Anna Chlumsky Trades the Oval Office for Silicon Valley in 'Halt and Catch Fire'
If she can handle the stress of the White House, Silicon Valley is a cakewalk, right? Right?! Veep’s Anna Chlumsky teams up with the tech pioneers of 1990s-set Halt and Catch Fire for the AMC drama’s final season as Dr. Katie Herman, a doctor of library science who joins Joe MacMillan (Lee Pace) and Gordon Clark (Scoot McNairy) at Comet, their startup. They’re currently in an arms race with former partner Donna (Kerry Bishé) to create the first internet search mechanism. Dr. Herman is tasked with something called ontology. Which leads to our first question…
What exactly is ontology?
Ontology is one of those funny 1990s Silicon Valley–invented practices. Basically, it’s like the study of things. Back in the beginning of search engines they had to kind of invent this position for people to categorize information that they were finding on the internet, and she’s one of the first to do that.
She’s part of a team that Joe and Gordon hire. How does she distinguish herself from everyone else?
They’ve had all of these people working on the search site with absolutely no leadership or organization. Right away she jumps in and is able to see the flow of work and how she can direct it better. That’s one of her gifts.
A show about the future, set in the past, gets nostalgic for the way we used to communicate.
Amy Brookheimer, your character on Veep, has a high-strung intensity that would fit in perfectly with this crowd. Is Dr. Herman anything like her?
She is so not Amy! She enjoys fun! She’s also got some deeper stuff going on.
What kind of deeper stuff?
We find out little hints as we get to know her. You know, there are runners and there are fighters. When things start to get uncomfortable, she doesn’t necessarily stick around. I think we’ll discover how that affects her as the story continues.
Halt and Catch Fire, Saturdays, 9/8c, AMC
This article also appeared in the Aug. 21–Sept. 3 issue of TV Guide Magazine