One of the (many) highlights of “Severance” is the relationship between John Turturro’s Irving and Christopher Walken’s Burt. The two actors made the most of their screen time by masterfully portraying a close friendship between severed Lumon employees that gradually escalates into a sexual flirtation. Of course, the closeness between the two men isn’t entirely acting. Both men have long been open about the fact that their offscreen friendship made the roles particularly easy to play.
“When you know each other a little bit, you know how each other works and [how we] bounce off each other, then you don’t have to act as much,” Turturro told IndieWire earlier this year.
“That stuff you bring with you from all the years you’ve known each other [matters],” Walken added. “Having socialized together — I know his family, and we talk about food a lot, John and I. We don’t talk too much about the show.”
That friendship only grew when they began filming the hit Apple TV+ series, as the two actors found plenty of time between takes to discuss just about every topic under the sun. In a new interview with The New York Times, the actors elaborated on their friendship and how much fun they have hanging out on the set of “Severance.” As it turns out, their conversations became so rich that Turturro wanted to turn them into a book titled “Talkin’ and Walken.’
What would that book contain? According to them, it would have covered the eclectic assortment of topics that Turturro and Walken discussed on set. Basically, everything except the job they were there to do.
“People think that actors talk about motivation and acting,” Walken said. “Mostly they talk about cooking, movies and sometimes girls.”
While Walken stopped Turturro from writing the book because he was afraid of hurting the feelings of anyone they gossipped about, he remains grateful for the way the conversations improved their on-screen chemistry.
“When people are acting together, you can tell when they know each other, and particularly if they like each other and are comfortable together,” Walken said. “It’s a kind of unspoken thing, but it really shows up. It’s what they call chemistry, I suppose.”
Season 1 of “Severance” is now streaming on Apple TV+.