Jeremy Strong on Succession Season 3 and Kendall’s Mindset

Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for Succession Season 3.

from the creator Jesse Armstrong, the critically acclaimed and much-loved HBO drama series Succession It further explores the power dynamics of the Roy family in Season 3, which changes in a rather perilous way that looks like it could take out anyone in its path at any time. After Kendall’s (Jeremy Strong(The decision to expose the company scandal, Patriarch Logan Roy)Brian Cox(He instigated his other adult children – including Schiff)Sarah Snook) , Romanian (Kieran Culkin) and Connor (Alan Rock) – against each other, they want them to spy, tell and make their way into what could become a family civil war.

During this one-on-one interview with Collider, Strong talked about how he relates to his character, and the inspiration he gets from Mary Poppins, creative collaborations with Armstrong, Kendall’s great birthday party, whether he thinks Logan loves his kids, why he thinks it’s best to leave the party early when it comes to the length of the show, and Kendall’s mindset by the end of season 3.

Collider: Did you ever miss Kendall, in the time between completing filming for season two and starting filming for season three, or is someone you’re happy to put a little bit further away?

Jeremy Strong: Did you miss him? Here’s the thing, it’s so closely connected to many parts of myself, so I never let it go. He chases after me and never leaves me. Certainly, when I work on the show, it awakens parts of myself that I would rather not look at or live with. Also, chapter five of emotional cliffs he has to go through, it’s hard for me and it’s heavy. So, there is an indescribable relief when I finish and get the weight of it all done. But I will say that this season has already begun to update. If things are in a minor key, then there is a major change in a very major key. The press conference felt, on an implied level for me, or at least the moments leading up to the press conference, as if I sat under my body tree and got an enlightenment, clarity, and liberation that I had never achieved before. I killed the dragon and so I’m free. These chains that bound me, I’m untied.

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I have young children, so I watched recently Mary Poppins. Remember the man in Mary Poppins Who when he laughs float to the ceiling. This is me, season 3. I feel, as long as I keep doing it, as long as I smile and believe in this moral crusade that I am participating in, I am doing the right thing, and that is it is a virtuous and righteous crusade, and in a way, I am the savior of this company and the savior of the cowardly culture and the toxic culture of this company, I will continue to Floating in the air like this guy in Mary PoppinsUntil such time as I can’t.

You’ve said that when Kendall became a villain, in that second season, you didn’t know where the story was going to go next, in season three. What were the biggest questions you had before you knew what happened next, and what do you feel like you got those answers by the end of season 3?

Strong: I had no idea what would happen after I walked out of that room. That was my meltdown moment, and I didn’t think much of what would happen next because I know I’m in the hands of Jesse Armstrong, who truly is one of the greatest writers alive. He’s definitely the greatest writer I think I’ve ever worked with, and we totally agree, in how we see this character. Therefore, I was sure that whatever would be, would be true, but I think we carved it together, when he shared his plan with me. Living in the time of Corona, there was this sense of false positivity, which I really wanted to include in the season and which I think he took and wrote to. We saw this character in a state of internal meltdown in season two and there is an almost insane journey into this season. In terms of where it gets, the tragedy is that this character gets closer and closer to getting what he outwardly wants, and the more it fills no void in him, or brings him any peace or comfort, the more desperation there is. in that. Like any of us, if we believe that there is a certain circumstance, such as breaking free from my parents, or taking over the company, the things in the narrative of my life are the things I want, then it becomes my horse kingdom.

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Image via HBO

Was there anything you didn’t agree on with your character at all, or do you feel like there’s always a conversation that you can work out, if there’s something you’re not sure about?

Strong: I wouldn’t say disapproving, but there are certain things that don’t come down on me and that feel out of sync with what my instincts are. I think, as an actor, your job is to be an advocate and bodyguard for your character, and I have strong convictions. There is not much disagreement. But the door is always open and Jesse is helpful without exception. We have always found the way to harmonize his intent and my instincts. There are times when I feel like I need something unscripted, in order to get where it needs to be. These are great times to collaborate because it often happens that there is going to be a quantum leap in writing where, for me, at least, something is put in there that allows me to jump emotionally where it has to go. It’s incredible, as an actor, to be working in real time, creating this character’s journey. I’m not talking about my work, but I think this character is one of the biggest heroes Jesse has written. It’s so exciting to be a part of that and to be in the crucible of it, creating it with it.

Kendall’s birthday party was a rather grandiose affair, but it was also very strange. What was it like to live, that whole loop, and get those groups, but also to live in that mental space?

Strong: I spent months, like Kendall, promoting Jesse’s ideas of what the party should be. They were crazy ideas. I thought they were great ideas and visionary. I had a DJ in Los Angeles who made me a Kendall Birthday playlist, which was on, and playing all the time. . . [Back to] the Mary Poppins Floating man, the birthday party is where it all breaks down, in a really devastating way.

Brian Cox said that Logan loves his children. Do you personally think this is true? If he is capable of love, do you feel that there is no way he can love all of his children equally?

Strong: No, I don’t think he loves his kids. I don’t think he knows what that means. I don’t think it’s his fault, but I don’t think he knows what that means. I think he invested in his children’s lives as much as they influence his stature. They are assets in a game and not sentient beings to him.

Image via HBO

RELATED: Brian Cox on ‘Succession’ Season 3, What He’s Enjoying About Dynamic Logan Kendall, and Endgame Series

Apparently, Jesse Armstrong said so Succession It can only be one extra season and it can be two extra seasons, but it probably won’t be a show that will exceed five seasons. Have you heard anything in this regard? Did you have any of those conversations? Do you feel that there may only be one season left of this show?

Strong: Absolutely. I don’t know what’s on Jesse’s mind. Personally, I feel like we’ve come a long way at the end of each season. I got to the end of season one and thought, “I don’t think we can go any further” in terms of exploring these characters and these themes in depth. Jesse somehow continued to overtake himself. I don’t know, but whatever it is it’s okay with me. Better, I know, if Jesse leaves the party early.

Without spoilers and without telling me why, how would you describe Kendall’s mental state by the end of Season 3?

Strong: It’s hard to talk about. I would say it’s as far from where the season starts as you can get. If the season started with the character being, in a sense, on top of the world, he’s a long way from that, as could be. At the same time, the wonderful thing about writing is that all of these experiences lead to what they call, in physics, a phase transition where there is a change from one state to another, and these phase transitions continue to exist, where there is a change from one state to another. These phase transitions continue, and there is another transition at the end of Season 3. There is a shedding of a layer of skin which leads to shedding which leads to something new as well. This season, he’s starting to emerge from an egg-shaped bathtub, so it’s a rebirth, in a way. And then, I think there’s some kind of death, and I don’t know what’s going to happen next.

Succession It airs Sunday nights on HBO.

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