Ben Stiller talks about Emmy-nominated ‘Severance,’ wanting to direct since age 10


Working a scene

Tubsful of Hollywood actors turn into directors. Now Ben Stiller’s Apple TV+ thing is “Severance” with Patricia Arquette and Christopher Walken. It’s memories divided into work and home. Ben produces and directs.

Ben: “The show jumped off the page and reminded me of great office-based comedies but in a surreal world. They’ve become a genre in American comedy over the last 20 years.

“I’ve wanted to be a director since age 10. It’s what I love doing. It’s not having the pressure to be on camera. I’ve always loved Japanese food and the ‘Severance’ sushi connection is just there naturally. Maybe in Season 2 we’ll have some kind of sushi experience.”

What that means not sure, but the thing has an Emmy ­nomination. 

A signed his role

CONTINUING the oddities — Nathan Lane was “to do ‘Only Murders in the Building.’ Assuming the series role was comedy, they then explained my character got darker and I’d have six weeks to learn scenes in sign language. Seems my nice guy character had a whole other life going on.”

Nathan Lane
Nathan Lane from a scene in “Only Murders In The Building.”
HULU/Craig Blankenhorn

Nathan dialed it back, which seems to have created co-stars Martin Short and Steve Martin’s silent treatment.

What that means not sure, but the thing has nailed super Lane’s seventh Emmy nomination as captivity’s most nominated Guest Actor.

Put a bow on it, Queens

DON’T stay home twiddling your thumbs. Twiddle them over a bow and arrow. In Flushing’s Queens Archery.

Al Lizzio: “Age 20 I started doing this. I was caught in snow in a house in the Berkshires. Friends came over to party and brought a bow and arrow. Nothing to do so I started shooting.

“It became addictive. Progressing, I needed more professional equipment. Then a lightbulb went off. Result is 33 years on 39th Avenue. Now the Olympics even include archery as did movies like ‘The Hunger Games’ with Jennifer Lawrence. Even an insurance commercial uses it as a prop.

“Our instructors teach a mandatory 15-minute lesson and young, old, male, female returnees try it on a regular basis. Archery develops focus, self-esteem. A kid of 9 was here practicing patience. It’s not a weapon. No hunting points on it, and you can’t shoot outside in New York. Golf clubs are the weapon.

“We have tournaments, championships. First lesson’s free, thereafter we rent the bow at $30. Buying arrows, arm guards, quivers, related equipment is cheap. Maybe $6,700. Here you just take bows out of the case, and we teach you in 15 minutes.”

Telltale truths

COMMENTS: Taraji P. Henson: “Guns have more rights than a woman” . . . Fran Drescher: “Caught between a rock and a hard place, don’t legislate a woman — help her” . . . And new SAG-AFTRA audition rules: Can not require a performer to dye, braid, unbraid, restyle hair or change wardrobe.

Taraji P. Henson
Taraji P. Henson vocalized her opinion at the 2022 BET Awards.
Getty Images for BET/Aaron J. Thornton

LET’S don’t knock the American business system. Whenever America comes up with a new idea, a month later the Russians invent it, the Chinese copy it, the Koreans claim it and the Japanese sell it to us cheaper.

And you can usually find it only in New York, kids, only in New York. 


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