Alex Garland and the Devs cast on the show’s alluring world

Alex Garland and the Devs cast on the show’s alluring world


– [Female] You knew I
was going to come here. – [Male] The sense that you
were participating in life was only ever an illusion. – [Interviewer] It’s obviously
a series that doesn’t really reveal its full nature
until a little bit in, so knowing that, what did it take to convince you to join the project? (laughs) – No convincing whatsoever. I got the offer and immediately
said a resounding yes. To work with Alex, to work
on this incredible script, to work on this beautiful character in an ensemble of characters that are so three-dimensionally written. – As soon as I found
out that I was playing a tech person, really one
of the high level tech guys who loved the arts. Who believed that you
should also be into art as well as science and that
the world is a dangerous place if we have to many scientists in charge who don’t love poetry and
music and dance and theater, and you know. So when I saw that, I’m in man, I’m in. – On a series, you’ll often get these scripts a few days before you shoot. And they’ll never tell you what happens, they’ll never tell ya. Alex wanted all of us to know
everything right up front, so that we were the story tellers. – And he’d already, was
talking about assembling a group of actors that was just fabulous. This is just such a great ensemble, to work with everybody, you know? And that he was gonna tell the
story a long way, you know. He was gonna tell it, yeah
thoroughly, thoroughly. – And this is what he knew,
he didn’t spend all the years I spent in television, right? He spent them writing novels,
and this was his world. And it’s a wonderful world
to be in for an actor because we got the whole thing, and we discussed the whole thing, and we acted out the whole thing, and we rehearsed the whole thing, and then we did it. – It felt like by the end of this process we felt like a full company
of actors and creators. Having collaborated on
something really meaningful and beautiful. – If you came for answers,
ask me what you don’t know. – What is Devs? – There was sort of underlying
idea to the whole thing which was the closer you got to the science heart of the story, the more visually magical it would seem. And so that was the principle,
so when you’re out and around in San Francisco, it’s kind of gritty and same world you see if
you walked around the streets of San Francisco. And then as you get to
the heart of the place with the most intense
sort of scientific aspects it gets increasingly,
sort of hallucinogenic and dreamy and magical. – [Interviewer] How long have
you been working on this? When did you first come up with the idea, what’s this whole process
been like for you? – Usually what I do is I get
interested in some subject, what ever it happens to
be, could be backpacking or it could be space travel
or some science thing or what ever. And then I read about
it and I think about it. And that process might go on for years. And then at a certain point I think, okay, I sort of got my head around that. And that’s the moment the story arrives. So I’ve sort of been thinking about this for 20 years or something,
in some respects. It took about, it took like two years,
from start to finish. So about two and a half
years ago from now, suddenly this story, like a whole story just occurred to me. Yeah, that was it. – [Interviewer] Given
that you write novels. Did it feel more natural to
write to an eight episode series than a film? – I definitely found that when I worked, when I started working TV, the
thing it was most similar to, for me, was novel writing. – [Interviewer] In chapters essentially. – Yeah, it’s chapters,
it’s also about urgency. Like film has a lot of urgency
and it has a lot of economy sort of baked into it. I mean it doesn’t have to be like that, but a lot of times it is like that. And in a novel there’s like more patience. And I like that, I mean
I love film as well, but I loved that in this, and I liked working in
television for that reason. I found it very freeing, I found it, on a creative level very freeing. – We have two worlds guys. One we don’t look forwards,
we only look back. Two, we don’t invade privacy. – [Interviewer] If there were
a tech company out there, hopefully a good one, and it could fix maybe
any of our problems. What’s an issue in your
life that you would love for a tech company to fix? – Oh boy, tech companies. (laughs) – Wow, one thing? – Yeah, unbridled power, how about that? – I don’t think a company can
fix what’s wrong with a life. You know what I mean? I don’t see how they could do that. – Tech companies have so much money. I’d wish for tech companies
to use the outrageous and exorbitant wealth that they have to fix basic infrastructure. There are obviously
philanthropic endeavors that a lot of these
companies are undertaking but I think when you have that
much money, you can do more. – Life is just something we watch unfold. (suspenseful music) – What’s inside? – Everything. (suspenseful music)

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