Ben Stiller Says 'I Love It' When 'Severance' Fans Cuss Him Out as Adam Scott Recovers from COVID-19

Severance star Adam Scott missed out on the show's finale screening Friday in Los Angeles as he recovered from COVID-19 at his hotel room in Costa Rica

Ben Stiller
Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty

Ben Stiller has received some strong reactions to his latest project.

The Emmy Award winner, 56, told PEOPLE that he appreciates "all the expletives" he's read on social media from fans of his Apple TV+ series Severance as he attended the season 1 finale screening Friday in Los Angeles.

"I just like all the expletives that come back on Twitter. A lot of damn you, damn you, 'F' you. I love it," Stiller said. "When people react like that, you know they care."

He kept his work behind the scenes on Severance, directing six of the nine episodes. The sci-fi series follows four employees of a corporation that uses a controversial surgical method, known as severance, which keeps workers from remembering any of their home life while at work, and vice versa.

Severance cast
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

"I think that there were so many levels that we didn't know how the audience would react to in terms of giving away things," Stiller said during the PaleyFest panel hosted by Judd Apatow. "And so that was one of the reasons we had to sort of play around in terms of like, the littlest sort of gesture or littlest acknowledgment."

"I assumed with going into, the audience would be like watching closely, but we really found as the show has aired that the audience is so clued into the specifics and looking for every little thing. So it was really an interesting process, trying to regulate all that and that's why I think everybody did such an amazing job and then also being able to be with these actors for such a long time and see their strengths come out," he added.

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Days after the show was renewed for season 2, costars Patricia Arquette, Britt Lower, Zach Cherry, Dichen Lachman, Tramell Tillman, Yul Vazquez, Michael Chernus, and Jen Tullock reunited on the red carpet.

Adam Scott missed out on the screening as he recovered from COVID-19 at his hotel room in Costa Rica, but he was there in spirit, sending in a greeting video that was played for the audience. The show's initial premiere was also cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Season 1 of Severance is now available to stream on Apple TV+.

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