Tim Robbins Talks New Show ‘Silo,’ COVID Lockdowns: ‘We’ve Been Through Three Years of Questionable Choices’

Tim Robbins says he was inspired by some of the “questionable choices” made during the pandemic to take on his role in “Silo,” the upcoming Apple TV+ series about a post-apocalyptic world where society lives underground in deep silos.

In the show, which also stars “Dune’s” Rebecca Ferguson, Robbins plays a leader of one of the silos who is quick to shut down any protest with violence.

“I’ve always been curious about what goes on in leaders’ heads when they have to do something that is morally compromising for what they consider the greater good,” Robbins told Variety at the show’s global premiere. “I always look at that as a terrible no-win situation. And I often wonder if those measures that they take, that are immoral, are necessary.”

Asked whether Robbins was thinking of a specific situation, the actor replied: “I’m talking about politicians that compromise themselves and make decisions that they believe are for the good of people, but those decisions involve censorship or lying or deception of some kind that leads to people getting hurt. And I wanted to play that guy, I want to deal with that moral complexity in trying to understand where the human being is. I think we’ve been through three and a half years of extraordinary and questionable choices made by people that are supposed to be leading their countries.”

Robbins confirmed he was referring in particular to the lockdowns that much of the world saw, particularly in 2020 and 2021, due to the COVID pandemic. “Yeah, I’m talking about that,” he said. “I’m talking about a whole bunch of stuff, lack of freedom of movement, lack of freedom of assembly, lack of freedom of speech. You want to keep going?”

“I mean, you know, something just happened, and I think there’s a tendency where people just want to move on and think, ‘Well, you know, it happened and let’s just move on.’ I think that’s really unwise. We have to deal with what happened in a deep and profound way, it’s traumatic for many people. And just ignoring it, as we know with trauma, does not solve a problem. In fact, it makes it worse. And so until we have the guts to look at what really happened and we question and maybe even hold people accountable for irresponsible leadership, if we don’t do that, we’re gonna repeat it again. It’ll happen again.”

Robbins pointed out he was not singling any specific leader out for criticism but added: “I personally look at it in a microcosm of what it is to have the ability to assemble – I run a theater in Los Angeles – it is something that has always existed. Even in the worst, oppressive societies, there’s been assembly allowed. Sometimes those assemblies are monitored and so it’s not safe. But supposedly, in a free society, one should be able to collectively gather with others.”

“The reason why that’s important to collectively gather with others is that becomes a forum. You don’t know that everyone in the same room as you agrees with you. So therefore, it’s an essential part of living with other human beings. You have to work through differences. And instead we were separated and became more and more distanced from each other, and more and more angry with each other.”

Last month Robbins supported Woody Harrelson’s appeal for the entertainment industry to drop the stringent COVID protocols that have been in place since 2020. “Woody is right. Time to end this charade,” Robinson tweeted alongside a link to a Variety article about Harrelson’s comments.

COVID production protocols were relaxed in the U.K. last May.

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