Servant: From a psychological thriller to an intense horror story

At the premiere of its last season, the protagonists of Servant tell us what it has been like to evolve through the classic twists of M. Night Shyamalan.

When it comes to recognize great filmmakers on the big or small screenM. Night Shyamalan stands out for a particular attribute: the unpredictability of their stories and the twists who have positioned it as one of the most spontaneous directors of recent years.

So when it was announced that would work hand in hand with Apple TV on a psychological thriller, the emotion of his followers and the audience in general escalated into what became in one of the most successful series on the platform; which after several turns, finally reaches its final season.

Exclusively for Out of Focus, the protagonists of Servant, Nell Tiger Free and Toby Kebbellthey tell us What has it been like to experience the great change in the series? Y the intensity of the story from its pilot episode to the end.

Copyright © AppleTV+

You have been “Shyamalado”

Nell Tiger Free gives life to Leanne Grayson, a mysterious babysitter from Wisconsin who is hired by a family to care for Jericho, a fake baby that, from one moment to the next, it ends up being real.

Along the Servant, Leanne is one of the characters that has faced the most changes, evolving dfrom a position that had it under the control of the Turnersuntil discover your own supernatural abilities that make it stronger every time.

A) Yes, Servant went from being a psychological thriller a a story involving witches, sects, cults and claustrophobic terror that as it progresses, it becomes more and more addictive.

Regarding the great evolution of the series, Nell Tiger Free says it was “Shyamalada”that is to say, who was unaware of much of the twists that history would take, being surprised by how much both her character and the series in general have changed.

“You never know with M.Night Shyamalanexplained the actress “You never know what is going to change or how everything is going to evolve. There are many twists all the time.”

The actress commented that a large part of the revelations of the series were experienced “on par with the audience”, because the production kept much of the scripts under lock and key until the appointed time.

In a similar case, Toby Kebbell, who plays the patriarch of the Turner family, Sean, commented that nor did I “know much of what was going to happen when I first read the script for Servant”, except that “it would be a long journey that I was looking forward to experiencing from the beginning”.

Copyright © AppleTV+

From suspense to heightened terror

“There is a great evolution that you can see from the first season” said Nell Tiger Free, who, along with the audience, watched the series Servant move from a “slow psychological mystery to a full-on acid trip of terror.”

“It’s really amazing to have the chance to get into all of these genres. We’ve been able to explore very strange things that we wouldn’t necessarily see in our day-to-day lives, things that you might see in one of your favorite fantasies or your worst nightmares. I love that we’ve gotten to a kind of heightened terror.”

Nell Tiger Free, Out of Focus

Regarding the great transition, Toby Kebbell adds how “ambitious the story is, even though there are only four of us most of the time”.

“All these stories slowly start to overlap. Although undoubtedly the one who else saw all the changes in the genre of the story was Nell ”, explained the actor, adding the interesting thing about meeting characters “who are extremely complex from the beginning, but as the story progresses you discover they have even more layers. Layers that make them more mysterious, terrifying and indecipherable”.

Secondly, Nell highlighted the great evolution that specifically, Leanne has experienced from the first episode of the first season to the tenth of the fourth, ensuring that “If you saw the first and last episodes with nothing in between, you’d think they were two completely different series, with totally different characters.”

“You would think Leanne are two different women. She started out as an 18 year old desperate to help and fix everything. And now she exists in this space where she doesn’t know who she is or what she is, and she’s trying to figure out if she likes who that person is that she was always destined to become.”

Nell Tiger Free, Out of Focus

Image: Courtesy of Apple TV+

A very intense filming?

beyond its twists, Servant stands out for constantly transmitting a feeling of claustrophobia to his audience —in the best sense—, transporting them into the interior of a story that in one way or another is intended to stifle its audience via its story, characters and the idea of ​​not knowing what is happening.

The sensation is not exclusive to the public, since For both Nell Tiger Free and Toby Kebbell, it’s palpable on set. of Servant too.

“We try to translate that claustrophobic feeling to the screen all the time” shared Tiger Free, adding that much of it is thanks to having filmed “on the same stage for four seasons in a row, which, if it were a true story, would drive anyone crazy.”

“The truth is that it is very stressful” added Kebbell, pointing out the great capacity with which the team and cast of the series have to count on to “remind us that we are not really living all those situations really”.

“You always have to think about where the character comes from: everything his wife has dealt with, where she’s been, what she’s working with now. That absorbs you year after year, and it’s a lot of stress, but it’s also very exciting and interesting to play.”

Toby Kebbell, Out of Focus

Both actors commented that to get rid of the great weight of their characters, which have been subjected to really tough and complex situationsthe best they’ve been able to do is “keep things light between takes.”

“We all keep sane among ourselves.” highlighted Nell Tiger Free, who has experienced the greatest stress in recent seasons through harsh physical experiences to which her character has been subjected: “We are our own supports, and we have learned to be very close working on this. We have been very lucky to be able to forge a beautiful relationship between all of us. It has been a very special experience.”

The fourth and final season of Servant premieres January 13 on Apple TV

Servant: From a psychological thriller to an intense horror story