1 of 5 | Rebecca Ferguson stars in "Silo" on Apple TV+. File Photo by Rune Hellestad/ UPI | License Photo
LOS ANGELES, May 5 (UPI) -- Rebecca Ferguson said the science-fiction series Silo, premiering Friday on Apple TV+, appealed to her as a metaphor for modern society's media and class systems.
The show, based on Hugh Howey's books, is set in a future colony that lives entirely inside a man-made silo.
"It's completely relatable to society," Ferguson told UPI in a recent Zoom interview. "You don't know if what you're looking out into is actually correct."
The silo windows show a post-apocalyptic landscape, and nobody who left the silo ever returned. Yet, Silo suggests that the powers in charge of the silo society are controlling the screens that show the outside world.
Ferguson compares that to the media controlling how viewers and readers see the rest of the world. She said she also appreciated that Silo is both an allegory and a mystery about a murder in the silo.
Ferguson plays Juliette, a mechanic in the lower levels of the silo. She rises to the top to investigate the murder, but Ferguson believes Juliette could not have stayed below forever regardless of the inciting incident.
"What activated her was the loss and the sadness and her anger in finding out the truth," Ferguson said. "If that would've stopped, maybe something else would have activated her."
Silo also represents a class system, as the bureaucrats in the upper levels are like a foreign culture to those from below.
"They speak differently," Ferguson said of the upper-level folks Juliette encounters. "They smell differently. Everything is just wrong for her and she misses her people and the food tastes different."
Juliette adapts to navigate the upper world. Ferguson said she made Juliette stand up straighter once she no longer worked in the cramped spaces of the silo's bowels -- and as a way to represent her social adaptation.
"I always like to find a silhouette of a character," Ferguson said. "It's a lot of trauma from her life and the fact that she folds in on herself. She doesn't like people."
When Silo begins, the last 10,000 people on Earth have lived in it for so many generations that they don't even know who built it.
Ferguson said she discussed the themes with author Howey, as well as Graham Yost, who adapted the books for television.
"We talked about the analogy of being locked underground and what does that do to people for 200 years?" Ferguson said. "They wouldn't have seen anything else [except] what's inside the silo."
Juliette's work leads to some intense physical scenes. In the show's third episode, she must repair a part in a flooding tank. Ferguson said she and the camera operator were alone in the heated water.
"It was like sitting in a jacuzzi," Ferguson said.
Ferguson also starred in adaptations of Stephen King's Doctor Sleep and Frank Herbert's Dune. For Silo and Doctor Sleep, she said she visited web pages to learn what fans wanted to see in the characters.
"I create it for them," she said.
Ferguson said she decided not to consult fans of the Dune books. Between the books, the 1984 David Lynch movie and the 2000 TV miniseries, she said she feared there would be too many conflicting expectations.
The second part of Dune opens in theaters Nov. 3. Ferguson said returning to the second Dune film felt "like we hadn't stopped" since filming the first one in 2019.
"It was as if no time had been in between," Ferguson said. "What was fun is there are so many more characters involved, so it was old versus new."
New episodes of Silo premiere Fridays on Apple TV+.