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Actor Tony Hale on ‘Veep,’ ‘Arrested Development’ and playing co-dependent characters

Updated

The Washington machine revolves around proximity to the White House–the cozier you get to powers that be at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the more influence you can wield. Everyone wants to move up–or at least characters on the HBO series Veep do.

But not Tony Hale’s character, Gary. He plays the hopelessly devoted assistant to Julia Louis Dreyfus’ character, United States Vice President Selina Meyer.

“If she went and worked at Dairy Queen I would go to Dairy Queen and be by her side–I don’t know life outside of her,” Hale told msnbc’s Lawrence O’Donnell during an appearance on The Last Word.

D.C. inside politics resembles high school, says Hale. “The closer you get to Obama–the closer you get to the popular people-you feel popular. And these people are such pressure cookers for so many heavy decisions they have to have freak-outs behind the scenes–they have to lose their minds, they have to get insecure,” he said. “Veep takes you back there and you see the humanity of these people and that’s what I like.”

Audiences first got to know Hale through Buster Bluth, the socially awkward yet loveable mama’s boy on the newly re-launched cult show Arrested Development.

Hales said there’s a unifying factor in these characters: Gary and Buster are in “very emotionally destructive co-dependent relationships with dominating women in both cases,” said Hale.

Buster, in particular, “is a disaster.” Hales said it “scares” him how naturally he developed the character over the course of its four-season (potentially going on season five) run.

“I remember when Mitch Hurwitz was talking about the character and he said all Buster wanted in life was safety–that is all he wanted and anytime that safety was threatened he would just spiral,” he said. “He was also in a constant state of defensiveness-you know, his chin would go back, his hands would go back he was always just waiting what was coming at me-always on a state of defense.”

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Actor Tony Hale on 'Veep,' 'Arrested Development' and playing co-dependent characters

Updated