“I think what’s interesting is if I feel like I haven’t really done that before,” says Emmy winner John Turturro about choosing his roles. The actor plays Irving on the Apple TV+ drama “Severance.” “Once you’ve done a lot of great texts, I’ve done a lot of stuff on stage too, you get a little spoiled. You feel like you know what’s possible. So you want to make it as complicated as possible for yourself. Which makes it interesting!” Watch the exclusive video interview above.
“Severance” is a psychological thriller created by Dan Erickson and directed by Ben Stiller. It stars Adam Scott as Mark, a man who leads a team of office workers whose memories have been surgically divided between their work and personal lives. One of Mark’s colleagues is Irving (Turturro), a stickler for company policy.
Turturro initially met with Stiller and Erickson for dinner to discuss his role. “They said, ‘You have this relationship with this person who you connect to in this world even though you are severed,'” he explains. “And I said, ‘Yeah, that would be really important who I would do that with.’ They said, ‘Do you have any ideas?’ and I said, ‘Yeah, I do. Christopher Walken.'”
“I love Chris,” he continues. “I love working with him and it’s easy to pass the ball back and forth with him. I directed Chris and I’ve also admired his work on stage and film. It’s just a delight to work with him. It’s easy if you have a strong feeling towards someone already as a person and they have an openness. He really dances with his partners. They said, ‘Do you think Chris would be open to it?’ and I said, ‘I’ll give him a call.'”
The actor shares most of his screen time with Scott, Britt Lower and Zach Cherry, who play co-workers that share Irving’s quad cubicle. “At first everybody was covered with masks and shields. It was really hard to get to know each other in such a strange set,” he admits. “It’s very evocative and it’s very right for that world. But it’s the kind of world I don’t think I could last very long in. It took us a while to get to know each other and then, eventually, there would be a green space where we were allowed, after we got our vaccines, to take our masks off and chat and things. Adam really gracefully carried a lot of the heavy lifting of the show. He was very generous and hard-working and really set a good tone. Britt is an interesting and talented young lady. Zach and I got along really well. I got a kick out of him.”
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