35 Severance Facts You Should Know

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Severance facts

Severance is an American series that is in the genre of a science-fiction psychological thriller. It is known to be one of the finest Sci-fi series of recent times. It is directed by Ben Stiller and Aoife McArdle. The lead actors of the series are Adam Scott, Britt Lower, and Zach Cherry.

This series premiered on 18 February 2022 on Apple TV+. This intriguing thriller is about a workplace called Lumon Industries, where people have separate memories in their brains for personal and professional life. These separate memories are achieved by performing surgery called Severance.

It means that the employee does not remember anything about work after his work hours, and similarly, he does not remember any of the events from his personal life during work. A worker who recently joined this company sets out to find the truth behind the dark secrets of this company.

Also Read: Where is Severance Filmed? About the Locations & Sets

Page Contents

1. The creator and producer had the same lead actor in mind.

The creator of the series Dan Ericson always had Adam Scott in mind for the role of Mark. The executive producer of the series, Ben Stiller, also thought Adam Scott would be perfect for the role. It was purely a coincidence, and none of them did not know about this. When they sat to talk about the cast, surprisingly, both of them wanted Adam Scott to play this role and finalized him as he would be perfect for this role.

Poster of Severance TV show.
Severance show poster. (Credits: IMDb)

2. The script was written 5 years before it was released.

The TV series Severance aired on 18 February 2022. But, the show was written 5 years before it was released. In one of his Twitter replies, Ben Stiller, the executive producer of the series, replied to a tweet that said the show was similar to the Loki series of marvel.

Ben said that it had nothing in common with the Loki series and also mentioned that Severance was written way before the Marvel series. He also mentioned that it was the longest project he had ever worked on. 

Severance Office and its employees.
Lumon Office. (Credits: IMDb)

3. The series was inspired by true events that happened in the life of its creator.

The severance series is surprisingly very realistic as many people suffer with the in and out the office- personalities in real life. These in-and-out personalities plot was inspired by the creator Dan Erickson’s life. He had a 9 to 5 job which he dreaded.

Mark entering the Severance Office.
Mark enters the office. (Credits: Apple TV / YouTube)

He often thought that it would be great if he was away from everything while working. Later, the creator drew inspiration from this thought and created this story where people had different personalities inside and outside the office. So, the main plot was inspired by the true events of the creator’s life.

Also Read: Best Shows Similar To Severance That You Must Watch

4. The lead character was given different voice modulations to show the change in his personal and work personalities.

The main character is Mark. Played by Adam Scott, the series has two different characters inside and outside the office. He has a past and is an alcoholic on the outside personality, but inside the office, he is an intelligent working professional.

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Adam Scott, the actor who played the role of Mark.
Mark is working in the office. (Credits: IMDb)

To depict this dual character in his personality, the creator decided to show voice modulation for his in and our characters. The outside voice is low and soft, whereas the inside voice is firm, loud, and clear. This represents his dual nature in the series.

5. The computers used by the Macro Data Refinement team in the series have no escape key.

Lumon Industries is a company based on artificial intelligence which uses the “Severance” method on its employees. There are a group of employees who work in different teams in the series. One such team is the Macro Data Refinement team. The computer keyboards used by this team do not have an escape key. The creator has brilliantly depicted that there is no escape for the employees working here.

Keyboards used by employees in the Severance office in which escape key is not present.
Keyboard in Lumon office. (Credits: KBD)

6. Creators used red and blue colors to represent the dual nature of the characters.

Throughout the series, we can see the color pattern of red and blue appearing. The colors were purposely chosen to represent the duality of the characters in the show. It is often considered that red and blue are opposite colors. In the series, they represent the good and evil sides of the characters. They also represent hell and heaven. This color representation gives us a hint about the theme of the show.

The color palette of the series is mostly red and blue.
A still from the series. (Credits: Apple TV / YouTube)

7. The road in the series is shaped like a transistor because it was filmed at the place where the transistor was invented.

An address mentioned in the series, which is 101 Crawfords Corner Rd Holmdel, NJ, is shaped like a transistor. The series was filmed at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey, which is the place where the transistor was invented. So, to pay tribute to this place, the creators shaped the roadways in the shape of a transistor. The water tower shown in the series is also in the shape of a transistor due to the very same reason.

Transistor shape, represented in the series as a tribute to the place where it was filmed.
Lumon office. (Credits: Apple TV / YouTube)

8. The corporate looks in the series were a blend of looks from three decades.

To design the office looks in the film, the Production Designer studied corporate looks for three decades. Jeremy Hindle, the Production Designer of the show, then blended all the looks from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s to create a unique and new design for the cast. He created unique yet modern designs for the series.

Employees Mark, Dylan, Irving, and Helly.
A still from the series. (Credits: IMDb)

9. The neurosurgeon in episode 2 is an actual doctor who explained to the cast how a severance chip would be inserted in real life.

The cast consulted a neurosurgeon who trained them on how a severance chip can visibly be inserted in real life. The same neurosurgeon gave an appearance in episode 2 of the TV show. The director and creator of the show wanted to make sure that the cast knew about this scenario was possible in real life.

Helly undergoing the process of Severance.
Helly is undergoing Severance surgery. (Credits: Pete Peppers / YouTube)

So, they arranged an appointment to consult the doctor. The real surgeon mentioned that it is quite possible and that we are not far off from achieving the severance chip stage.

10. The order of filming the scenes was random.

The director did not film all the scenes in a particular order. Instead, it was shot like a film and not a series. The filming was done randomly, and due to this, the actors were genuinely surprised about the scenes.

The series was not filmed in a sequential order.
Employees at the office. (Credits: SAAS Transportation, Inc / Pinterest)

The reactions seemed natural and genuine as they were confused about all the twists. The actors did not know which episode they were filming. It was like a surprise to the artists as they used to perform scenes from different episodes in a single day.

11. Britt Lower, who played Helly, used to doodle her character on set.

Britt Lower played the role of Helly, who is one of the main characters in the series. As the crew did not film the scenes in order, Britt used to get confused about her character and its development. She used to draw graphic images of her character Helly to keep track of her sequences.

Britt Lower who played the role of Helly.
Helly at the office. (Credits: IMDb)

She used to make a note of all her actions through doodling. She also said that this doodling helped her to understand the continuity of her action sequences.

12. Helly is the only woman employee in the team of workers inside the office.

Helly is a unique character in the series as she is the only woman employee who works with the team inside the office. She represents a change in the environment of the office. The makers of the series also considered her role to be the representation of diversity among all the male workers inside the office. She steps inside the office among all the male workers and brings change.

Milchick taking the picture of employees in Severance office.
A still from the series. (Credits: Apple TV)

Also Read: ‘Severance’ Episode 3 Release Date: Helly Will Continue To Rebel

13. Initially, the series had 10 episodes, but later the episodes were cut short to 9.

Dan Erickson, the creator of the show, mentioned that they filmed 10 episodes in season 1. Later, Ben Stiller thought that it was too lengthy and the plot twist in episode 9 should be the final ending. Ben thought that the 10th episode would disturb the flow of the series, and hence the crew decided to end the season with the “The we are” episode being the 9th and final episode.

Helly in the final episode of season 1.
Helly in the final episode. (Credits: TVLine / Pinterest)

Also Read: Severance Ending Explained: Mark’s Wife Gemma Is Alive

14. Ben Stiller heard the word innies and outies being used by fans after the show aired.

The show uses the terms-innies outies to depict the in and out of the world of the characters. Ben Stiller overheard the terms being used by people after the series aired. He overheard someone calling their friend an “innie” and got excited as no one understood him initially when he said innies. He felt that the show became a hit and reached the audience after listening to people using the terms mentioned in the series.

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The cast of Severance in a Buzzfeed interview.
The cast of Severance show. (Credits: BuzzFeed Celeb / YouTube)

15. Mark and Helly’s characters were swapped

The roles of Mark and Helly were changed by the creators. In the original script, Mark was supposed to wake up on the table, but instead, we see Helly on the table in the series. The makers thought that the character of a woman bringing change would create a unique touch to the whole series.

Mark and Helly's roles were swapped.
Mark and Helly. (Credits: IMDb)

The table scene where Helly realizes that she will never be able to go back to reality is what makes the series interesting. She is the one who has a rebellious nature in the office and also becomes the one to question the company to bring change.

16. The hallways of the Lumon office look similar to a maze, and actors often get lost in the set.

The hallways in the office are designed like a maze to represent that it’s tough to escape the place. Actors often got confused in the set. Patricia Arquette, who played the role of Harmony Cobel, also identified as Mark’s boss, used to get lost in the set most of the time. One of the actors also called the set- a labyrinth. Viewers also tend to get confused while observing the maze design of hallways in the series.

Lumon Industries office.
Lumon office. (Credits: Domus / Pinterest)

17. Jen Tullock, who played Devon, did not want to know the story happening inside the office.

Devon in the series is the only character who is not an innie. She always remained outside the office. So, the actress Jen Tullock who played Devon, did not want to know any of the plot twists happening inside the office as she was not a part of it.

Jen Tullock who played the role of Devon.
Devon from the show. (Credits: IMDb)

She also mentioned that she wanted to remain in the dark as Devon did. She watched the show like a normal audience and got surprised after watching several twists that happened inside the office.

18 . Severance television series won two Emmy awards.

The television show Severance has won two Emmy awards. One award was for the category of “Outstanding music composition for a series,” and the other award was for “Outstanding main title design.” Theodore Shapiro, the music composer, won the music composition award, and Oliver Latta and Teddy Blanks won the award for the title design.

The main employees of Lumon office.
Lumon employees. (Credits: IMDb)

19. Ben Stiller was supposed to direct the pilot episode only but ended up directing more episodes.

Ben Stiller is one of the important pillars of the show. At first, he was called to direct the first episode only. Later, he realized that he wanted to direct more episodes, as he found the series very interesting. He also got into development and became the director and executive producer of the series as well. He directed six episodes out of the nine episodes.

Ben Stiller, the director and executive producer of the television series.
Director of the series. (Credits: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert / YouTube)

20. Dichen Lachman was one of the only people to know the entire script.

Dichen Lachman, who plays the role of Ms. Casey, contributes to one of the biggest twists of the series. She was one of the first people to know the entire script.

Ms. Casey, also known as Gemma.
Ms. Casey from the series. (Credits: IMDb)

Ben Stiller narrated the whole story to her, and since her character is a part of the main twist, he explained the whole twist. She mentioned that she was very fortunate to know the entire script and also that Ben slightly hesitated to reveal the twist to her as they were still in talks about the cast.

Also Read: Severance Season 1 Episode 7 Recap And Review: Ms. Casey Is None Other Than Gemma

21. John Turturro is the one who suggested Christopher Walken for the role of Burt.

John Turturro and Christopher Walken, who played the roles of Irving and Burt, are known for their on-screen chemistry in the series. Both of them were friends in real life, and John is the one who suggested Christopher for the role of Burt as they do not need to act like friends since they are very good friends off-screen already. They are also seen working on other projects like Romance and Cigarettes,  but their roles in Severance mesmerized the audience.

Irving and Burt.
Irving and Burt. (Credits: Apple TV / YouTube)

22. Season 1 filming took over a year to complete.

The filming of season 1 of the show took about a year and a half to complete. The shooting happened in two schedules – one from November to June and the other from August to September.

Mark inside the office.
Mark as an employee. (Credits: IMDb)

The makers filmed the show out of order, and it became very challenging to complete the filming of the show due to filming being out of order. Managing the sequence became challenging for the cast and crew, yet they completed filming successfully.

Also Read: What Will Happen in Severance Episode 7? Spoilers & Speculations

23. The severed floor was built on an entire sound stage in New York.

The severed floor in the series looks like a maze and has a very confusing yet unique design. This set was huge and took an entire stage. Every hallway is connected. The set was built in South Bronx in New York.

Employees at Lumon Office.
A still from the series. (Credits: IMDb)

The makers used to change the camera angles constantly and also added many walls to the severed floor to make it confusing. The actors often got confused on the set. So, to build this enormously huge set, the entire stage was covered.

24. Naming Irving’s dog radar was intentional.

We can see Irving’s dog radar in episode 2 of the series. Irving has a navy past, and he likes to listen to the sound of radar. We get a hint of this in season 2 when the counselor points at Irving for liking the sound of radar.

John Turturro, who played Irving in the egg-bar scene.
Irving in the egg-bar scene. (Credits: Apple TV / YouTube)

If we think deeply about it, we know that his dog is named radar, and the Lumon people know it. Irving likes to hear his dog barking at him when he reaches home, and similarly, at the office, the counselor points at Irving and mentions that he likes to hear the sound of radar. This is why his dog was named radar.

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25. Dance scene in episode 8 is the best scene, according to the creator, and it was shot like a music video.

In episode 8, Milchick appears and says that the employees gained a “music dance experience” for their work. This dance scene was shot like a music video and was the scene that everyone enjoyed doing. The episode is also named after the kind of music the employees choose.

Mark in the musical dance event.
Mark in the dance scene. (Credits: Reddit)

The cinematographer of the show, Jessica Lee Gagne, mentioned that they worked on the camera angles and lighting to make it seem like a music video. The creator mentioned that it is the scene he is most proud of and termed it one of the best scenes.

Also Read: What Will Happen In Severance Episode 8? Spoilers & Speculations

26. The cast did not know about the lighting in the dance episode and was surprised when the lights turned on.

Lights were installed in the Severance office set for the musical dance episode, and the cast did not know about it. When the lights were turned on during the filming, all the actors were in shock because they did not know that the lighting was installed on the set. The cast worked on the same set for a few months and was shocked to see the lights, and it came as a surprise to them. They went with the flow and danced away.

Milchick and Helly at the musical dance experience.
Milchick and Helly dancing. (Credits: IMDb)

27. The filming of the dinner party took a night and a half to complete.

The dinner episode took a night and a half to complete the film. This episode was one of Jen Tullock’s favorite scenes. Dan Erickson mentioned the episode to be a ridiculous event in which he enjoyed watching the actors. The dinner party does not have real food, and in the later episodes, we see people eating a particular food repeatedly.

The non-dinner party in the show.
The dinner party. (Credits: Reddit)

28. Tramell Tillman broke his character only once in the entire show.

There is a particular scene between Mark and Milchick, which is also shown in the trailer of the show. It is also known as the kind-eyes” scene. Tramell Tillman said that he came out of his character only once in this scene. He said that Adam Scott changed his expression brilliantly and that Tramell could not stop adoring him in that scene. This is the scene where Tramell breaks his character in the show.

Tramell Tillman in the role of Milchick.
Tramell Tillman as Milchick. (Credits: IMDb)

29. Ben Stiller wanted to remove the egg-bar scene from the show.

Ben Stiller is a hater of eggs and did not like including the deviled eggs in the egg-bar scene. He even thought of removing the scene but realized that it was important for the eggs to be present in that scene. He even mentioned that he hates eggs and hated the presence of eggs in that scene in one of his tweets. He also mentioned that it was his least favorite day of the shoot.

The famous egg-bar scene from the series.
Deviled egg from the egg-bar scene. (Credits: Rebelstasia / YouTube)

30. Adam Scott took several takes for the final twist of season 1 to achieve the perfect shot.

In the final episode of season 1, Adam had to run and scream to reveal the final twist. It was important for the scene to be perfect as it is one of the major cliffhangers of season 1. To shoot this sequence, Adam took several retakes of the scene until it was perfect. He said in one of his interviews that it was fun to perform the scene several times.

Adam Scott as an employee.
A still of Mark from the series. (Credits: AppleInsider)

31. The cast and crew followed strict Covid-19 protocols, as the filming was done during the pandemic.

The shoot of the series was done during the pandemic, and the cast and crew had to follow strict safety measures. The crew wore masks and maintained social distancing during the filming. They wore masks whenever they were off-screen and also took regular tests to ensure a smooth shoot. Despite all the challenges they faced, the creators completed sure to complete the show on time.

Helly lying on the office table.
Helly is lying on the office table. (Credits: IMDb)

32. The creators of the show used local talent in making the soundtrack of the show.

The show was filmed in the city of Minnesota, and to recognize and highlight the talented local artists, the creators of the show decided to hire local artists to compose the soundtrack. The local artists contributed their music to create the soundtrack. They used artists who composed music in different genres and made a blend using all the tracks. No wonder the soundtrack was an instant hit for this show.

Severed office floor at Lumon Industries.
A still from the show. (Credits: Apple TV / YouTube)

33. The creators of the show highlighted different themes of mental health to create awareness.

Severance show is a blend of dark themes with a hint of comedy. The makers of the show highlighted several mental health issues that corporate workers undergo. Mental health challenges such as anxiety and depression are represented in the series.

Patricia Arquette in the role of Harmony Cobel.
Patricia Arquette as Harmony Cobel. (Credits: IMDb)

We can see the characters struggling with mental health, and this creates awareness about the mental health issues people face in real life. The show is inspired by real-life corporate workers, so the makers throw light on the issues people face regularly.

34. The show is renewed for another season.

The makers of the show announced that the show would return for a second season. As of now, there is no official date of release for the next season. The shooting for season 2 has already begun. Adam Scott, the lead actor in the show, released a teaser of season 2 on his Instagram handle. It might be released in the year 2023 or maybe in 2024.

Severance title, which is shown in the trailer of the show.
A still from the show. (Credits: Apple TV / YouTube)

Also Read: Severance Season 2 Renewal: What Will Happen To Gemma?

35. The prop team used fully functional old computers in the set.

The computers used by the data refinement team in the series are actual computers that work. The prop team has used these computers to make the actors know about data refining. The actors learned data refining. Zach Cherry, who played the role of Dylan, used refining to create art on these computers.

Computers used inside the Severance office.
Computers used in Lumon office. (Credits: Reddit)

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By Sri Lasya

Hello, I'm Sri Lasya. I'm from Hyderabad, Telangana. I am a movie buff. Whenever someone needs a movie suggestion, I am the go-to person. I write about movies and series. You can reach out to me at lasyamudumba@gmail.com.

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