in her life and wondering if everyone, including her family, might be right. That she should be getting laid and that she should be pursuing romance and a personal life. There are a lot of folks in DC who start working there right after college and some of them get very swept up in the game. Then there's a moment where they pause and go, "Wait, what is this for? Is there more to life?" and that's a fork in the road. Some choose to leave the Beltway lifestyle behind and others choose to continue, at least having explored those questions. I think Amy's possibly the latter - she loves her job and loves being good at it.

HBO

So what's Ed's appeal? How do you think they met?

Anna Chlumsky

I think they met on the phone - one of those office relationships where they had met before but Amy would have to call him for certain reasons and he would make her laugh. She could take a respite and call him, and it would still be for work, but at least he'd make her smile and get her to breathe. I think that's how the attraction began, and then she could say, "Oh, you're in DC, let's get a beer" - and it could still be for work [laughs].

HBO

Amy's so giddy with Ed, which is such a departure from what we normally see.

Anna Chlumsky

I think she's giddy because she's really inexperienced. Dating's the one thing in her life that she's bad at. It makes her feel vulnerable and embarrassed, especially because she has to do this in front of her staff where she's the boss. Balancing her personal life with her professional life is new to her.

HBO

Speaking of doing this in front of her staff, we know she has a history with Dan, and he makes it pretty clear he's jealous.

Anna Chlumsky

Isn't that cute [laughs]? They get along, their minds think alike, so whether or not they want to admit it, they do have chemistry. There was something there once upon a time, so why wouldn't there still be? However, it's their lack of self-awareness that makes them the last to know if there's still something there [laughs]. Reid's said, in Dan's mind, it's not so much an idea of true jealousy, as a "Hey, why am I not on top?" It's competition more than it's heartbreak.

HBO

Is there anything about Amy's character that you especially enjoy playing? Or that you identify with?

Anna Chlumsky

With Amy, there's a sense that she always has to be the first to know something and the first to come up with a solution; she wants that to be her victory at all times. I don't always have to win as much she does, but I definitely identify with that need. That's something I could probably let go of a little bit!

Something that's super fun to play is Amy's thinking of a million things at once but not being able to show it. She has to be the leader, an even keel, unlike Selina who's allowed to be angry or have an outburst or get really tired. It's delicious as an actor to add that extra layer - it gives you a whole new set of tools.

HBO

She's quite a contrast to the president's Chief of Staff, Ben.

Anna Chlumsky

[Laughs] I think that it must have something to do with the fact that Amy aspires to be Ben one day, whereas he's over it.

Think Fast

If I were President, my pet cause would be: Education

What's in my Leviathan: Some ticket stubs, lip balm, hand lotion, a book, sunglasses.

The best date I've ever been on was: With my husband. We saw a matinee of To Catch a Thief' at BAM, got sorbet, and walked in Fort Greene Park together.

The worst date I've ever been on was: A date I didn't know was a date until the end! I was hanging out with this guy who attached himself to everything I was doing that day. Then that night, he was like, "So, I can stay here?" And I said, "NO! What are you talking about? Get the f*** away from me! This was never a date - what's wrong with you?!"

I'd want my real-life Veeplopedia entry to say: "Ask her - she's great at her job."

14: Andrew

Season 2

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