First Look at Julia Louis-Dreyfus in the Final Season of 'Veep'
By Paige Gawley
Selina Meyer is back!
On Monday, in honor of Presidents Day, HBO dropped the first look at the final season of Veep. The series, which is slated to premiere its seventh season on March 31, looks to pick up right where it left off in season six, after taking a year off for star Julia Louis-Dreyfus' battle with breast cancer.
In the trailer, Selina (Louis-Dreyfus) is on the campaign trail to try and secure her spot in the White House. It's not all easy going though, and in the opening seconds she even laments that she doesn't want to be president to all Americans.
In addition to her own misgivings about the highest office in the land, Selina has to contend with Jonah Ryan's (Timothy Simons) own presidential campaign, which he is seen running by pandering to anti-vaxxers and holding a screaming baby.
On the personal end, Selina's daughter Catherine (Sarah Sutherland) is struggling with postpartum depression after welcoming a son with her partner, Marjorie (Clea DuVall), last season.
It appears to be the same old Selina, with her exclaiming in frustration: "I was the game changer! I took a dump on the glass ceiling!"
At HBO's Television Critics Association press tour earlier this month, Veep showrunner Dave Mandel discussed the surprising benefit of halting production for Louis-Dreyfus' cancer treatments.
"When we shut down for Julia’s cancer… the odd benefit... was last year, I became very aware of how the storm and dragof politics was so changing, and it did give us a chance to sit back and [discuss], 'What are politics about?'" Mandel revealed. "We did actually make some changes to [the show]... and some of the journey and some of the details at the end, which I’m so happy we did."
When it was time to get back to work in August 2018 -- following Louis-Dreyfus' September 2017 cancer diagnosis -- the cast and crew returned for an abbreviated season, shooting just seven episodes instead of their typical 10.
"I knew where the show was going to end. Then it was a matter of how long it would take to get to the end," Mandel explained. "We reached a very natural point, storytelling-wise, that we looked at each other and went, 'I think that’s the end. That’s right.' So I can only tell you they’re crazy, jam-packed episodes. I think you’ll find there’s more than 10 episodes of material packed into them."
Louis-Dreyfus, 58, joined the panel via satellite and called the end of the series "a very sad thing."
"We’ve been through a lot as a group, with illness and losing people, and it’s been an enormous, huge journey but ultimately one that has been extremely powerful for us, just personally, to be a part of something this gratifying on a creative level," she said. "It's not lost on me that it’s not something that comes along with frequency."
"... I think where our show ends up, ultimately, is a place I’m very happy about. And I think it will surprise viewers," she added.
Last October, Louis-Dreyfus told ET that she initially went public with her diagnosis because she knew it was going to affect the series.
"Originally, I'll be honest with you, something like this journey I'd been on, I normally wouldn't share such a private thing publicly," she shared. "[However], I knew it would get out there because I knew we had to shut down production [on Veep] for a number of months in order to accommodate my situation."
"So then I thought, 'Well, I'm just going to embrace this and attack it and try to do it with a sense of humor,'" Louis-Dreyfus added. "I was really pleased with the reaction."
The final season of Veep premieres March 31 on HBO.