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Landing the part of Richard Splett on HBO’s “Veep” wasn’t an overnight trip for comedian Sam Richardson.
The actor auditioned a few times, for a couple different roles, and by the time the role of Richard rolled around, he was feeling a little “bummed,” by the whole process, Richardson told TheWrap in a recent interview. “Should I even waste my time?” he asked himself. But he auditioned, and it turned out that good things come to those who try, try again. He landed the part, and the over-literal, hyper-educated but hugely naive aide to Selena Meyer landed a spot in our hearts as one of the best and most hilarious parts of the Emmy-winning sitcom.
As soon as Richardson did his first table read, he said he knew there was something special about this particular group of comedians — Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tony Hale, Matt Walsh to name a few. On that first day, he noticed that everyone was “giving a hundred percent and was really having fun with each other, and they were all laughing and really enjoying the material. I was like oh, this just seems like a different environment.”
The night before shooting his first scene in Baltimore, Richardson went to a crab restaurant to go over his lines. He sat down at the bar, “and sitting right next to me was Craig Robinson” — the two worked together on the last season of “The Office.”
“He was like, ‘Sam?! What are you doing here?’ And I was like… ‘I was just here getting ready to work tomorrow, going over my stuff,'” Richardson said. Robinson invited him to join him in performing at Johns Hopkins, and Richardson obliged.
“They were doing a show for John Hopkins student body or whatever, and so we went put on a show, and we were going out having drinks,” Richardson continued. Then, “I’m like, wait a minute, what am I doing? Tomorrow is my first day on ‘Veep’!”
Richardson thought, “Pull the brakes, stop, take me home, I need to like work on this, I need to make sure I’m good, otherwise I would have been like, ahh, I’ll figure it out.”
Well, he figured it out (after a good night’s sleep, “which is key”), and it all turned out for the best — his character Richard was written into more episodes after that first scene. “We all worked very well together,” Richardson said. “It was only supposed to be one episode for me.” By Season 4, Richardson was a series regular.
“But if I had gone out for one more drink, that wasn’t going to happen,” he said.