Severance Star Zach Cherry Was Very Stressed Out By His Glasses In The Finale

This article contains spoilers for the season 1 finale of "Severance."

Filming the finale of "Severance" season 1 was a complex narrative challenge in that the creative team had to deliver a payoff for multiple characters after the build-up of nine episodes. But for Zach Cherry, who plays Dylan on the Apple TV+ series, it was also something of a physical challenge. The finale sees Dylan stretching his arms to keep two override switches on opposite sides of a control room flipped, so that the "Innie" versions of his fellow Lumon Industries employees, Mark (Adam Scott), Helly (Britt Lower), and Irving (John Turturro), can remain aware in their bodies while inhabiting their "Outtie" lives.

While the three of them are off gallivanting in the world outside the office, Dylan is stuck in the same pose, trying to do a two-person job for a good portion of the episode. Speaking to Variety, Cherry discussed what it was like for him to bring his character's control room scene to life, saying:

"One thing that made the process of shooting that scene easier was the amazing set and production design. All the sets and locations we shot on were so fleshed out and detailed, it really felt like I was locked into this weird little claustrophobic control room. Also adding to the genuine tension of every take was that my glasses would slowly slide further and further down my nose to the point where I was essentially wearing them on my upper lip. That's stressful! I had to hold the position for quite a while! I was definitely shaking my arms out in between takes and at the end of the day. [But if anyone asks, I could've held it for much longer with no issues. I'm very strong.]"

Mark, Irving, and Helly

In the "Severance" season 1 finale, Mark's strand of the plot packs an emotional rather than physical wallop, as he realizes he's been working alongside his own presumed-dead wife, Gemma (Dichen Lachman), at Lumon the whole time without knowing it. Gemma and Mrs. Casey, the wellness counselor on the severed floor (where employees retain no memory of their personal lives outside work), are really one and the same.

Scott, who also serves as one of the show's producers in addition to playing Mark, discussed what it was like for his character to process that reveal, saying:

"When [Innie Mark] sees the wedding photo of Outie Mark and Gemma, everything he thought he knew is redefined — the depravity and cruelty of Lumon comes into focus for him, and it's just immediate raw terror and fury. ... He has an idea of what [Gemma] meant to his Outie and how bereft he's been — so, physiologically, he understands in a way, because they do share feelings, even though he can't name or pin down the sadness Outie Mark passes along to him."

Turturro, meanwhile, said the essence for Irving was "discovering [his] surrounding circumstances ... detail by detail" before driving to the address of his retired office crush, Burt (Christopher Walken) — who, it turns out, is married. For her part, Helly had to contend with the knowledge that her Outtie self was, in fact, the daughter of the CEO of Lumon, part of the very company that was oppressing her and her Innie coworkers. Lower talked about Helly reciting the Lumon compunction statement ("Forgive me for the harm I have caused this world") and how that "became a prayerful reckoning" and "took on a really different meaning" for her character as she set out to torpedo the company.

"Severance" is streaming on Apple TV+.