Severance cast

AppleTV+ has a fever, and the only prescription is Christopher Walken.

The streaming platform continues to attract big names for its upcoming shows, and their latest “get” is an iconoclastic Oscar winner. Walken has joined the cast of Severance, a thriller series which has Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation), John Turturro (The Big Lebowski), and fellow Oscar winner Patricia Arquette (Boyhood) already on board. Learn more about the series below.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Christopher Walken has joined the Severance cast for AppleTV+, playing Burt, the head of optics and design at a company called Lumen Industries, which “aims to take work-life balance to the next level.” Adam Scott will be the lead of the show, playing a character named Mark, “an employee with a shady past who’s trying to put himself back together.” Arquette is set to play Mark’s boss, while Turturro plays a long-time employee of the company. Britt Lower (Man Seeking Woman), Tramell Tillman (Godfather of Harlem), Jen Tullock (The Coop), and Zach Cherry (HBO’s Crashing) round out the rest of the cast.

Like nearly every eventual movie star of his generation, Walken started out playing bit parts on television. He appeared in shows like Hawaii Five-O and Kojack before winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work in The Deer Hunter, a defining piece of 1970s cinema. That kind of recognition from his peers may have boosted the ego of another actor to a point where they’d never consider appearing on TV again (remember, TV was perceived as “lesser” than movies until relatively recently), but not Walken. He’s the type of actor who takes whatever job comes his way and always makes an absolute meal out of it. Since winning his Oscar, he’s been in seven films that were either made for TV or went direct-to-video, in addition to appearing on Saturday Night Live30 Rock, and playing a role in the 2004 two-part limited series Caesar. Severance will be the first time he’ll be playing a series regular on a TV show, and after an unremarkable recent run of projects, I’ll be happy to see him participating in something that sounds like it has the potential to surprise audiences.

Production is slated to begin later this month, with Ben Stiller (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty) directing and Mark Friedman (AMC’s Dispatches From Elsewhere) serving as the showrunner. Friedman is executive producing along with Stiller and creator Dan Erickson, while Arquette and Scott are producing.

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