Vulture had a behind the scenes look of the final episode of the show where showrunner David Mandel offered up this little gem:
"Nobody wanted Julia to get cancer. That being said, I do think I’ll look back and say to myself that Julia’s cancer was the best thing that happened to the series."
JLD's cancer diagnosis meant that the final season of the show was delayed for a year while she received treatment (she's currently in remission). It also changed the trajectory of the season as originally Mandel planned[Spoiler (click to open)]for the season finale convention to be a power struggle where Selina didn't have enough delegates to be the party nominee so she asked Jonah to be her vp. Ultimately Jonah took so long to answer her that Tom James was able to maneuver his way into the nomination.
The flash forward would have only been 8 years in the future and would have seen Richard Splett successfully gaining the Democratic nomination and asking Selina to be his VP which she accepted.
The delay meant that Mandel got to see more of Trump's presidency and he decided that[Spoiler (click to open)]
the current political era is post-consequences so he wanted Selina to succeed at getting what she wanted. The article reveals that the final script notes that when Selina is sitting in the oval office she has become "our Trump".
Vulture was with the Veep cast through the last episode and offered a behind the scenes look:
- JLD asks the writers to cut some of the uses of c*nt out of the final script because there were so many
- Mandel originally wrote the scene where Selina asks Tom for his political support with Selina offering him a blow job and JLD pushed back hard on the idea of Selina trading sex for power
- JLD pushes for a lot of the emotional beats on the show including adding a scene where Selina actually cares about Ben's heart attack and asking the writers to give more dialogue to Reid Scott (who plays Dan Egan)
- The writers repeatedly banter back and forth to make jokes more crude. For example a line where Selina wants to tell Michelle York (Tom's staffer/lover) she's easy changes from "You were the last one off the campaign bus" to "You were the gash of least resistance".
- JLD and several women writers have to flag a moment in the script where Michelle York refers to herself as a girl instead of a woman (Mandel compromises and allows Michelle to refer to herself as both a woman and a girl at various points)
- Everyone cried on their last days on set. JLD and Tony Hale kept crying through their final scene. Mandel got JLD to cry in her last shot by telling her that Selina was all alone after betraying Gary