Exclusive Video Interview: Silo’s Tim Robbins

Tim RobbinsBased on the novels by Hugh Howey, the dystopian drama Silo takes place in the future, where the last ten thousand people live deep underground in a silo, protecting them from the outside world, which is toxic and deadly. Inside, the community lives by a set of rules. No one knows when or why the silo was created, and no one questions it. The story centers around Juliette (Rebecca Ferguson), an engineer who makes it her mission to find out the truth about the silo, regardless of the consequences, which could be deadly.

The series also stars Tim Robbins as the mysterious head of IT, Bernard, whose agenda is unclear.

The actor recently spoke with SciFi Vision about working on the series. Watch the full interview or read the transcript below, and be sure to check out Silo, now available to stream on Apple TV Plus.

SCIFI VISION:   Were you familiar at all with the book series before you took the role? 

I'd heard of it, but I hadn't read it. 

I assume you have read it now, since you've gotten the role? 

Yes, but they told me not to - So, no, I haven't! 

[laughs] Okay, we'll go with that then. What was it though, about either the role or the story that made you want to do it? 

Well, first of all, I loved the world. I love the allegory that's being told in Silo. I found the themes were so much about what was happening right now. The character, Bernard, the head of IT, basically, the computer systems control the silo, so if there's any failure in my department, the whole silo is compromised. So, [it’s a] tremendous burden of responsibility, and what comes along with that responsibility, the difficult decisions that are made and the ultimate moral argument, is this justifiable or not? If you have to do something that may compromise your own sense of right and wrong, for the greater good and the survival of 10,000 people, is it justified? How much is that a slippery slope? And how does that apply to us now? All of these questions and parallels were intriguing to me. So, I thought, “Well, let's let's explore this.” And the bonus was coming in and realizing that Graham Yost had put together a top notch team of writers and directors and crew members and cinematographers and designers and cast members. It was an absolute pleasure from beginning to end.

Was there anyone that you were kind of thinking about as you were creating him, anyone he was inspired by at all? Or maybe you put yourself in it somewhat? 

Well, here's the thing. I didn't think that would be a good idea, because Bernard, you never see him. Like, he's not a public figure. So, I couldn't model him off of a business leader or a tech leader or a politician that we know, because this is the guy behind the scenes. This is the guy that every one of these powerful people has with him, but you never see them. So, that was the challenge, how do you play the guy that's never seen? And then what is it about his demeanor that other people would say, “He shouldn't be seen. Let's not put him in front of a camera.” [laughs] 

So, there's a big thing in the show, obviously, about relics. So, I've been asking, if your place was dug up a millennium from now, what kind of relic do you think would they find of you, as Tim, to represent you, and why? 

My place, the place I live in? 

Yeah, just if they found where you reside, what would be dug up? 

Well, gosh, I don't know. Some photographs. What relics?…That's such a cool question, and the question is so cool that I can't have an answer for it, because I'd really have to think about it. Because it has to be something as benign as one of the main relics, which I don't want to mention, that, you know, if you look at it, it’s like, “that's ridiculous,” but it has such importance. And that's what I love about what they chose [laughs] that they chose as the relic that it’s like, “this holds truth…no, maybe not,” you know? [laughs]

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