Insane schedule, smiling all the time, being recognized how similar is the character you play on Veep to your life?
Well, let's see. I personally am not the Vice President of the United States. I want to make sure everyone understands that. But the aspect of presenting yourself in a certain way to the public and the desperation to be liked there is a parallel between public life and life as a person in show business, and that's sort of fun to draw on. I'm trying to watch a lot of in-between moments on C-SPAN.
You talked to Al Gore about this role. What did he say?
I did, as well as chiefs of staff and schedulers and speechwriters. I don't want to say what Gore said because I was really trying to get more of an idea of his private existence in the position.
You've been able to talk to Gore, raise millions of dollars for environmental and, some would say, liberal causes and even urge President Obama via YouTube to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline. Are you who conservatives are talking about when they say the media elite has too much power?
I will quote Norman Lear, who said that celebrity is something you can spend. And so I have taken my so-called celebrity and occasionally spent it down on causes or things that I'm passionate about. I'm not running for office. I'm not a scientist. But I'm a concerned citizen.
The characters you have become famous for are all unpleasant and narcissistic. Does that make it hard to interact with people, who may think you're like that?
Well, come to think of it, I have very few friends, so I guess so. It had never occurred to me until this moment. Look, these are the jobs I got. And perhaps I imbue them with more anger than is actually on the page. I guess I'm very angry. I don't know why. I've nothing to be angry about.
Is it maybe because your star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was misspelled?
How genius was that? I just can't even tell you how happy I am that that happened. Just when you think you've made it, you really haven't. I put [the misspelled star] in a very prominent position in my house, just as a reminder of, Don't let your head get too big, Julia Luis.
Your father William is both a poet and a multimillionaire arbitrageur. What did you talk about over dinner?
What did we talk about over dinner? I guess, what we were eating.
Recently he said, "I hate the culture of personality," which makes me wonder, What does he think about what you do?
Yeah. Makes me wonder too. I didn't read that interview. I'm going to have to call my therapist. Again.
Is the fact that you've had the most successful post-Seinfeld career because of luck, talent, timing, gender or hair?
I'm going to say it's luck. The joke version is that it's because I'm so incredibly talented. But I think there's much more luck involved in show business than people care to admit.
Does Elaine Benes still live within you somehow? Can you actually dance?
Yeah. And it's problematic when I go to any event that has dancing. When I go to a wedding or something, I'm hugely self-conscious because I know that people are watching me, and even though that might sound paranoid, I have reason to be paranoid because they are watching me to see if I'm going to do that jerky Elaine dance.
And do you sometimes break it out for a special occasion?
I've never broken it out. Never. Never. I don't need to revisit that.
O.K., bonus question from reader Rizwan Shafique in Muscat, Oman: If you were to start your life all over again, what one change would you make?
I would wear more sunscreen.