Veep star Timothy Simons has revealed that his character, Jonah Ryan, is based on a real-life politician. (Fear not, there are no season 7 spoilers here).
Ryan is a ne’er-do-well Congressman from New Hampshire who cost Selina Meyer the presidency when he botched a vote in the House after an election ending in an Electoral College tie.
His career began as a “liaison” between the vice president’s office and the West Wing – an entirely pointless post he constantly tried to exploit to get girls and rub shoulders with Washington powerbrokers.
Ryan is immature, boorish, crass, gullible, and utterly hilarious for all the wrong reasons.
On Tuesday, Simons explained on Late Night with Seth Meyers that the inspiration for his character is Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R).
Originally conceived out of a “smash together” of “D.C. lackeys that all they care about is proximity to power,” it makes perfect sense that Cruz would be Ryan’s eventual archetype.
“He’s charmless, and he’s graceless, and he’s narcissistic, and he doesn’t care about anybody but himself,” Simons said of Ryan, “The person, speaking of charmless and graceless and just universally disliked, I based a lot of it on Ted Cruz.”
“Begrudgingly you have to admit that Ted Cruz, he has fallen ass-backwards into some sort of power and until he’s out, everybody just has to deal with him, and that’s very much Jonah’s vibe, that’s his thing,” Simons said.
Makes total sense, tbh.
Jonah Ryan is inspired by…
— Justin Gunderman (@JustinGunderman) April 3, 2019
The connection between Cruz and Ryan was initially drawn a couple of years ago, and people were here for it.
On my latest PopPolitics, Veep's Tim Simons says there's a "large Venn diagram crossover" of Jonah Ryan & Ted Cruz. https://t.co/Z6TdSkYn2X
— Ted Johnson (@tedstew) June 4, 2017
credit to ted cruz where it’s due: i really enjoy getting to see what it would be like if jonah ryan were less self-aware and likable
— Kellie Herson (@kellieherson) December 18, 2017
This is funny because Ted Cruz is the Senate's Jonah Ryan. https://t.co/GGA8mZrB6h
— Chris Hall (@dchrishall) July 10, 2017
I just realized that Jonah Ryan is Ted Cruz. #Veep
— KerooSeta is a Metroidvania (@whiteflea) June 28, 2017
As far back as 2016, Simons was flaunting the parallels.