Timothy Simons, an actor on HBO’s political comedy “Veep,” described his insufferable character on the show as a byproduct of the “charmless” and “universally disliked” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
In an interview with late-night host Seth Meyers on Tuesday, Simons — who stars as Jonah Ryan on the show — stated the main inspiration for his character is Cruz, specifically recalling the senator’s presidential run in 2016.
Simons first hinted at the storyline of his character during the premiere for the final season of “Veep.”
“A couple of years ago, you might not imagine that an untalented, charmless narcissist would ever have any ability to be successful in a presidential run,” he said. “But maybe that isn’t the world that we live in now.”
Watch the video below:
#VEEP's Timothy Simons sounds off at the premiere: "A couple of years ago you might not imagine that an untalented, charmless, narcissist would ever have any ability to be successful in a presidential run… But maybe that isn't the world that we live in now" pic.twitter.com/X07d0EvVsB
— Variety (@Variety) April 1, 2019
Simons mentioned there were a lot of power-hungry “D.C. lackeys” he initially looked toward for inspiration but noted that when it was time for his fictional character to run for office, it was Cruz who caught his eye.
“When we got toward his congressional campaign, the person — speaking of charmless and graceless and just universally disliked — I based a lot of it on Ted Cruz,” Simons said as he was met with agreement by Meyers.
Watch the interview below:
Simons went on to paraphrase Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-S.C.) comments on Cruz in 2016.
“If you were to shoot him on the floor of the Senate, you could not find a witness,” he said, eliciting laughter from the audience. “And I feel like Jonah operates in that space.”
The actor also described the power complex of Cruz, suggesting that there are a number of people who may not like the senator but are forced to tolerate him.
“But begrudgingly, you have to admit that Ted Cruz has some — he has fallen ass-backwards into some sort of power, and until he’s out, everybody just has to deal with him,” Simons elaborated.
“And that very much is Jonah’s vibe,” he added. “That’s his thing.”