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.