For the all the drama and hype in this city, there hasn’t been a hit TV series based in political Washington since “The West Wing.” But Hollywood keeps trying. The latest into the fray: “Veep,” a HBO comedy starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a senator-turned-vice president.
The cast and crew unloaded in the District Tuesday to capture a bit of Beltway verité. Just a smidge, anyway: As we know all too well, D.C. on the screen is hardly ever the real thing, and “Veep” is no exception.
The bulk of filming started three weeks ago in Baltimore, a frequent city-double for our nation’s capital, location manager John Latenser told us. Great for Charm City ($25 million spent, 2,000 jobs) and the production budget (tax breaks!) but not so much for the D.C. Film Office, which keeps bugging producers to work here.
Tuesday’s shoot here started on Constitution Avenue where film trucks and trailers took up most of the real estate in front of the Mellon Auditorium. The outdoor scene took place in the east passageway connected to the Ronald Reagan Building — standing-in for the U.S. Capitol, Dreyfus (black sleeveless dress) was spotted stepping out of a limo in a motorcade. The crew moved on to a private office for a scene overlooking the actual Capitol; later the actress was recognized at the nearby Hyatt Regency hotel when she asked directions to the restroom.
Meanwhile, ABC is touting an upcoming drama, “Scandal,” starring Kerry Washington and set at a D.C. crisis-management firm. But shooting. . . where? A rep for the D.C. Film Office said there have been discussions about filming here but “nothing has been finalized.”
Read earlier: ‘The Firm’ films in D.C. — more TV production, stars, to come?, 9/13/11