Timothy Simons on How Veep’s Political Fiascos Mirror Real-Life Scandals

And why he hits 'unfollow' on Twitter

Headshot of Emma Bazilian


Age 36

Claim to fame Stars as Jonah Ryan on HBO's Veep (Season 4 finale airs June 14 at 9:30 p.m.)

Base Los Angeles

Twitter @timothycsimons

What's the first information you consume in the morning?

I'm a night person, but because of being in the film business and having children, my schedule has shifted, and I'm always terrified that I'm going to oversleep. So the first thing I do, almost every single morning, is wake up and look at the clock while thinking, "There's no fucking way I'm not late for something." And then there are some mornings where—even though I really try not to—the first thing I do is check Twitter, which makes me feel like a garbage human being.

Who do you follow on Twitter?

I cast a wide net. I really enjoy following comedians. I like sort of esoteric and weird Twitter jokes. But I actually unfollow people if they make jokes about a celebrity's death within the first two minutes of that celebrity dying. After 24 hours, fine, but the idea of "this horrible thing just happened and I need to make social media hay out of it" really annoys me. So I've done a pretty good job of curating a Twitter feed that doesn't make me hate the world.

What's your favorite app?

The one that I am currently using, and which I am equally proud of and super embarrassed about, is the Topps' Star Wars: Card Trader app. I thought I'd do it for a few weeks, but it's stuck around a lot longer than I had expected.

What TV shows do you watch?

Togetherness was a huge one for me. I really loved that show; it was just so massively uncomfortable and funny and true. I'm a big fan of Game of Thrones, like every other person in the world. And there's a lot of things I missed over the last year or so that I need to catch up on, like Amy Schumer and Broad City.

What's the last thing you binge-watched?

I had to catch up on the final season of Justified so that I could watch the series finale live when it happened. My favorite actors in the entire world are Walton Goggins and Garret Dillahunt, so to have those two guys on a show is just the greatest thing ever. But truthfully, I don't like the binge-watching model. I think that if you give everybody everything all at once, there's very much a law of diminishing returns as far as their enjoyment of them.

What's on your reading list?

You've never seen a more optimistic person than me packing for a work trip. I pack about seven or eight books—so many books that even if I spent the entire trip reading, I wouldn't be able to finish them. My list is ridiculously long. I'm in the middle of A Brief History of Seven Killings, and I brought—this is going to sound so fucking pretentious—five or six poetry books with me.

Even though Veep seems completely absurd, a lot of D.C. insiders have said that it's the most realistic political TV series. Is that a good or a bad thing?

We always take that as a very high compliment. Sometimes the seed of an idea might be based in a real thing, but more often than not, the writers go into a room, try to think of the dumbest thing a politician could possibly do, and then ultimately in between the time that we write and film the show and it airs, a politician does that incredibly insane, stupid thing. People watching the show end up saying, "Oh, they just ripped that from the headlines," but that's not necessarily the case.

@adweekemma emma.bazilian@adweek.com Emma Bazilian is Adweek's features editor.
Publish date: June 2, 2015 https://dev.adweek.com/tv-video/timothy-simons-how-veeps-political-fiascos-mirror-real-life-scandals-165062/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT