Selina Catherine Meyer (// MY-ər; née Eaton) is a fictional character portrayed by Julia Louis-Dreyfus on the HBO television comedy series Veep. Louis-Dreyfus has been critically acclaimed for the role, earning a record-breaking six consecutive Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series awards and five Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy nominations.
|First appearance||"Fundraiser" (April 22, 2012)|
|Created by||Armando Iannucci|
|Portrayed by||Julia Louis-Dreyfus|
President of the United States (former)|
Vice President of the United States (former)
Senator from Maryland (former)
Gordon Dunn Eaton (father, deceased)|
Catherine Calvert Eaton (mother, deceased)
|Spouse(s)||Andrew Meyer (ex-husband)|
Ted Cullen (dated)|
Charlie Baird Jr. (dated)
|Children||Catherine Selina Meyer (daughter)|
|Alma Mater||Smith College|
Meyer is a former United States Senator and the Vice President of the United States following an unsuccessful run for President. During the first season, as Vice President she was powerless and disregarded by most other important officials, leading to various humiliations and indignities. During the second season she begins to amass some power and influence. In the third season, she contemplates challenging the incumbent president for their unnamed party's nomination in light of his political weakness, but the issue is mooted when he abruptly resigns, allowing her to become the president. In the fourth season, she has assumed office but is facing strong primary and general-election challengers of her own. The general election results in a tie, setting the stage for the fifth season, as the United States House of Representatives prepares to choose the president.
The role garnered Louis-Dreyfus several milestone accolades: her fourteenth Primetime Emmy Award nomination for a role in the regular cast of a comedy series surpassed Lucille Ball as the most ever. Her Primetime Emmy Award for her third different regular cast role also was a record-setting achievement for a comedy actress. Her five consecutive Primetime Emmy Lead Actress wins break a record and her six overall Primetime Emmy Lead Actress wins also break a record.
Meyer was born Selina Catherine Eaton to mother Catherine Calvert Eaton and Gordon Dunn Eaton. In her childhood, she loved her father (whom she affectionately called Daddy), but resented her narcissistic mother. It is later revealed that Selina's father was an adulterer who died from a heart attack while having sex with his secretary, and that her mother only stayed with him to provide for her. Selina attended Smith College, and Yale Law School. As a young woman, she married Andrew Meyer, a shady real estate developer, with whom she has a daughter, Catherine. She eventually divorces Andrew for repeatedly cheating on her, and shows little (if any) maternal instinct towards her daughter.
The show's original opening sequence details some of her career. She was a United States Senator from Maryland (where she was born and raised). She announced her candidacy for the 2012 presidential election. Media outlets initially praised her and had high hopes for her becoming the President, with headlines such as "Magic Meyer" and "Is this Meyer's Moment?". Despite strong initial victories, she ultimately is defeated by primary challenger Stuart Hughes on Super Tuesday, and suspends her campaign. He then selects her as his running mate, and is elected to the presidency.
As the Vice President, Meyer finds herself increasingly ignored by the President, and often demoted to trivial matters. When the sitting President decides that he will not seek a second term, his Chief of Staff Ben Cafferty encourages Meyer to run, which she ultimately does. She faces a primary challenge from war veteran and Governor of Minnesota Danny Chung, Secretary of Defense George Maddox, freshman Congressman Owen Pierce, and baseball coach Joe Thornhill. During the course of the primary season, President Hughes resigns abruptly to care for his ailing wife, and Meyer ascends to the presidency. Headlines question whether Meyer will be "the 8-month president", confirming that Hughes' term was near over, and Meyer is constitutionally eligible to serve two full terms as President. Though she chooses Senator Andrew Doyle to become her Vice President, he declines to serve as her running mate for a full term as Vice President. She offers the running mate position to both Chung and Maddox, but both decline, and she ultimately chooses popular Senator Tom James when she secures the party nomination.
Meyer is challenged in the general election by Southern Senator Bill O'Brien. The election ends in an Electoral College tie, but with Meyer having won the popular vote. After an ambiguous result in Nevada, the Meyer campaign successfully lobbies for a recount. The recount backfires, and O'Brien keeps Nevada as a victory, as well as overtakes the popular vote. Congress must then decide who will be the President. After the House of Representatives fails to elect the President, Meyer agrees to be Vice President for her running mate Tom James, however the Senate instead elects O'Brien's running mate Laura Montez as Vice President. Due to the tied vote in the House, the office of the President is left vacant, meaning that Vice President Montez immediately ascends to the presidency. As a result, James makes plans to return to the private sector while Meyer, now completely out of office, contemplates her future.
The show's premise is that Meyer is a former United States Senator who runs a failed Presidential campaign before being asked to be the winning candidate's Vice President. As Vice President, her world is kept in balance by her assistants: Amy Brookheimer (Anna Chlumsky) is the Vice President's chief of staff, while Gary Walsh (Tony Hale) is Meyer's grovelling personal aide. Selina also hires Dan Egan (Reid Scott), who threatens Amy's place in the staff, and Mike McLintock (Matt Walsh), a press spokesman. Meyer has no significant other, and requires that her daughter Catherine, from a past marriage, make appointments to see her.
Some suggest that Meyer is likely a Republican, while others feel she is a Democrat. Alessandra Stanley of The New York Times notes that Meyer's party affiliation is unknown because the show focuses on bullying and ego rather than ideology. James Poniewozik of Time explains the ambiguity as follows: Veep is "almost all politics and almost no political issues". Robert Lloyd of Los Angeles Times explains the lack of need for party affiliations, or even political ideology in a similar manner, saying that Veep is "less a show about politics than about politicking." In an interview with The New Yorker Radio Hour, Julia Louis-Dreyfus suggested that Meyer's associated political party is intentionally left unknown to the audience. Louis-Dreyfus later elaborated: "[Selina Meyer's] politics are all about her and staying alive ... she will hold any position if it keeps her in office." In the episode Election Night, CNN represents states won by Meyer as blue. In the same episode, she also comments winning the 'blue wall' states of Connecticut and Vermont with "A bowl of hair could win those states".
Poniewozik describes the season 1 Meyer as a "bumbling and overwhelmed" shadow of her former self. Merissa Marr of The Wall Street Journal describes Meyer as "inept". James Parker of The New York Times describes her as animated, powerless, prone to fits, and at times distracted. He notes that she motorcades and entourages with importance, but also passes time rotating dreamily in her swivel chair. Parker opines that Meyer "swears her head off" because that is what the modern "gaffe-phobic, linguistically constipated" public servant who has sold his/her soul to a lobbyist group does behind closed doors after public speeches about "ceaseless, toneless platitudes". Variety television critic Brian Lowry describes Meyer as "easily flustered, foul-mouthed", saying that her "over-reliance on profanity" is a comedic crutch. David Renshaw of The Guardian describes Meyer as "a perfect combination of ineptness and amorality".
T. A. Frank of The New Republic says that in season 1 she is completely ignored by the president and dismissed by Congress as she endures repeated indignities with a high degree of cynicism. According to Frank, Meyer slowly gains some respect and power, but it is not without effort. Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker, noted that the premise of a politician without influence striving for it suited itself well to a comedy and that her frequent cursing should not have been much of an issue given that it was an HBO production. Laura Bennett of The New Republic states that in season 1 Meyer is "a hapless buffoon, fluffing her hair and running in circles", who endures marginalization and irrelevance, but in season 2, which is set during midterm elections, she is "a player in the administration with concrete involvement in foreign policy".
The role has established Louis-Dreyfus as the all-time most Primetime Emmy Award decorated actress in terms of regular cast roles in a comedy series (i.e., not counting guest acting Emmys). It is the third character (after Elaine Benes on Seinfeld and Christine Campbell on The New Adventures of Old Christine ) for which Louis-Dreyfus has earned a Primetime Emmy Award (Outstanding Lead Actress or Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series). When Louis-Dreyfus earned the second Emmy nomination for this role it marked her fourteenth Primetime Emmy nomination for either Outstanding Lead Actress or Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, surpassing Lucille Ball's all-time record. The win tied her with Ball with a total of four and made her the first actress to win Primetime Emmy Awards for three different regular cast comedy roles. Her second win also made her the first actress to become a two-time awardee as a comedy actress for HBO.
She earned Primetime Emmy Awards for her season 1 and season 2 performances in 2012 and 2013 at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards and 65th Primetime Emmy Awards ceremonies. She was nominated at the 70th Golden Globe Awards and 71st Golden Globe Awards for her season 1 and season 2 performances. Her season 2 performance also earned a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series award at the 20th Screen Actors Guild Awards. Louis-Dreyfus has earned a wide range of additional nominations and awards for this role including nominations for Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series, TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Comedy, Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy, and Women's Image Network Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series.
In season 3, Meyer continued to be a critically acclaimed role. Louis-Dreyfus earned a Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series nomination at the 4th Critics' Choice Television Awards. At the 30th TCA Awards, Dreyfus won TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Comedy. Louis-Dreyfus again won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards. She was also nominated again for the Female Actor in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series at the 21st Screen Actors Guild Awards as well as Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy at the 72nd Golden Globe Awards.
The season 4 portrayal of Meyer continued to earn praise. At the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards Louis-Dreyfus won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for a fourth consecutive time. She was also nominated again for the Female Actor in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series at the 22nd Screen Actors Guild Awards as well as Best Actress – Television Series Comedy at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards. She also received acting nominations at the 5th Critics' Choice Television Awards, 20th Satellite Awards, and 31st TCA Awards. In earning her fourth consecutive and fifth overall Lead Actress Emmy, Louis-Dreyfus tied Mary Tyler Moore and Candice Bergen with five wins in the category and tied Helen Hunt for four consecutive wins in the category.
The season 5 performance earned a nomination for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series at the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards, which she ultimately won and dedicated to her recently deceased father. The win gave her the record of five consecutive wins in the category, surpassing Hunt as well as six total wins in the category surpassing Bergen and Moore. She received acting nominations at the 32nd TCA Awards. and 7th Critics' Choice Television Awards. She also wins again for the Female Actor in a Comedy Series and nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series at the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards as well as Best Actress – Television Series Comedy at the 74th Golden Globe Awards.
Louis-Dreyfus' performance as Meyer in season 6 again won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards, extending her records set the prior year.
- "Mother". May 15, 2016 – via IMDb.
- Solymon1 (October 6, 2012). "Veep Opening Theme" – via YouTube.
- "Veep: "Some New Beginnings"". April 6, 2014.
- "Veep: "Debate"". June 2, 2014.
- "Veep: "Crate"/"New Hampshire"". June 9, 2014.
- Aberturas de Séries (July 11, 2015). "HBO: Veep (Season 4) Intro / Opening Credits" – via YouTube.
- "Veep: "Convention"". May 10, 2015.
- "Veep returns as sharp and gloriously unsentimental as ever". April 24, 2016.
- Kulzik, Kate (May 15, 2016). "Julia Louis-Dreyfus shines as Veep introduces Selina's "Mother"". AV Club. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
- Poniewozik, James (April 20, 2012). "TV Weekend: Veep". Time. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
- Renshaw, David (August 8, 2013). "Veep – box set review: Julia Louis-Dreyfus is fantastic as a politically impotent vice-president in Armando Iannucci's enjoyably silly sitcom". The Guardian. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
- McElvoy, Anne (November 19, 2013). "All the single ladies: Borgen's Katrine joins the small-screen power mothers". London Evening Standard. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
- Tucker, Ken (April 22, 2012). "'Veep' premiere review: Julia Louis-Dreyfus was great, but did you actually laugh much?". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
- Stanley, Alessandra (November 14, 2013). "Four Eccentric Senators as Capitol Hill Roomies: 'Alpha House' Is Garry Trudeau's TV Comedy From Amazon". The New York Times. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
- Lloyd, Robert (April 20, 2012). "Review: Julia Louis-Dreyfus makes a first-rate, funny 'Veep': It's a treat to watch Julia Louis-Dreyfus put her smart comedic skills to the political test as Selina Meyer in Armando Iannucci's 'Veep' on HBO". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
- Remnick, David (March 11, 2016). "Episode 21: Julia Louis-Dreyfus on the Presidential Race, and Malcolm Gladwell on School Shootings". The New Yorker Radio Hour (Podcast). WNYC Studios. Event occurs at 10:35. Retrieved March 18, 2016.
- ""Veep" Election Night (TV Series)". IMDb. June 14, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
- Marr, Merissa (November 7, 2013). "A Place Where Pols are Popular: 'Alpha House' is the latest in a flurry of shows". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
- Parker, James (April 20, 2012). "What's It Like Having Power? How Would I Know?". The New York Times. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
- Lowry, Brian (April 8, 2013). "TV Review: 'Veep'". Variety. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
- Frank, T. A. (November 26, 2013). "America's Least-Favorite City Has Become Television's Favorite Subject". The New Republic. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
- O'Donovan, Gerard (October 16, 2013). "Veep, Series 2 Episode 1, Sky Atlantic, review: The second series of Veep, the Emmy-winning US political drama, set off at a blistering pace, says Gerard O'Donovan". The Telegraph. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
- Bennett, Laura (April 29, 2013). "The Sneaky Feminism of 'Veep' Selina Meyer and the problem with female characters in political comedies". The New Republic. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
- Itzkoff, David (May 3, 2013). "Artsbeat; HBO Orders Third 'Veep' Season". New York Times. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
- Wilson, Stacey (August 6, 2013). "Emmys: 12 Categories With Potentially Historic Wins". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
- Fernandez, Maria Elena (September 18, 2013). "Julia Louis-Dreyfus is on the trail to tie Lucille Ball in Emmy wins". Today. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
- Lewis, Hilary (September 22, 2013). "Emmys 2013: Julia Louis-Dreyfus Wins With Record-Breaking 14th Nomination". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
- Itzkoff, David (September 22, 2013). "'Breaking Bad,' 'Modern Family' Take Top Honors in a Tribute-Heavy Emmy Awards". New York Times. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
- Gavin, Patrick (April 2, 2013). "Julia Louis Dreyfus: Joe Biden congratulated me on Emmy win". Politico. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
- Farley, Christopher John (December 12, 2013). "Golden Globes Nominations 2014: '12 Years a Slave,' 'American Hustle' Lead Field". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
- King, Susan and Rene Lynch (January 18, 2014). "SAG Awards 2014: 'American Hustle' cast takes top honors". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 19, 2014.
- "SAG Awards 2014: The complete list of winners and nominees". Los Angeles Times. December 11, 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
- "'Big Bang Theory', 'Breaking Bad' score Critics' Choice Awards". United Press International. June 11, 2013. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
- Raftery, Liz (June 10, 2013). "TCA Award Nominations Announced". TV Guide. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
- Pond, Steve (December 2, 2013). "'12 Years a Slave' Tops Satellite Award Nominations". The Wrap. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
- "The Women's Image Network (WIN) Awards 14 NOMINATIONS Announced". PR Log. September 19, 2012. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
- "Critics' Choice TV Awards 2014: And the nominees are..." Entertainment Weekly. May 28, 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
- Birnbaum, Debra (July 19, 2014). "'Breaking Bad,' 'True Detective' Win at TCA Awards". Variety. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
- "Primetime Emmy Awards 2014: The winners list". CNN. August 26, 2014. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
- Mitovich, Matt Webb (December 10, 2014). "SAG Awards: Modern Family, Thrones, Homeland, Boardwalk, Cards Lead Noms; Mad Men Shut Out; HTGAWM, Maslany and Aduba Get Nods". TVLine. Retrieved December 10, 2014.
- Mitovich, Matt Webb (December 11, 2014). "Golden Globes: Fargo, True Detective Lead Nominations; Jane the Virgin, Transparent Score Multiple Nods". TVLine. Retrieved December 11, 2014.
- Lincoln, Ross A. (September 20, 2015). "Emmys: Julia Louis-Dreyfus Wins Best Actress, Comedy For 'Veep'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
- Lang, Brent (December 10, 2015). "'Carol,' Netflix Lead Golden Globes Nominations". Variety. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
- Ausiello, Michael (December 9, 2015). "SAG Awards: Game of Thrones, Homeland, House of Cards Lead Noms; Empire, Inside Amy Schumer Shut Out; Mr. Robot's Rami Malek Sneaks In". TVLine. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
- Li, Shirley (May 6, 2015). "The Critics' Choice TV Awards 2015: And the nominees are..." Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
- "Satellite Awards (2015)". International Press Academy. IPA. December 2, 2015. pressacademy.com. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (June 4, 2015). "2015 TCA Award Nominees Include 'Game of Thrones', 'Empire', 'The Americans' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
- Montgomery, Daniel (July 6, 2016). "Julia Louis-Dreyfus ('Veep') is 1-to-10 favorite to set Emmy record with 5th consecutive win". GoldDerby.com. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
- Littleton, Cynthia (June 15, 2015). "It's Time to Add New Actresses to the Emmy Comedy Mix". Variety. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
- "Emmys 2016: Tatiana Maslany, Rami Malek, 'Game of Thrones' and Jimmy Kimmel lead a gala that reflects TV's bold new age" – via LA Times.
- "Emmys 2016: The Full List of Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. July 14, 2016. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
- Whipp, Glenn (September 18, 2016). "Julia Louis-Dreyfus makes Emmy history". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
- Prudom, Laura (June 22, 2016). "'Mr. Robot,' 'The People v. O.J. Simpson' Lead TCA Awards Nominations". Variety. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
- Lincoln, Ross (November 14, 2016). "Critics' Choice TV Nominations Unveiled". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
- "SAG Awards 2017 gets political". CNN. January 30, 2017. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
- "Golden Globes 2017: Complete list of nominees". Los Angeles Times. December 12, 2016. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
- Harnick, Chris (September 17, 2017). "Veep Wins Outstanding Comedy Series at 2017 Emmys, Thanks "Trump White House"". E! Online. Retrieved September 20, 2017.