By the end of Veep’s fifth season, it seemed clear that Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) was going to be out of the Oval Office, and was set to resume her role as vice president under her running mate-turned-replacement, Tom James (Hugh Laurie). [Some spoilers ahead.] Then, during the Senate vote, the show’s sitting vice president, Andrew Doyle (Phil Reeves), surprised everyone by voting for New Mexico Senator Laura Montez, played by Andrea Savage, and the season ended with Montez’s presidential inauguration.
Savage’s own profile has been on the ascent of late, too. Her first role was Renata Vargas on Sweet Valley High. After working with the Groundlings Theater troupe in L.A., she had bit parts in films like Step Brothers and Dinner For Schmucks, as well as supporting roles on shows like The League and Modern Family. She’s also one of the stars of Hulu’s Real Housewives parody series, The Hotwives. Behind the scenes, she’s written for Funny or Die and the cult TV series Dog Bites Man, as well as her upcoming pilot, I’m Sorry, in which she also stars.
We spoke with Savage about playing a small but pivotal role on the HBO political comedy, as well as becoming the villain in the new season of iZombie, and how she plans on breaking the mold for sitcom moms in I’m Sorry.
You appeared briefly early on in Veep this season before the big surprise. Did you know your character would have such a huge impact by the end of the season?
Well, the way it was done, we shot those little things from earlier [in the season] after the fact. Those were put in retroactively, I guess is what it’s called, because they didn’t cast my role until the end of their finale. Then they had to go back and shoot a couple things to get it so I was a presence a little bit in the season before that. All those little things where I’m standing and listening to the speeches were all shot during the same time we’re shooting the finale. When I went in originally and read with Julia I didn’t know. They had fake signs, [but] they didn’t tell me what it was going to be. It wasn’t until after I got the role that they told me what it was. It was very, very secretive.