Julia Louis-Dreyfus on Selina's 'Veep' journey: 'I don't think evolution is part of her game'

Gary Levin
Tony Hale and Julia Louis Dreyfus on "Veep."

PASADENA, Calif. – Nearly two years after its sixth season, HBO's multiple-Emmy winning "Veep" is back March 31 for one last political run. 

But the shortened seven-episode season, delayed by Julia Louis-Dreyfus' cancer treatment, gave the star and producer David Mandel time to reflect on the current tumultuous political climate. 

"The reason I gave her cancer last January or February is it allowed me" time to reflect, Mandel joked at the Television Critics Association Friday.  "The sturm und drang of politics was changing so much, it gave us the chance to sit back and (change), even though we don’t have a historical perspective … not where we got to but parts of the journey to the end."

Louis-Dreyfus, speaking via satellite from Austria, parried that Mandel's cancer-giving gave their "relationship kind of a breaking point," years after they worked together on "Seinfeld." 

But the satirical show somehow seems less outrageous these days.

"Given our current political climate, it’s been more challenging for us to sort of push boundaries, so to speak," she said. "But having said that, we have this great virtue of not identifying any party in our show and not identifying any political figures. So that’s helpful, particularly now, and it’s in many ways why the show has lasted as long as it has – because it’s invited everyone to the party."

But the show is "more apt than it’s ever been, given all the insanity we’re currently living in."

Added Mandel: "Sometimes I feel like they’re another show and they’re stealing from us."

As for how it all ends, don't expect Louis-Dreyfus' Selina Meyer to suddenly appear a competent leader. "I’m not going to say Selina evolves, except to say she’s as true to herself as she can possibly be by the time this season ends," she said. "I don’t think evolution is part of her game."

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Mandel promises only that "everyone will be pleasantly surprised, in a hopefully funny way."

What surprised Louis-Dreyfus? 

"I was so overcome with a joy and grief mashup as this show ended," she said. "I’m an emotional person anyway but I will say it caught me by surprise. This was my baby for eight years now, (that) I’ve been fiercely protective and proud of. We've been through a lot as a group, with illness and losing people. It’s an enormous huge journey, but also something that’s been extremely powerful for us."