Adam Scott Says Filming New Series 'Severance' Helped Him Grieve the Loss of His Mother Anne

The actor's mother died in March 2020 after a battle with ALS

Adam Scott in Severance
Photo: Atsushi Nishijima/Apple TV +

Filming the new Apple TV+ series, Severance, proved to be a very therapeutic experience for star Adam Scott.

Before production on the Dan Erickson-created show began, Scott announced that he had lost his mother, Anne, in March 2020 due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

The world featured in Severance, directed by Ben Stiller and Aoife McArdle, allows its inhabitants to take the titular procedure to separate their work and personal lives. Scott's character, Mark Scout, accepts a position that requires him to sever ties following the death of his wife. This ultimately impacted Scott's overall grieving process.

"When we made the show, I was grieving myself," Scott, 48, recently told Insider of filming the nine-part series. "I found myself in New York, kind of by myself. Because it was a pandemic, I was either sitting in an apartment by myself, or I was on the set working. And so the grieving, I ended up doing it through the show."

Since he had to cope with his own grief offscreen, alongside his character's struggles onscreen, Scott felt the role required "a lot more" from him than he had ever experienced on past projects.

"I felt like the role isn't something that I could have done, you know, 10 years ago, or maybe even five years ago," he continued. "But it's something that I felt like I could do now — not only earned career-wise but also emotionally."

The Parks and Recreation alum announced that his mother had died in an emotional tribute on Instagram in May 2020.

"It's difficult to put into words the enormity of this loss, as I'm sure those who have lost a parent can attest. But I'll try," he wrote alongside an old photo of the pair. "My mom and I were very much the same. We were connected, shared a brain — we knew the exact joke or silent internal reaction the other was thinking or feeling — which as a son drove me crazy and caused me to pull away from her at certain times in my life."

"This kills me now that she's gone," he continued. "I want to jump back to all those moments and apologize and pull her back in. But that's not the way it works."

In a second tribute post, Scott said Anne was "forever the ultimate Cool Mom."

Adam Scott and his mother
Adam Scott and his mother. Adam Scott/Instagram

"Of course as a teenager I needed to pull away and forge an identity where my mom wasn't the lens through which I saw the whole world. But she was, and is. Everything I see and hear and feel is through that lens," he wrote. "That is how I carry her with me now that she's gone. She gave me the world, and now I look at it with her eyes, and feel her in my heart. It's cold comfort but I'm glad she went before we all had to hide away in our houses and apartments."

Added Scott, "Not being able to visit her, to hold her hand would have been unbearable. Not being able to tell her about her grandkids' latest adventures, to kiss her on the forehead before I leave as if to say thank you, I love you, I'm not full of s---."

The first two episodes of Severance premiered Friday on Apple TV+ and new episodes will arrive weekly on Fridays.

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