“Dan has nothing in his life but ambition,” declares Reid Scott. Dan Egan is the Capital Hill blowhard Veep audiences love to hate; which is why for obvious reasons, it was slightly satisfying to watch Dan’s head roll off the sacrificial chopping block last season, subsequent to a data breach scandal, that saw Vice President-turned interim President Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and her administration mired in a federal investigation.
Season 5 kick things off on a different note, with ol’ Danny boy getting a toe back into the White House, and that, for the love-to-hate-Dan brigade, is nothing short of television ecstasy. (Though, we did enjoy our all-access pass into the world of lobbying firms, yielded by the former Deputy Director of Communications’ temporary new career path.) “Maybe we have a little more sympathy for the guy, but c’mon…he’s still such a dick,” responds Scott, when asked if last season’s scapegoat arc has since made his character any more likable.
With a fresh plotline ripe for farcical blunders—a tied election, the need for a recount and a candidate that blames the situation on the voting public—Season 5 of the HBO dramedy promises to keep Meyer’s motley crew neck-deep in political turmoil.
As for Dan, he’s been tagged back into the game by his on-again, off-again romantic-ish interest Amy Brookheimer (Anna Chlumsky)—the president’s former campaign manager, who also vacated the oval office last season (she quit mid-election due to a disheartening hunt for a suitable running mate). Dan’s return to Meyer’s team may only have him minding the situation in Nevada, where the recount is underway, but something tells us Mr. Egan will be hanging up his visitor’s badge and reclaiming his seat at the grownups’ table, in the not too distant future.
At the beginning of his fifth season with Veep, Scott has long mastered his impersonation of a scheming backdoor dealer/Washington playboy. One almost forgets that before he dove into this all-too-real world of fictional politics and became one of television’s favourite assholes, the 38-year-old New Yorker (upstate New York to be exact) was known for playing roles best categorized under “heartthrob.” Between his 4-season run as Brendan Dorff, resident lost puppy on the TBS comedy, My Boys, and his role as the dreamy Dr. Todd Mauer on Showtime’s Golden Globe-winning series, The Big C, opposite Laura Linney, it’s quite a strain to imagine the actor playing a character capable of merciless one-liners the likes of: “I apologized less after I banged my brother’s fiancé.”
But then again, versatility is Scott’s strong suit. So is keeping busy.
As of late, aside from Veep, it’s the film festival circuit that has been occupying Scott’s time. Most recently he appeared in Dean, written, directed and starring comedian, Demetri Martin, best know for his Netflix comedy special, Demetri Martin: Live (At the Time) and his work as a writer for Late Night with Conan O’Brien. One of two films to premiere at last month’s Tribeca Film Festival, the comedy sees Scott in the role of best friend and unofficial life coach to Martin’s Dean. Then there’s Nerdland, his second Tribeca premiere. A quirky R-rated animation—with Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) and Patton Oswalt (BoJack Horseman) lending their voices to the film’s stars: John (aspiring actor) and Elliot (would-be screenwriter), respectively—Nerdland tracks the lead up to its heroes’ 30th birthdays. Side-splitting adventure ensues, when the two are struck by the daunting realization that neither have the celebrity status they each believed they were destined to achieve. Behind the film is director Chris Prynoski, best known for Adult Swim’s China, IL and Turbo FAST, the series that earned Scott—who plays the show’s title character—a nomination at this year’s Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program. With an endless number of comedians, including Hannibal Burress (Neighbors), Paul Scheer (Childrens Hospital) and Molly Shannon (Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp), stacking up the film’s celebrity cameos, Scott’s character—movie star Brett Anderson—takes his place in the story as a figure that represents all the men do not have, but desperately want.
Below, Scott breaks from his hectic schedule (did we mention he’s a new father with a one-year-old son at home?) to talk about his Veep character’s perpetual ladder climbing and his personal take on fashion… far away from Dan Egan approved suits.
So it looks like Dan is in a different place this season, after being forced to resign from his position as Deputy Director of Communications. Can we expect to see an even more aggressive and ambitious side of Dan to reveal itself, as he tries to get back into the White House?
He won’t let a little thing like getting fired keep him from ascending the ladder. I think about him like a gambler, he’s addicted to the game… losing is never a deterrent and winning just one hand is never enough.
It seems almost inevitable that for Dan to get back to a prime position at the top, he will have to employ some asshole moves to get there, no?
It’s D.C… every move is an asshole move, and Dan’s asshole is super mobile
Good point! Since being on the show and immersing yourself in D.C. drama, do you find you’re even more interested in the whole political sphere?
I’ve always been intrigued by the world of politics. It’s actually a lot like Hollywood—the secret deals, the power brokering. Except in Hollywood, no one is pretending to be in it for the public good; it’s all about entertainment. D.C. politicos purport to be all about public good, but I think that’s just to entertain themselves.
On the topic of entertainment, let’s talk a bit about fashion. Overall, do you pay much attention to it?
I do enjoy clothes. I’m not the kind of guy you’ll find in the front row at fashion week, but I try to pay attention to what’s going on out there.
It feels like these days, men’s fashion is as exciting as women’s, there’s a lot of it out there, now. Do you think your generation of men are more style conscious than the previous one?
Yeah, I do. It feels like men’s fashion finally says something again, that’s what I like about it. Your outfit doesn’t have to make a statement, but it can definitely say something about you, and men are embracing that.
What do you make of the trend in sizing for menswear getting slimmer and slimmer?
I think soon, I won’t be able to fish my keys out of my pockets.
Skinny jeans… not so user-friendly. Using three adjectives, how would you describe your personal style?
Rugged, relaxed, wrinkled.
Often, people unintentionally end up with something of a “uniform” in their closet, a staple look that they depend on. Do you have an outfit from your wardrobe that is like this, something quintessentially “you?”
Oh yeah. I have a favorite shirt—blue button up—and black jeans (vintage Levi’s) that I wear so often, I might as well sew them together and put a zipper up the back, like a child’s sleep suit. If I could attach my favorite boots, I’d be all set.
Like a Snuggie, but stylish. What item in your closet would you never want to part with?
I have a black cardigan sweater that I practically live in during the fall/winter months. It’s like a wearable security blanket.
Are you one to chase the latest trends, or do you even really register them?
I don’t really follow trends. I might clock them, just to see what they’re all about and maybe take from them a little bit. To me, fashion is about individuality. If you’re riding the wave of the latest trend like everyone else, what’s there to set you apart?
What are some of your favourite designers, and what do you like about their style?
Rag & Bone is probably the one brand that fits my personal style the best. Casual, but with a slightly refined cut. I also recently discovered the denim brand Neuw. Great fit and nice heavy denim. For suits, I’m a big fan of Theory. Their stuff just fits me right off the rack, and they really nail the sleek and sophisticated look, without being too pretentious.
What style trait do you find most attractive in people? What catches your eye?
I just dig when someone looks comfortable in their own skin. When someone feels good, they look good. Their look could be easygoing or daring, it doesn’t matter as long as they feel like the best versions of themselves, even if for only that moment.
In terms of fictional characters, who is your style icon?
I’d have to say Steve McQueen’s version of Thomas Crowne. If you haven’t seen the original, do yourself a favor. That guy was a true style badass.
Styling by Krissie Torgerson | Grooming by Patrick Chai at Exclusive Artists Management using American Crew