With the Season 6 start just a month away, the cast of HBO’s Veep came to SXSW on Monday, along with the newest addition to the show, writer-producer David Mandel. Between jokes, at times breaking into character, stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tony Hale, Matt Walsh, Reid Scott, Timothy Simons, Sam Richardson, Anna Chlumsky and Gary Cole teased, just a little, about what’s in store in a post-Selina Meyer presidency when the next 10-episode season begins April 16.
“Keep your eyes on Obama,” Mandel said during the conversation moderated by NBC’s Chuck Todd at Ballroom D in the Austin Convention Center. “As you see him sign his book deal, don’t be surprised if Selina [Meyer] signs a book deal — though probably for not so much money. We have all these former presidents out there — Jimmy Carter doing humanitarian work, there’s the Clinton Foundation. These topics will come up in some form.”
Todd asked if the two-time Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy winner gets accused of a liberal bent, as he does as an MSNBC host, and whether the age of Trump will factor into the show’s future.
“I don’t want to do Trump stuff,” Louis-Dreyfus said. “We’ve set up this premise for the show that’s an alternative political universe. We don’t reference people beyond Reagan.”
She added later: “We’ve found a way to blow up the premise of Veep again and again,” said Dreyfus. “We found a way to do it in Season 3 when Selina becomes president and we’ve found a way to do it again.” Added Mandel to laughs: “And [yet] we still call it Veep!”
With the end of the Meyers administration, Mandel said that what is true in real life, with the people who no longer have appointed political positions, is also true on the show, which viewers will see unfold.
“We’ll follow the characters off as they go into different directions,” said Reid Scott, who plays Dan Egan. “This season, Dan is off into his own world.”
Talking process, Dreyfus admitted that she has long days in her off-camera role as an executive producer of the show. Writing for the next season of Veep will begin in late spring, with shooting on the next 10 episodes slated to start in September. The editing process is “very long,” according to Mandel. By the time viewers are watching the first episode, edits are still going on for later episodes in the season.
“Julia is always there,” said Mandel. “She isn’t just taking the executive producer credit.”
Asked if she’d ever consider going back to a network show, the former Seinfeld and New Adventures of Old Christine star said she can’t “fathom going back” to network television now, but that she isn’t “thinking about the next gig at all.”
The comment prompted co-star Simons, who plays Jonah Ryan, to chime in: “That’s what a person says when they say they’re not going to run for president!”