Veep, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer, returns with its seventh and final season tonight on HBO. The show returns after a 2018 hiatus, while Louis-Dreyfus was receiving treatment following her breast cancer diagnosis. Today, she is reported to be cancer-free.
In September 2017, one day after Julia Louis-Dreyfus won her sixth consecutive Emmy Award for Best Actress in a Comedy for her work on Veep, she revealed on social media that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Shortly after she shared her diagnosis with the public, E! Online reported that production for the final season of Veep was delayed. Executive Producer Frankie Rich told “The Press Pool” in an interview “I can tell you that Julia is undergoing treatment for breast cancer and we’re obviously postponing production of the show. We were supposed to have started now while she’s in treatment, but the expectation is that we will shoot again. We have one more season we’re doing, which we’re incredibly excited about.”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus revealed that she was cancer-free in October 2018 on Jimmy Kimmel Live. On the late night talk show, she opened up about chemo, sharing the journey with her social media followers, and how the whole experience alerted her to the United States’ health care problem.
Though the show’s production was pushed back, table readings of the season 7 scripts still took place, with Julia participating when able. According to USA Today, executive producer David Mandel spoke out about what he witnessed during Julia’s chemo treatments, saying “I can’t speak for her, but she had a rough chemo. We’d do a read and come back three weeks later to do another, and she’d be that much more emaciated and gaunt. If anybody coughed, we banned them from the building like three days before, God forbid we got her sick.”
Even if she wasn’t feeling well, Julia said that Veep and the people involved in it kept her going through the struggle: “It was a very strong reminder of this light that was there at the end of this crazy dark tunnel through which I was traveling,” Louis-Dreyfus says. “It was a tonic to know that was waiting on the other side. And it was such a wonderful way to make a living. Don’t tell HBO this, but they wouldn’t have even had to pay me to do this – I would have done this for free. I just I loved every second of it. So in many ways, it was a lifesaver.”
As she went through chemo and surgery, she kept her fans updated on Instagram, and even shared photos of the hoodie and drawn-on mustache she wore to chemotherapy treatments. And on the last day of her chemo, she shared a video that her sons made of the two celebrating to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.”
She shared another update on Instagram after the surgery she received after finishing chemo; in the caption, she wrote “Hoorah! Great doctors, great results, feeling happy and ready to rock after surgery. Hey cancer, “Fuck you!” Here’s my first post-op photo.”