In the penultimate episode of Veep season four, Selina Meyer’s (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) staff is forced to testify about who was responsible for a data breach and lobbying that took place during her presidential campaign. The episode, a departure for the series, was also creator Armando Iannucci’s last day on set after he “fired” himself from the HBO series.
“It was a strange day not only because it was my last day but it was the last day of the shoot,” Iannucci told ET at the end of season four. Shot out of order, they had one day to film the episode. “We knew everyone was leaving the next day, and I knew that it was my last day ever.”
Unlike most episodes, which are full of ad-libbing and spontaneous ideas on set, “Testimony” had a specific script. “I said, ‘Learn the script. But as soon as you come into that room, the cameras are rolling,’” Iannucci told his stars, who were not prepped on who would be in the room for the hearing. Instead, the creator tried to mimic a real-life testimony, only allowing the cast to watch the testimonies that were shot before them, as if they aired on TV. “What was really nice about it was that each person, once they’ve done their section, they wanted to stay.”
As the cast finished shooting their final scenes, they gathered around the monitors to watch the playback to watch the courtroom drama play out. “It was a nice way to end shooting the season,” Iannucci recalled.
Even though the shoot was efficient -- each cast member had about 10 minutes to run through once, and another 15 to retry lines -- there was still plenty left on the cutting room floor as seen in ET’s exclusive deleted scene from the episode.
The scene plus other deleted moments can be seen in full when Veep season four is released on Blu-ray/DVD and Digital HD on Tuesday, April 19. The HBO series returns with season five on Sunday, April 24 at 10:30 p.m. ET.