i like how you constantly point out in your posts that veep’s issues are not with the acting. i think reid and anna are performing phenomenally for what they’re being given. i don’t think i would still ship dan x amy the way i did if they were played by other still very attractive people
It’s the unanswerable question, I think, especially on a show where the actors play at least some part in shaping their parts – Dan and Amy played by different actors would not be Dan and Amy we know and (for a given value) love.
On balance, I think I rate Anna Chlumsky’s performance higher, both because I love her physicality, the commitment she gives to the role, but also because I think she has the harder part. Dan gets to swank around in great suits and deliver devastating lines, but Reid Scott doesn’t have to convey the same variety of nuances that she does. Dan can be repulsive and human simultaneously, but Amy has to be pitiable and sympathetic and laughable and dominant all at the same time. It’s a very delicate line to walk.
That said, when it comes to the romance, I think Reid Scott has the more challenging part, particularly because of the way we’ve been shut out of Dan’s perspective on Amy. He has to balance Dan’s loathsomeness with just enough humanity to keep the audience on-side, but never so much that they become certain about the outcome – and he has to play Dan being transparently in love with Amy while treating her just…horribly. Now, the writing has given him some outs by never having Dan really see Amy in genuine distress (7.01 was as close as we got, and it turned him to jelly), but it is not an easy task.
And if there’s one thing I’ve learned from working on scripts – as well as a lifetime of watching bad science fiction – it’s never to underestimate the power of a great actor delivering shoddy dialogue. Any working actor you see is going to be phenomenally talented, because for every working actor, there are ten with almost as much talent who aren’t working – and this applies tenfold to women. There are more of them, and they’re competing for maybe a quarter to the parts – those women earn their salary. (Many of the male actors I know will acknowledge as much – which is why I found it so refreshing when Reid Scott talked in interviews about having been lucky to work with talented women).