“That was probably, next to getting married and having my child, one of the most exciting nights of my life,” said Tony Hale about his Emmy win last year for his role on ‘Veep.” As he explained during our recent webcam chat (watch below), “I was just walking on this cloud, it was nuts! And when I heard my name, I remember my wife was obviously sitting next to me and I had to look at her face and seeing her face is what made me realize they actually called my name. And then I’m actually surprised I could put a sentence together. It was crazy, crazy awesome!”
In his acceptance speech, he thanked the Young Actors Theatre from Tallahassee, which “was a massive part of my life. I was not a kid who was very interested in sports and my parents signed me up for this theater, and it was just a place where I not only discovered my personality but discovered what I love to do. It was a place where you could freely have fun and be stupid, and it was a safe space. Even though the Emmy was mind blowing, to be able to nationally recognize a theater that made that much of a difference to my life, that was exciting to me.”
On “Veep,” the actor plays Gary Walsh, the body man and bag carrier for Vice President Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus). His loyalty and affection for his commander-in-almost-chief means “Gary has this bounce back ability that is phenomenal. She beats him down and verbally abuses him all the time but it’s as though once it’s said it just goes out the other ear. He just goes back to worshiping her and doing whatever she needs. I wouldn’t say he has rose colored glasses; he has blinders on.”
He explained this lopsided dynamin starkly: “In Gary’s world, she really needs him. She can’t live life without him. In her world, I don’t think she even knows Gary’s last name.”
When Louis-Dreyfus won Best Comedy Actress a few minutes after Hale, he walked up on stage behind her, carrying her bag. He then whispered names of people for her to thank in her speech. As he revealed, “That morning she called me. It was fun to do that together. It was fun being on stage and doing a live bit.” (I was) surprised that it worked, because I was just completely out of my body.”
Will Hale repeat as Best Comedy Supporting Actor at this year’s Emmys for “Veep”? After watching our chat, use the easy drag-and-drop menu below to make your predictions.