Tony Hale, who plays Gary Walsh, Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ right-hand guy — a k a her character Selina Meyer’s bag man in “Veep” — unfortunately lives in California. Fortunately, he comes from New York. Very fortunately, he’s lately been shooting in our city.
I went to Bronx Community College. I also lived around Harlem, 111th and Lenox.
“I had an apartment on the Upper West Side,” he said. “I went to Bronx Community College. I also lived around Harlem, 111th and Lenox. I lived in New York eight years.
“I had a subscription to the New York Post. My mother would walk over from her place, and we’d lunch at Barney Greengrass. Oh, so great to be back. New York is like no other. Such energy here.”
So why aren’t you living here?
“You’ve got a thing called snow. Cold. At home, I run around in shorts.” Anyone at “Veep” ever really meet any Veep?
“Who knows if people in DC would say they actually ever watched the program, but I know Julia did meet Joe Biden.”
The show filmed here Midtown, around Sixth Avenue. (Even he, an acknowledged admitted foreigner, didn’t say “Avenue of the Americas.”)
“When it rained, we kept shooting with umbrellas. And New Yorkers being New Yorkers, they’re only concerned with doing their New York thing. One old lady cursed me because my scene was in the direction she was going.
“She shouted, ‘Get out of my way!’ Even though I was working, I apologized profusely. She just repeated, ‘Get out of my way.’
“The restaurants here were all great. The fellow diners were very kind. One of our waiters was an actor. We hit the Spotted Pig, some Italian joint, a Japanese place. It was great. I love it here.”
So why you living out there in that far off wasteland?
Tony Hale should know if he’s stuck out in that far distant West, he could grab the late David Selznick’s old house. It’s for sale. Built in the ’30s for the MGM VIP who made little throwaways like “Gone With the Wind,” the 12,500-square-foot place has nine bathrooms. Tony could move right into it — even in his shorts — for a lousy $20 million.
“Bathing Flo,” a dark comedy, will shoot in NYC. Ellen Burstyn, with an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony and probably an Irving, a Sam, a Milton and whatever else, debuts as a director.
What is it with Clooney, Affleck, Redford, Denzel, Greta Gerwig, Angelina (Oy!) Jolie, Ben Stiller, Jodie Foster, Nick Kroll, Ron Howard, Clint Eastwood? OK, Tyler Perry we forgive. Even BAFTA didn’t put him up for best actor. But Ryan Gosling? Zach Braff, Meg Ryan, James Franco, Mel (hell) Gibson? Why the itch to get behind the camera?
Ego. They think they can do it better. Ability to book themselves certain roles. More money because they’ll get a wider stake. Definitely future insurance for when lines are not on the page but on the face. And for sure carefully angled, well-lit screen close-ups they might not ordinarily get.
Result? A lack of Scorsese, Hitchcock, Orson Welles quality. I don’t mean we should stop donating to pandas — but . . . listen . . . won’t somebody help poor beleaguered moviegoers?
“Please! Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car!”