Severance Season 2: Ben Stiller uses family as a “focus group” for the storyline

Stiller joked there was an “ongoing debate” on whether or not his family wanted to know behind-the-scenes details of the Emmy-nominated series.

Ben Stiller has his family dodge, duck, dive, dive and dodge all the spoilers about “Severance” Season 2.

The director and executive producer of the Emmy-nominated AppleTV+ series revealed to People magazine that he’s asking children Ella, 20, and Quinlin, 17, to be a “focus group” for the “Severance” storylines… but his Family would much rather have Stiller undergo a Lumon disengagement procedure to keep his work and personal life separate and avoid season 2 spoilers.

“My kids were sort of my first test screening when I was editing episodes,” Stiller shared. “I would show them and they started getting into it. I’ve shown them at different times, but it was fun to have them as a sort of focus group to see what they responded to.”

But while Stiller is working on Season 2, his kids don’t want spoilers.

“We have this ongoing debate about spoilers because I’m writing the scripts and prepping the show,” said the Dodgeball star. “And I’m going to want to ask them questions and they’re like, ‘Well, don’t tell us.’ Do you want to know or not? So it’s like an ongoing debate.”

Stiller continued, “I don’t know what’s going to happen because then my son says, ‘Well, there’s going to be dailies that are going to come in and we’re going to hear you’re going to a certain location and we’re going to ask questions’ , so I think they both want to know and don’t want to know. So let’s try to find out. We all have to figure that out together.”

“Severance” follows Mark (Adam Scott), a Cog employee who decided to go through an experimental process to have an alternate work self. But as his boss (Patricia Arquette) becomes more involved in his personal and professional life, Mark begins to wonder if he made the right decision.

Showrunner Dan Erickson exclusively told IndieWire that director Stiller is “fiercely protective” of the Erickson-written pilot. “I feel like he had it in his mind from our first conversation that there was something special here and he knows at this point in his career that he has the influence to protect it and make sure it doesn’t get diluted Make sure it doesn’t feel – in translation to the screen – more like something we’ve seen before,” Erickson explained.

The AppleTV+ series received 14 Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series, Direction for Stiller, Actor for Adam Scott, and Supporting Actress for Patricia Arquette.

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Lindsay Lowe

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