Rebecca Ferguson Breaks Down That ‘Silo’ Finale and Teases ‘Darker’ Season 2: ‘She’s Bloody Terrified’

“It’s like I’m sitting on these secrets and I think, ‘You have no idea,’” the actress and EP says of the Apple TV+ sci-fi series

Apple TV+

Note: The following story contains spoilers for the “Silo” Season 1 finale.

The word “cliffhanger” barely does justice to the Season 1 finale of “Silo,” and if star and executive producer Rebecca Ferguson had it her way, she’d start talking about all the secrets and revelations from the show’s in-production second season now.

“It’s like I’m sitting on these secrets and I think, ‘You have no idea,’” Ferguson told TheWrap during an interview tied to the finale.

The first season of the Apple TV+ adaptation of Hugh Howley’s “Wool” book series chronicled the inner workings of a silo that houses the last inhabitants of Earth, below a desolate wasteland. Ferguson’s Juliette Nichols emerged as the show’s protagonist, an engineer on the lower levels who gets unexpectedly tapped to become the silo’s new sheriff, a position she uses to search for the truth about a lover’s mysterious death.

But answers led to more questions, and the Season 1 finale found Juliette forced outside the silo by Tim Robbins’ Bernard, head of IT who secretly runs the entire silo. Juliette stepped outside to discover that yes, the world is a desolate wasteland (that part wasn’t a lie) — but their silo is also surrounded by a number of other silos. The season ended on Juliette’s shocked face, but according to Ferguson there was only one thing running through her mind: survival.

“I don’t mean it to be a simple answer, but I find simple thoughts easier to act out,” Ferguson said. “I mean, you and I can have a long conversation about the philosophy of the human mind, but I think at that moment she’s thinking, ‘Get the f–k out of there and try and get somewhere else very quickly. I have no idea that the tape is going to work.’ And I like that.”

Production is already underway on Season 2, and while Ferguson was tight-lipped about what to expect, she described the next season as “darker” and “grittier,” with plenty more surprises to unveil.

Read our full conversation below, in which Ferguson also discusses connecting to Juliette’s inherent humanity and that selfless moment between Juliette and her father.

This show is the best kind of sci-fi in that the world is so tangible and fully realized, yet it’s all grounded in the emotions of the characters.

That makes me super, super happy. I know it’s sci-fi and post-apocalyptic, etc, etc. but that’s not really what interests me. It’s the drama, it’s the characters, it’s the environment, it’s the world-building. And that makes me so happy when you say that, because it’s what we’ve been striving towards.

Let’s talk about that finale. What’s going through Juliette’s head as she’s about to step outside? At the beginning of the season, we meet her and she’s risking her life for the good of the silo. Now she’s about to step outside and, in her mind, likely die and she says she’s not afraid.

I think she’s bloody terrified. I think there’s such a mixture of emotions that are sedimented inside her. We start off with her wanting to find out the truth about the death of her loved one, of George, and one truth after another. And this is a human being who has sedimented trauma in her life. It’s like everything she touches just either dies, commits suicide, just disappears or doesn’t have her back, like her father basically. So she’s very good with isolating and shutting down. When she takes this job as sheriff, I don’t think she’s prepared for the emotional connection that she will have to things to understand the bigger picture. And everything goes quite quickly, this all happens in one week. It’s not like we’ve lost the Juliette that we’ve seen in the beginning, but it’s a Juliette that’s had to adapt really f–ing fast to be able to get the truth from people. Gloria, the relationship, understanding that the police state is even worse than what she thought, so take all of that to a point of, I guess, exhaustion, and there is no way out. I don’t know if she’s thinking, can I be the one who survives? Can this work? Or if she just thinks, “I’m done.” I think hope is the last thing that loses us. I kept on holding on to that hope, that bit of hope.

As you say, she’s searching for truth this entire season. It’s on the badge. She gets out there, she not only sees that it’s a desolate wasteland, but that they’re surrounded by many silos. She gets the truth but that leads to so many more questions. How did you play that moment?

You know what, I think for me, I don’t mean it to be a simple answer, but I find simple thoughts easier to act out. I mean, you and I can have a long conversation about the philosophy of the human mind, but I think at that moment she’s thinking, “Get the f–k out of there and try and get somewhere else very quickly. I have no idea that the tape is going to work.” And I like that. I like that we’re in a world where we as the audience go, “What the actual f–k is this?” and her looking around, but also the fact that she has no idea — sure the screen is a lie, the screen in the screen is a lie, but what is the screen in the screen in the screen? There’s always the, “I don’t believe anything yet.” Nothing is the truth. I haven’t found the truth yet. And there’s an enormous survival instinct. That is what drives us into the next season. It’s that need to survive, and Juliet is the answer to that. The characteristic trait is Juliet personified.

Silo (Credit: Apple TV+)

Juliet also has this selfless quality in that scene with her father—

I just called her selfish in another interview!

Well, I think there’s a selfless aspect to her because her father visits her in the cell. She’s thinking about telling them the truth, but she opts not to. If she tells him the truth, she’s still going out but that would put his life in jeopardy. It seems like an expression of gratitude that she does that, and it’s a growth moment for the character.

I agree with you. When people are depressed and I think trauma happens, and when people close down and sediment all of the things they’ve been feeling, there’s enormous selfishness to it. People talk about how people committing suicide is selfish, I find that too extreme, I find it very sad and sad enough, I’ve had it around in my life as well. But there’s something that happens with grief where we lock ourselves in, and it can be seen as selfish. It’s an enormous protection from what can hurt you, right? And I think that when she’s there in the cell at the end, seeing the father and understanding how lonely he is and how similar they have been, in many ways. It’s an enormous growth into what she becomes later on.

And listen, don’t get me wrong, she does a lot of selfish things in the pursuit of the truth.

Yeah, of course, but also without thinking, and that’s what’s so interesting about her. That kind of persuasion of, “I need to get the right thing. I need the facts. Why is it so f–king hard to run something correctly without controlling? What is the truth?” I love that about her. I relate to that.

There’s also great humor in the fact that she becomes sheriff and then just is so one-track-minded that she forgets about the job of being a sheriff.

I know! (Laughs) But that’s what makes her such a good sheriff. The humanity of it. We forget, we forget to be human. We just follow things by the book. But that’s why we have the balance of her and Billings.

What can you tease about Season 2?

As a producer I sit in the writers room with them, I know everything. I can say that it gets darker. It gets grittier. And it’s literally like we’ve introduced the characters in Season 1 and now s—t hits the fan.

I know it’s based on a book series. Have you guys mapped out how many seasons you would need overall to tell this story?

Kind of, yes we have. But I think we try not to count our chickens before they hatch. We hope. Even with something like “Dune,” for example, Denis [Villeneuve] would have been happy to end at “Dune 1.” He wanted obviously to do more, but things need to be able to end, with an exciting twist at the end of possibility to move forward. But at the moment, we’re taking one season at a time.

“Silo” is now streaming on Apple TV+.