Dan Erickson interview: ‘Severance’ creator
“In a moment like that you take a step back and think, ‘Wow! This is something I’ve always dreamed of,'” recalls “Severance” creator Dan Erickson while discussing the Apple TV+ show’s 14 Emmy nominations. He was up for two himself, for Best Drama Series as a producer and Best Drama Writing for the episode “The We We Are.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.
“I had to figure out where you buy a tux and all this other stuff that was new for me,” he admits. “Severance” is Erickson’s first TV series. His script got the attention of Ben Stiller, who joined on to produce and direct the psychological thriller. 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. The ensemble cast also includes Patricia Arquette, Britt Lower, John Turturro, Zach Cherry and Christopher Walken.
Erickson discusses how he was a bit of a late bloomer in Hollywood, but it may have been for the best. “It never happened for me when I was 22,” he says. “Looking back, I wouldn’t have been ready for it. Especially with this theme that ‘Severance’ has, where so much of it is about having your identity taken away by life and by the work system and trying to make a living. This feeling of slowly losing who you are. That was something I knew of in theory when I was 22, but I look back and I’m very lucky to have spent two decades in the workforce doing different jobs, working different places and in a wide variety of roles. Creatively, certainly it made me stronger. And I like to think I wouldn’t have become a total jerk if this happened for me at 25, but there is a little more humility when it happens when you’re older. I was in my early to mid 30s when I first met with Ben. I was starting to ask myself the question, do I need to figure something else out?”
We also discuss the highly anticipated second season, which is in production but has no premiere date set. “It’s so exciting,” Erickson reveals. “There is an expanding world that I think is teased, and in a way is owed, by the way that we ended season 1. We did suddenly get some glimpses of Helly’s life on the outside. What is Dylan’s life on the outside? What is Irving’s life on the outside? They have stuff going on that we haven’t seen, that we haven’t explored yet. And of course, inside the company, there’s plenty of stuff that we haven’t seen yet. It’s expanding on both sides. That’s both the fun and the challenge.”