Tramell Tillman’s “Severance” character Mr. Milchick lights up a room with his smile. And then the Lumon middle manager immediately frowns and does the darkest s— ever.
Among the more torturous things at Milchick’s disposal in the new Apple TV+ series is the severed floor’s break room, which is not nearly as relaxing a spot as it sounds. There, even a minor slip-up from the Lumon employees results in a trip down a narrow, lightless corridor into a windowless and joyless room — and a forced-read apology. Over and over and over and over and over again, until the Innie (the show’s term for a severed person’s work conscience) is really, genuinely sorry. And they WILL be sorry.
Milchick is not severed, so he can access his home and work memories at all times — just like you and me. So if that’s the case and Milchick spends all this mundane (and that’s being generous) repetitive time in the dungeon-like break room, wouldn’t that also be torture to him? And possibly more so — Mr. Milchick knows what awaits him down the Lumon elevator shaft and outside the sprawling campus.
We took that question directly to the source.
“I take that Milchick is very much a scientist. He’s one of few, aside from Cobel, that knows everything about everyone on the severed floor,” Tillman told TheWrap. “He is that gatekeeper. He knows everyone’s Innie and he knows their Outtie.”
“With that information, it’s almost that this floor is an experiment — it’s a laboratory, if you will,” he continued. “So the break room becomes this space where I get this sense that Milchick learns so much more about their Innie and the psychological state of being of where they are at that moment. And he can use that information to keep them under his thumb.”
While “Innie” Milchick knows everything about “Outtie” Milchick (and Outties Mark, Dylan, Irving and Helly), Tillman the actor says he doesn’t personally “know anything” about Milchick’s Outtie, “which makes it so much fun.”
“It really does feel like improv every time I step on the set or get a new episode,” he added, noting that “little hints” do come up each time. “I have SO many guesses.”
So do we, Tramell, so do we.
The first two episodes of “Severance” are currently available on Apple TV+. New episodes will roll out once per week on Fridays.