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Toby Kebbell talks Servant, MCU return, and Dead Man’s Shoes

We spoke to Toby Kebbell about working with M Night Shyamalan on Servant, the chances of a Doctor Doom revival, and the cult status of Dead Man's Shoes

Toby Kebbell as Sean Turner in Servant

The Apple TV Plus thriller series Servant is coming to an end, with the fourth and final season set to premiere on the streaming service January 13. By March 17, it will all be over, and star of the show Toby Kebbell promises fans are going to get the resolution the TV series deserves.

With M Night Shyamalan attached as an executive producer, it’s not surprising the psychological horror series has become such a huge hit. We picked the brain of Kebbell to get an insight as to what it’s like working with the horror movie legend.

We also took the opportunity to ask Kebbell about his work on the cult classic thriller movie Dead Man’s Shoes, as well as touching on the idea of him reprising his role as Marvel villain Doctor Doom for the Fantastic Four MCU movie. Here’s what Kebbell had to say.

The Digital Fix: This is obviously the final season of Servant and I just wondered if you could tell us what fans can expect from this season?

Toby Kebbell: We’ve got a resolution, as we all wanted. We had to find a place to end and find out what was going to be the finish for us. So yeah, ultimately, I’m glad that the thing I can reveal is it was about telling the truth. It was about being honest, finally. I think that’s what people hoped for.

But yeah, the performances coming out of it were just fantastic. It was great. Sad and emotionally draining, but relieving. You know, when there was a cut on those final scenes between myself and Lauren [Ambrose], it was excellent and very emotional. Not just because of the material, but also to finally say goodbye after four years.

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TDF: M Night Shyamalan is involved in this project, of course. What does a person like that bring to the table with a show like this?

TK: He was the beacon of light through the whole thing. He was very confident he knew what was going on. He’s just – as complex as he is – he’s just very simple. He wants it to be as honest as possible. He wants it to feel like he caught a moment of honesty and reality, much more than a performance. We’re not trying to dig into performance. He wants that thing.

So for an actor like myself, that was great. Some of my biggest compliments from him – although there were the big grand ones about the performances that were pitched right – it was like, just cooking in the background and actually cooking, which sold the scene. It made it seem, you know, that it just felt right for him. So yeah, they’re the compliments I’ll take home.

Toby Kebbell as Victor von Doom in Fantastic Four

TDF: That’s a great testament to the performances there. Now, I wanted to just step away from this project for a moment and look at some of your previous work. Obviously, you’ve been Doctor Doom before… Has there been any contact about reprising that role for Marvel’s Fantastic Four movie?

TK: Listen, I’d be on it. Marvel has turned a huge corner in how they’ve made things work. I know some fans may not always feel this way. But in the privacy of Newark, in England, where I used to read comics with my older brothers, Guardians of the Galaxy was not like the movie they gave us. No one was like ‘Damn, gotta get the new Guardians of the Galaxy and see what that squirrel is doing.’ But they turned it into a fantastic film. I hope they do the same with Fantastic Four.

I think I touched it and I failed. So I think they have to let me walk out of it. That’s how I personally feel – if someone tried and they didn’t succeed, I don’t know why [you would ask them to try again]. I mean, I don’t know. You listen to Lil’ Wayne’s first album, which is not brilliant. And he got better. So maybe, I don’t know.

Paddy Considine and Toby Kebbell in Dead Man's Shoes

TDF: A great analogy there, I like that comparison. And then, another another film of yours – and literally one of my favourite films of all time – Dead Man’s Shoes. Did you ever imagine that film would have the kind of cult status it has today?

TK: No. I think when you work with Shane, you feel like you’ve been invited over by a mate to mess around with a camera in the garden. It just happens that the garden is in a field somewhere down the road. He very much makes it all feel that way. And I don’t know whether that was specifically because of Anthony and the way that character was going but he had me living with him, me and him stayed in the same house. And it was just so nurturing and such a kindly experience, you felt like you were just messing around.

I mean, he had a script idea, you know, he had a premise. But there was no dialogue to read, no lines to learn. It was much more about discovery. So to get to improv that kind of character and to stay in it all day, and then go and have a curry with Shane at the end of the night – who would have thought that would even turn out to be a film. I mean, it was mental really, like how was that possible? He’s a magician. I’ve been very blessed with the people I’ve worked with, but he’s still the greatest experience.

Paddy Considine in Dead Man's Shoes

In some ways, there’s like a Richard E Grant kind of element to it, where I imagined Withnail and I was such a great thing like, could they have imagined that would turn into that film? And I’m not claiming that status. I’m not John Lennoning myself saying, ‘I’m bigger than Jesus’. I’m just saying who could have thought messing around with Shane would turn into a film that is so beloved.

I meet the strangest human beings in the weirdest parts of the world who are like ‘Dead Man’s Shoes! Nice to meet you’. So yeah, it was a blessing. I mean, it was made for nothing, not a monetary, profitable project. But that’s your goal as an actor; to make people sentimental, to make them feel something, to make them laugh. You hope they enjoyed the story and that they’ll remember it for years and years onward.

For more from Shyamalan, check out our guide to his new movie, with all the information you need on the Knock at the Cabin release date. Or, for other twisted Apple TV Plus content, dive into our guide on the Severance season 2 release date.