‘Servant’ Confirms Director M. Night Shyamalan Loves Danger
“Imagine the conversation: ‘Hey, Tim CookI’m going to make you a program. It’s about a dead baby, it’s going to be really popular, you’re going to love it. Trust me. People are going to fall over laughing. It’s going to be fantastic,’” he says. M.Night Shyamalan via Zoom, about the way he was sold on the idea of Servant to the CEO of Apple, a company that supported the 40 episodes of this series that mixes an intimate family drama with thrillers, psychological terror and supernatural issues.
“I have come to the conclusion –a bit– that I am very interested in not feeling ‘safe’ and either in my films or in Servant, (I realize) that there is inherently something in the story that I am telling that could make it not work with the audience or with the system! With the distribution system or the social system that exists here,” says the 52-year-old director of Indian origin.
Aware that his bets can be attractive in the approach but also confuse, surprise or -flatly- alienate the public, it is precisely this uncertainty that is the place where night (as his collaborators call him) finds his creative energy and the courage to present stories as The end of the ages either the protégéwhich have obtained very different responses from the audience but which have the characteristic stamp of the filmmaker.
That ‘danger’ drives me a little bit and I like that quality of thinking we might stumble, and knowing we’re doing something different, something that hasn’t been done, even if it’s slightly different.
M. Night Shyamalan, filmmaker
“’We are going to make humor with scares; nobody’s ever done that before’ or ‘half-hour thrillers’ or ‘we’re never going to leave this house’. That kind of thing that gives us momentum, like for forty episodes we are not going to leave this house and there are four characters that are going to be like in a play, ”he explains, on the premises they started the machinery of Servant.
In said story, a couple from Philadelphia lose their baby, Jericho, after a few days of being born and to get out of the shock and catatonic state in which the woman is left, they use a hyper-realistic doll as a substitute… to which they hire a babysitter to take care of him, which opens the possibility for a strange force to enter their house and transform their lives forever.
“All those things excite me and create a challenge; but I think as a result, creativity bounces back from those limitations and those challenges and creates something unique and I love that when the public or the critics or whoever sees my new movie or my series, (to know) that this is something they have never seen before”, says the director.
“So you can’t ask, ‘Was it a good burger?’ because it just wasn’t a burger; it was this slightly new thing and I think that drives me when I think about a story or a story comes my way and I’m like, ‘Whoa, that’s super dangerous. Let’s do it!’” Shyamalan concluded.
The Serie Servantwhose fourth and final season is available on Apple TV+, features performances by Lauren Ambrose, Toby Kebbell, Nell Tiger Free and Rupert Grintamong others.