Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Interviews: ‘In the Loop’

posted by Nell Minow

“In the Loop” is a scathingly funny satire about politics and politicians. While it names no names of individuals or countries or conflicts, it is inspired by the British and American government in the run-up to the Iraq war. But it is perpetually timely for its take on the pettiness and thuggery of complex organizations. Think “Dr. Strangelove” meets “The Office.”


I spoke to actor David Rasche and director Armando Iannucci, who also co-wrote, when they came to Washington DC for a screening and question and answer session.

Rasche has shown a skill for deadpan comedy as the title detective character in “Sledge Hammer!” But this is not his first political role — he played a CIA staffer in “Burn After Reading” and the President of the United States in “DAG” and “The Sentinel.” He is a confirmed political junkie and was really looking forward to seeing the movie with a Washington D.C. audience.

What do you think will be special about showing this film in Washington?

Various cities have various characters but I’ve found my group here. My wife can’t wait to go to the screening and see Washington look at itself in the mirror.


How did you prepare for this role of a State Department official who is both hawkish and bureaocratic?

I’ve been preparing for this role for eight years, five hours a day watching CNN, MSNBC, and Fox. So I brought all of my ammunition to that character, and made him arrogant, self-serving, condescending and belittling and supercilious. If that reminds you of Rove, Rumsfeld, or Addington, well….

Mimi Kennedy [who plays his anti-war State Department adversary] is also very, very political, and she also spent five hours a night watching the news. She was very familiar with the terrain not just through watching the news but through her own work with Truth in Voting.


The script gave us an adversarial relationship. It told me a lot of what I thought about her. And we drew some of our performance from Washington itself. This place is fierce! People will talk to you as long as they are interested. And everyone is always like “My take on this is smarter than yours is,” or “Bob told me, he didn’t tell you??” Every moment is a contest. As they say, Washington is Hollywood for ugly people.

This is a British film that shows the contrasts — and similarities — between the UK and the US. Is there a difference in audiences or styles of humor?

There’s no difference in humor. This is a British film but it has the same two strains of DNA as in American comedy, the verbal wit and the situational.


Your character seems to believe that facts would only distract him from the truth.

I think there’s some Illinois in that. My dad was a little like that. You’d say, “Want to try this new kind of curry?” And he’s say “Nope! Nope! Nope!” I think that is just what [one-time Illinois Congressman] Rumsfeld felt. He already had everything he needed. I’m from Illinois, too! I can sing the state song!

You cannot talk about this movie without discussing the astonishingly inventive invective, the avalanche of profanity and insult.

The funny thing about it is that it is volcanic but somehow innocent because of the sheer magnitude. There’s so much of it, it’s silly. This is ornate, it’s oriental, it’s unbelievable, embroidered. In London, if you have less than three c-words in a movie it’s 13 and under. One of the writers specialized in this and when they needed some sort of over-the-top rant they would ask him for it.

  • Alicia

    David Rasche said:
    “What an unfortunate way to frame an argument — with us or against us. i think there was a great deal of weakness, they pretend to be very strong but they’re very weak.”
    I agree completely. In fact, I think the same people like Cheney who are falling all over themselves calling Obama weak for not being afraid to talk to foreign leaders are the real weaklings. Arrogance isn’t strength.

  • Pingback: ‘My Girl’ Grows Up — Anna Chlumksy in a New DC Satire - Movie Mom

Previous Posts

Tribute: Kevin "Moochie" Corcoran
We mourn the loss of actor/producer Kevin Corcoran, a child star in classic Disney movies and then a producer and director. Kevin was one of several Corcoran siblings to appear on television and in movies in the 1950's-60's. His sister ...

posted 12:08:40pm Oct. 08, 2015 | read full post »

Contest: Signed Golden Shoes Shirts and Soccer Ball!
I am delighted to be able to share a really exciting giveaway! You can win signed shirts and a soccer ball from the new family ...

posted 8:00:20am Oct. 08, 2015 | read full post »

Auli’i Cravalho Finds Out She Has Been Cast as Moana, the Heroine of Disney's New Animated Feature!
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0"] "Moana" will be in theaters Thanksgiving 2016. ...

posted 5:58:25pm Oct. 07, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Bryan Carberry and J. Clay Tweel on the Documentary "Finders Keepers"
Bryan Carberry and J. Clay Tweel have made some of my favorite documentaries, including "King of Kong" and "Make Believe," bringing us into worlds that at first seem exotic and downright weird and seamlessly making us feel a part of small fringe ...

posted 3:30:30pm Oct. 07, 2015 | read full post »

List: Movies about Peter Pan
James M. Barrie's play "Peter Pan" premiered in 1904 and the story of the boy who wouldn't grow up is still one of the best-loved of all time. This week the prequel "Pan" opens up in theaters, with Hugh Jackman, Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily, and ...

posted 8:00:02am Oct. 07, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.