Adam Scott and I have a connection. No, it’s not that we have indirect ties to the state of Indiana, it’s over the “pain” we felt when Mark Hamill didn’t come to our birthday parties as children. After that we couldn’t be more different. He grew up in Santa Cruz, California the youngest of three children. His parents were teachers but he had a different path in mind. He graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles and made his break into film in 1996 with a small role in Hellraiser: Bloodline.
His big break in television came as Ben Cooper in Six Feet Under and it was that plus his work in Party Down that got him on Hollywood’s radar, which ultimately led to him being cast as Ben Wyatt in Parks and Recreation. After spending so many years playing comedic roles ranging from a cocaine addicted front office staff member in Eastbound and Down to a geeky accountant living in Pawnee, Scott alludes in the interview that he was seeking out a different type of role. That’s what ultimately led to Severance, now streaming on AppleTV+. What began as an elevator pitch by Ben Stiller, director and producer of the show, led to him joining the cast of the best show on television.
Scott would be the first to point towards producers Dan Erickson, Ben Stiller, and the entire creative team as being the biggest reason for their success but that’s only part of what makes the show so special. Scott’s meticulous approach to playing the nuanced differences between innie and outie Mark is a big reason as well. In our interview he goes into great detail about how every decision Scott makes in his portrayal of Mark is worked through the help of Stiller (who he trusts a great deal) and the entire team behind the show.
While there are moments in the show where Scott can lean into those comedy roots, there are also moments where he has to dig deep to project the pain Mark is experiencing. Scott spoke about how he had channeled the pain of losing his mother a year earlier (to the day) into one of the most emotional moments of the first season, when his character visited the site where his wife had died. Scott also details how working with such a tremendous ensemble has also elevated his performance as well. He calls working with the likes of John Turturro, Patricia Arquette, and Christopher Walken as nothing short of a dream.
Shows like Severance don’t come along often and neither do performances like the one Adam Scott gives in season one.
Adam Scott is Emmy eligible for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for Severance.