Reid Scott on His Villainous ‘Veep’ Role and Baltimore’s Foodie Paradise

“I’ve grown to love acting so much,” says Reid Scott, “because I get to flex completely different creative muscles in front of the camera than I do behind it.” Scott, who is best known for his role as Dr. Todd Mauer opposite Laura Linney on Showtime’s cancer comedy, The Big C, initially had dreams of life in the director’s chair. But the film school graduate will have to put those plans on hold after hitting the actor’s jackpot with a part on HBO’s new workplace comedy, Veep. In the sharp, fast-talking show, adapted by acclaimed British satirist Armando Iannucci from his own BBC series, Julia Louis-Dreyfus portrays the American Vice President as a frustrated and marginalized second-in-Commander in Chief. Scott is the smarmy Dan Egan, a “snake in the grass” who sells out his senator boss for a chance to join the VP’s staff. “Who doesn’t like to play a bad guy?” Scott asks. “You get to exorcise all of your own demons.”

Unlike a perfectly contained Aaron Sorkin script, Veep has a more naturalistic style. “It isn’t glossy like The West Wing; even though that’s fine acting and fine writing, it doesn’t seem real. I’m pretty sure things don’t happen that way.” During shooting, the cast, which includes Anna Chlumsky and Tony Hale, was sequestered in Baltimore, “marinating” in their characters but still finding time to enjoy the city’s nocturnal comforts. “I had this preconceived notion that Baltimore was not going to have good food, and was completely surprised because every place we went had terrific food,” says Scott. “We always ended up at Salt, a little place with great beers. We’re all beer drinkers, and the food was awesome.

Photo by Damian Sandone