Actor Jeremy Strong spends a week on it Succession Kendall Roy’s character can only be dreamed of. And only part of it has to do with what happened in the season three finale, “All the Bells Say,” after much speculation about his character’s possible death.
[Ed. note: This story contains major spoilers for Succession season 3.]
Succession Season 3, Episode 9 has arrived after another implosion of Kendall, last seen floating in a puddle (and a misery of his own making,) and a similar supernova moment for his star. A new New Yorker profile for Strong, titled “Running Succession, Jeremy Strong doesn’t get the joke” and ‘straight man’ paint the actor as someone who gets so into the character that even co-workers find it a bit disgusting. The profile launched a moment of drama that, in many ways, delivers the accomplishments Strong wanted. Always to stop acting: “to cross the line,” as he puts it in profile, between character and real life.
Among the revelations: Strong missed part of ‘Wedding Week Celebrations’ to shoot Kathryn Bigelow Detroit, hung out with playwright Wendy Wasserstein’s Irish doorman to learn how to play an Irish alcoholic, often refusing to rehearse, and upon firing Kieran Culkin’s description of the process as Strong told him “You enter the ring, you do the scene, and eventually each actor goes to his corner.” “. It is not a strategy that Culkin specifically endorses. “I’m, like, this isn’t a fight. This is a dance,” he says in the New Yorker article, musing about his costumes.
“It’s the cost to him that worries me,” Brian Cox said in the profile, after the piece describes a string of injuries Strong incurred on the not-so-particularly action-packed set of the show about a family of bickering tycoons, of whom Cox is the ruthless patriarch. “I just feel like he should be kinder to himself, and therefore he should be kinder to everyone else.”
Strong’s approach is not much different from the way Kendall started Succession Season 3: It goes viral on Twitter all the time. The only difference is that while Kendall Roy finds himself increasingly isolated, Jeremy Strong has real friends who stand up for him. In the seventh episode of season three, “Too Much Birthday,” partygoers promise a trip into Kendall Roy’s world at a lavish birthday party at The Shed at Hudson Yards, a place described by critics as the meeting point of “tourist trade and capitalist worship.”
It’s a perfect setting for Kendall, who rides the highs of the ring only to meet crushing dips. By far the most powerful of these is his imaginative search for his son’s birthday present, the only clue being bunny wrapping paper. His small army of lieutenants fail at it, stumbles into a mountain of gifts, and treats each individual gift with either indifference or outright contempt. Motorcycle? who cares? An hour of his girlfriend? He already has one. In the end, he collapses under his compulsion.
It is a scene that plays into the classic influences that are often stirred around Succession, including by Strong himself. In profile, he refers to both Dostoevsky and Chekhov. One example that came to mind was Leo Tolstoy’s 1866 short story How Much Land Does a Man Need? In it, a peasant named Bahum makes a deal with Satan to get more and more land, before he learns that all man really needs is six feet for a grave.
Tolstoy’s fable reveals startling similarities to Kendall, who lashes out at his father in the penultimate episode in hopes of proving he’s better and smarter. And now, in the season three finale, he’s no longer dead, confessing to a manslaughter in season one and teaming up with his siblings (“for the first time since they were teens,” director Mark Melaud noted in his post-show feature) to prevent further action from Logan Roy.
In a post-show reflection in Episode 9, creator Jeremy Strong said that some people might see the Kindle, Chef, and Roman team develop. Strong continued, “I’m on the fence about humans, and people certainly change what they do, but in my view, people’s basic self doesn’t change. In a way, that’s what makes drama and choices interesting.”
How the future is going for Kendell will leave it to fans to discover Succession The fourth season, which was recently aired by HBO. As for Strong, the profile live scores have prompted some major names to defend it. On Instagram, Pal Anne Hathaway also defended Strong’s choices as an actor, saying, “I highly appreciate his qualities of thoughtfulness, sincerity, originality, sweetness, depth, kindness, and generosity, as well as his strong intelligence and extraordinary sensitivity.” Aaron Sorkin via Message posted on Twitter By Jessica Chastain, say it honestly: “Jeremy is no hazelnut.” Arguing that the profile “asks us to turn our eyes to the acting process”, Sorkin compares Strong to Dustin Hoffman, who has repeatedly appeared in the profile – New York writer Michael Shulman notes that Strong had Rain Man Poster on his wall when he was a teenager. Ultimately, says Sorkin, “there is no writer, producer, or director on Earth who would not take advantage of their choice.”
shortly after Succession The final episode of Season 3 aired on HBO, Shulman Twitter took over To reveal details from his now controversial profile that he didn’t make the cut for spoiler reasons. Strong told the reporter that during the big confession scene in the parking lot, he was originally sitting “on a stone pillar Jeremy asked the production designer to make. They did nine shots and he just didn’t feel like it.” The actor eventually found himself in a “place of despair” and, according to Schulman, thought he had “reached the limits of what I could do.” So, after nine shots, Strong decided to turn things around and sit on the gravel in the parking lot, playing the scene in a new way. All previous works were unusable, but the actor told Shulman that “the whole scene opened up.”
Perhaps Sorkin is right: There might not be a writer, producer, or director on Earth who wouldn’t want to pick Strong, if not for a reason other than his role on one of TV’s hottest shows. But if the actor’s process seems to be isolating in nature — a non-celebrity member of one production said Strong was “an annoying Jannat” — he might have one thing Kendall Roy never had, even with all the money in it. World: the people who care about him.