Geoffrey Arend is the man behind the Madam
GEOFFREY Arend; if the name doesn't immediately ring a bell you'd definitely know him if you saw him, and chances are you've seen him in more than a few things.
The prolific star has been in everything from movies like Super Troopers to Garden State, TV shows including Law and Order and Grey's Anatomy, voicing cult animated series Daria and even video games like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
He's becoming an increasingly familiar face with a key role as speech writer Matt Mahoney in popular political drama Madame Secretary, which is back this week for a second season.
"I'm loving it - I've never done a show for a network that has lasted like this and it's like developing a new muscle," he told APN.
"We do one episode after the other in a marathon of work but I'm enjoying it so much because the scripts are so good - the first season was incredible and we've stepped it up this year and have some really strong stuff."
Starring Tea Leoni as Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord, Arend said her character, and the show, was a powerful one because not only did it explore contemporary global issues but also the theme of an outsider stepping into high office and trying to make the world better while also maintaining relationships with a spouse and children.
"She is a comforting and interesting character to sit down with at night - television has great power to heal and influence as we sit passively watching and shows like this help work out some of those broader issues that we are confronted with in the world."
But Elizabeth McCord isn't the only powerful woman in his life.
Married to Emmy Award-nominated actress Christina Hendricks, life imitated art when the pair penned a speech that she delivered at the White House Working Families Summit earlier this year.
"She got up and spoke right before Obama and I sat there listening to her and I thought 'oh my god I'm actually a speech writer!' but I think I prefer playing one on TV than actually being one.
"When she was filming Mad Men she would want to tell me what's going on but I didn't want to know because it would have ruined the viewing experience for me when I actually got to watch the episodes.
"With Madam Secretary she's always asking me what's going to happen but as much as she asks I won't tell her but luckily we film these episodes so quickly by the time she asks I can't remember anyway so that's really helpful."
There's plenty to talk about with guest appearances from Oscar winner and executive producer Morgan Freeman and former secretary of state Madeleine Albright coming up.
"It's just so cool to work on a show that can attract that level of talent," he said.
Madam Secretary season two debuts on Wednesday at 8.30pm on Channel 10.