‘Silo’ Star Tim Robbins Says His Character Draws Inspiration From How World Leaders Made “Extraordinary And Questionable Choices” During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Tim Robbins as Bernard in Silo (2023), Apple TV+

Hollywood actor Tim Robbins, perhaps best known for his role in The Shawshank Redemption, has revealed that some of the world leader’s “extraordinary and questionable” decisions made during the COVID-19 pandemic were the inspiration for one of his most recent characters.

Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) gets acquainted with Ellis Boyd ‘Red’ Redding (Morgan Freeman) in The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Columbia Pictures

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Per its official synopsis, Silo tells a story wherein “in a ruined and toxic future, thousands live in a giant silo deep underground. After its sheriff breaks a cardinal rule and residents die mysteriously, engineer Juliette (Rebecca Ferguson) starts to uncover shocking secrets and the truth about the silo.”

It’s quite easy to draw parallels between the hardships the residents in Silo have to face and the strict restrictions imposed by several governments around the globe during the COVID-19 pandemic established by world leaders, namely in how the citizens are forced to live in cramped conditions without being allowed to leave while the people in power dictate their realities.

Harlan Ogilvy (Tim Robbins) offers Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) and Rachel Ferrier (Dakota Fanning) a shelter in War of the Worlds (2005), Paramount Pictures

Promoting his new Apple TV+ series in a recent interview with Variety, the Academy Award-winning actor recalled, “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.”

“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,” Robbins questioned, later specifying that his comments were alluding to the actions of politicians during the pandemic.

Lt. (j.g.) Sam ‘Merlin’ Wells (Tim Robbins) checks his radar for bogeys in Top Gun (1986), Paramount Pictures

He further declared, “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,” Robbins admitted. “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.”

Tim Robbins as Bernard in Silo (2023), Apple TV+

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The award-winning actor then went on to condemn the lockdown restrictions that were imposed on Americans, pointing out that they were defined by a “lack of freedom of movement, lack of freedom of assembly, lack of freedom of speech” before rhetorically inquiring, “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,’” said Robbins. “I think that’s really unwise.”

Common as Sims and Tim Robbins as Bernard in Silo (2023), Apple TV+

“We have to deal with what happened in a deep and profound way, it’s traumatic for many people,” he suggested. “And just ignoring it, as we know with trauma, does not solve a problem. In fact, it makes it worse.”

The actor then warned, “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.”

Lt. (j.g.) Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell (Tom Cruise) and Lt. (j.g.) Sam ‘Merlin’ Wells (Tim Robbins) are greeted by the crew of the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) after a successful mission in Top Gun (1986), Paramount Pictures

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Robbins would go on to speak about the importance of allowing citizens to gather — one of the many social activities that were forbidden in America in spite of the virus’ almost comically low mortality rate — noting that not even outright oppressive societies restrict liberties to such a degree.

“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,” he asserted. “Even in the worst, oppressive societies, there’s been assembly allowed.”

Tim Robbins as Bernard in Silo (2023), Apple TV+

“Sometimes those assemblies are monitored and so it’s not safe,” Robbins explained. “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,” the actor argued. “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,” Robbins concluded. “And instead we were separated and became more and more distanced from each other, and more and more angry with each other.”

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This isn’t the first time Robbins has condemned the American government’s draconian COVID-19 measures.

During an interview with podcaster Russell Brand given in December of last year, Robbins admitted to being pro-mask mandates until he started noticing totalitarian patterns.

Asked by Brand why he decided to speak out against the mandates, Robbins recalled, “I bought into it. I was someone that, you know, went through a pretty unique experience in Los Angeles and was locked down there.”

“I have a non-profit theatre company that had to shudder and we started doing our work online and I was masking everywhere,” said Robbins. “I was keeping my social distance. So I was adhering to the requests made of me and I felt angry at people that didn’t do that.”

“As time progressed, I eventually got out of Los Angeles,” he told his host. “I drove cross country and saw areas of the country that were not adhering to the policies and eventually wound up isolating myself in New York state for a good seven months.”

|The Covid Redemption with Tim Robbins | via Russel Brand, YouTube

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“And it wasn’t until I came to the UK in January of 2021 that I started to have questions,” the actor revealed. “And I was here on a job and I noticed that people — this is in the midst of the worst part of the lockdown here — and I noticed a lot of people were not adhering again to these requests made by their government.”

The Shawshank Redemption star would go on to explain, “When I saw that there wasn’t a huge death rate here, after I witness personally what was happening, I started to wonder more and more about what we were bineg told, and whether it was true or not.”

Robbins also noted that it the protesters’ testimonies at anti-lockdown protest he had joined out of curiosity which helped givehim a whole new perspective regarding the way they were being demonised by mainstream media.

|The Covid Redemption with Tim Robbins | via Russel Brand, YouTube

“I was staying in SoHo one Saturday morning and I heard a lot of noise outside and it was a protest; anti-lockdown protest,” the actor elaborated. “And I went out and joined the protest — not because I was joining the protest but because I was curious about what was going on,”

“And I started talking to people and I saw the way that they were being described in the press and it wasn’t true,” he added. “These were not, you know, National front Nazis. These were liberals and lefties and people that believed in personal freedom and I began to educate myself and I began to open my mind.”

Senator Robert Hammond (Tim Robbins) sees his son Hector (Peter Sarsgaard) for the first time since he was exposed to Parallax in Green Lantern (2011), Warner Bros. Pictures

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