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Interview with Kathy Najimy

140530-kathy-interview

HBO

How did you land the role of Wendy on Veep'?

Kathy Najimy

They called me and offered me the part. I was in LA for about 17 years, and I moved to New York about two-and-a-half years ago, so when I got here, I called my agent and told him I only wanted to act in things I respect and will have a good time with, like for instance The Big C' or Veep.' And the two shows I've recurred on were The Big C' and Veep.' I got really lucky. The funny thing is that I know Julia [Louis-Dreyfus], but I haven't gotten to do a scene with her yet.

HBO

What's the vibe like on set?

Kathy Najimy

You can just tell how deeply they care about the writing. They also do this great thing where they bring the actors in a room, they tell you the idea of the scene they're thinking about, and they ask you to improvise it. So it's very '80s, very Viola Spolin, very Second City. It's very interesting. I come from a background of improv and theater, so that's really rewarding to be a part of that.

HBO

What happens after that improv round?

Kathy Najimy

Quality is the king with them. I've been on other shows, and if it's written, it's written and you do it. They might try to fix it up a little bit, but they really are intense about this. They care. They cut for content. There's no pandering to actors. They're so ready to add or scrap based on what they capture.

HBO

Do you have a backstory in your mind for who your character Wendy Keegan is?

Kathy Najimy

There is no build-up to who she is before she's getting married to Mike, so I've thought about it. I had a couple dinners with Matt Walsh [who plays Mike], and we talked about where they would have met and who they are. This is her second marriage, and she's a professional woman, and she is ready for a partner who her career is not a problem for. She has kids, so it's a very fun, sexy, adult relationship. It's not one based in terrible insecurity or need or soulmates forever. It's a very sensible, fun partnership. I don't think she married Mike because she was terribly lonely and needed a man. She finds him hilarious and sweet and fun.

HBO

Earlier this season, there is a storyline where Mike is seemingly trying to get Wendy pregnant. We never heard anything from Wendy about it, but does that return at all?

Kathy Najimy

About Wendy getting pregnant? Well, that would be an act of God. The wardrobe would be awesome, but I think Wendy and I have passed that finish line.

HBO

Are you hopeful that Wendy will return for the fourth season of Veep'?

Kathy Najimy

Of course, but like I've said before, in our business, having a good gig -- whether it's two episodes or four seasons -- with good writing is what's important to me. I'd love to come back. I think the acting is great, I think their point of view is great, I think they're a group of people who care about quality, which is really rare in this business. I'd love to, but that doesn't mean I have to. I got to join the show Numb3rs' for a season -- that was brilliant. I got to do The Big C' for its whole final season -- so rewarding. I got to come in and out of Veep.' I think there should be a storyline where Wendy has an affair with the vice president, with Julia. Wouldn't that be great? That'll keep it relevant.

26: Debate

Season 3