Imagine working for a company that promises a perfect balance between work and life. Just insert a chip in your head, and you forget concerns about your job when you go home….and vice versa.
Apple TV’s sinister office drama Severance attracted a lot of attention, and several Emmy nominations. Most of the cast appeared at Ballroom 20 for a panel hosted by Patton Oswalt. It included co-creators Ben Stiller and Dan Erickson, and cast members Adam Scott, Britt Lower, Dichen Lachman (Dollhouse, Agents of SHIELD), Jen Tullock and Tramell Tillman.
Even though the previous season was barely discussed, it really got into the characters and the main issues of how working really affects people. Erickson said he got the idea when he wondered what it would be like to forget what happens when he’s on the job.
Also, the first episode originally cast Scott as the new guy at Lumon while Helley (Lower) was the experienced one who would help him. Instead, it was the other way around.
When Helley does wake up in her new job, it’s almost like she’s part of the furniture. Lower says Ben Stiller has “great taste in office supplies”.
Actually, he was impressed by her audition tape.
She says her character is there to upset the rigid status quo within Lumon. Considering her true identity (revealed in the finale), this is ironic. It’ll be interesting how the company will deal with her rebellious ways.
Scott said he felt like he was playing the same guy but different parts of him on the job or at home. “One of them has 40 odd years of life experience,” he says, “like sorry and joy and all that stuff. The other one is like two and a half years old.”
Lachman plays Ms. Casey (although it’s revealed she is someone else) like a cipher. She knew her character’s arc since everyone was given the whole story before filming began. “All of that was a lot of fine tuning with Ben (Stiller),” she says, “because it was really a delicate line not to give anything away, really actually quite challenging.”
He agreed, saying they did a lot of experimentation to gradually show Casey’s true self and what she has lost.
She’s also well-known for telling a worker at Lumon what his “outie”, or what he are outside the office, is like. She said it was difficult to memorize the list while reading it in a certain way.
Trammell talked about how he came up with his character, Milchick, and how he is devoted to Lumon. They also talk about how scary he can be, especially when he suddenly starts a dance party. He doesn’t confirm if the show will delve more into Milchick’s home life, or why there’s a room with goats. Hopefully, more will be revealed soon.
There was also a lot of discussion of how the sets are made and how color plays a part in the tone of the series. They also admitted they’re stunned by the fan theories that are all over social media, especially Reddit. They read the comments anyway, even the ones that seemed to be better ideas than the show.
The panel does end with Dichen saying the audience’s “outie” is wise wearing masks at Comic-Con.
The first season of Severance is available on Apple TV, while season two hasn’t been scheduled yet.
Check out the SDCC Severance panel on our YouTube channel, Whedonopolis Videos here: SDCC 2022: Severance Panel .