OnlyOnAOL: The inside scoop on that shocking 'Veep' finale

Timothy Simons On "Veep"
Timothy Simons On "Veep"

By: Donna Freydkin

Well, driver's ed is in her future. A Nobel peace prize for freeing Tibet? Not so much.

After falling backwards into the presidency, then losing it to a more shellacked version of herself (Andrea Savage), Selina Meyer (the singular, brilliant Julia Louis-Dreyfus, whose dramatic and comedic range shows no end) found herself drunkenly wandering the White House, a surly, foul-mouthed, muddled and furious ghost of presidents past.

In the stunning season five finale of "Veep," Meyer, who was always president by default, ceded the position to Senator Laura Montez (Savage), who won during a protracted congressional vote.

What's next for Selina, a crude narcissistic single mother and career politician? Not even the new leader of the free world can say.

"I have no idea. Yesterday was their first day back. Dave (Mandel, the showrunner) is probably the only person that has any clue what it would be. It sounds like they're going to really explore what it's like to be an ex-president and how weird that is," says Savage.

Imagine Selina, and her panting punching bag Gary (Tony Hale) hitting the mall. Or waiting in line for lattes. Or going antiquing. It's painful and strange and makes for 14-carat comedy gold. "Selina is a horrible person in every way but she's vulnerable and so real that a part of you feels badly for her. That's Julia. It's a testament to her. She was punched in the throat like four times," says Savage.

She got the role of Montez, the senator from Ohio who heightens her Latina roots with a creative accent, after auditioning the "good old-fashioned way," says Savage. "I speak Spanish so when I went in for my audition, I threw in some Spanish words and some aggressive pronunciation. But they didn't say what it was for. It was not a lot of information. You just knew you were senator. I went in to meet with Julia and read with her. It was awesome. I didn't quite know what I was walking into. They were shooting so I was on set that day. She was super down-to-earth and smart and funny. She immediately makes you feel calmer."

When Savage got to the table read and saw her storyline, she was stunned. Then she got to work. "It's Selina's worst nightmare not only to not win but to lose to a slightly younger, more confident version of her, with a nice family," says Savage. "Julia is the end all, be all, and I'm sort of the foil to her."

She didn't have much time to prep, or overthink the part. Nailing down Montez's rather unique coif -- a fancy version of helmet head -- did the trick. "That hair took a long time. It was awesome. A lot of teasing. Over an hour to get that height. It's wide, too," says Savage.

Her look, says Savage, isn't based on any one person, regardless of what you might have read. "It's an amalgamation of a lot of female politicians. As soon as I got the hair, that helped."

Behind closed doors, says Savage, "I am privately pretty political. I was a political science major at Cornell. I follow it pretty closely."