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Severance: John Turturro Taught Zach Cherry A Trick To Get Out Of Work Early

You can learn a lot from an actor like John Turturro. He's worked steadily for decades with everyone from the Coen brothers to Michael Bay, and he's even dabbled behind the camera himself, directing pictures like the "Big Lebowski" spinoff "The Jesus Rolls." Some of the tricks of the trade the veteran filmmaker has learned over the years are the same "work smarter, not harder" details just about everyone applies to their jobs after a number of years — like how to get out of work early. 

Turturro currently stars on Apple TV+'s "Severance" as Irving, one of a number of employees who have chosen to take part in a new way of balancing their private and professional lives. In "Severance," these seemingly normal office workers have their minds severed into two parts; one that works the day away, and the other that lives life outside the office. It keeps one from knowing anything about their actual work grind. In that vein, Turturro's co-star Zach Cherry, who portrays the rebellious Dylan, praised the "Secret Window" star, specifically for teaching him an easy way to skip out of work early. 

Since the majority of "Severance" takes place in one office, when a character leaves a scene they are typically gone for a long period of time. "He taught me that if you want to be able to go home early, you can try and suggest that your character gets up and goes to the bathroom. And then you're not in the rest of the scene. So, I picked up little tricks of the trade," Cherry told Uproxx in a 2022 interview. 

Zach Cherry and John Turturro have different approaches to their characters

When it comes to the work actually captured for the camera, "Severance" stars Zach Cherry and John Turturro have one distinct difference in how they approach the central mysteries of the series and the mystery surrounding who exactly their characters are outside of work. Turturro explained he was told much of his character's backstory, while Cherry wanted to leave such mysteries to discover later like the viewer. 

"They had a few episodes and I went out to dinner with [producers] Ben [Stiller] and Dan [Erickson], and Dan had a whole backstory for the character that I found fascinating and potential reasons why Irving might have decided to undergo the procedure," Turturro told The Wrap in a 2022 interview. 

In an interview the same year, Cherry explained that Stiller and Erickson offered the same character background details to him, but he declined. 

"Early on, Dan [Erickson] and Ben [Stiller] asked how much backstory I wanted to know and I said not a ton because, for most of the season, we only see Dylan as an Innie. We only see him at work. He doesn't know who he is. So I was like, 'Well, I don't really need to know until that becomes relevant,'" Cherry told Uproxx

Different approaches to acting, but both men know exactly what to say when you need to call it a day before the bosses do.