[This story contains spoilers from the finale of Succession season three.]
Conversations leading up to Succession‘s Dec. 12 season ending seemed to focus nearly specifically on actor Jeremy Strong and the long-term prospects of alter ego Kendall Roy.
Snook spoke with THR over Zoom on Tuesday about the various efforts to discover that final shot, the ongoing debate over whether her show is a drama or a comedy– tip: It does not matter!– and if anyone actually requires to like the Roys in order to root from them.
You’re in Australia at the moment.
Yeah, everyone thought that Kendall [Jeremy Strong] was going to pass away or something! There was a lot of, “How are they going to wrap this up? What can they possibly do in that episode?” There was so much going on. That’s a fun thing when you get a show being released week by week. You get that time in between for those discussions and that speculation.
I do wonder how the show would exist differently in the culture if the episodes dropped simultaneously.
There’s something about the density of the language and all that occurs– the sort of short lived, truly amusing lines– that I think you ‘d miss. It’s like digesting an excellent meal, not a protein shake you have and then just work on.
One of the longer, the majority of eventful scenes in the ending is with you, Jeremy and Kieran Culkin beyond the wedding event, when they begin to realize they’re getting played by their papa. Can you tell me a little bit about filming that?
It was a long one. The wind was blowing so much dust in my eyes that, at one point, I had to go and sit in a cold dark room with a cold compress on my face.
Even rich individuals sweat at summer wedding events.
No matter the wealth, you still schvitz. Like … what the fuck is she stating?
Doing the show for 3 seasons now, have you discovered that Jesse Armstrong and the writers now compose to your talents or taste?
I do not understand. I think they have. I know that they compose to Kieran’s strengths. It’s a “chicken or the egg” type of scenario. Reading the scripts, I’ve constantly been struck by just how much I can hear how Kieran is going to state that line, or how Matthew [Macfadyen] will sound doing this There is a lot of the voice of each of these characters and the actors who portray them in the writing. I guess that would be the same for me.
Were you bummed to see anything get lost in the edit this season?
There was a truly good scene between Marcia [Hiam Abbass] and Shiv in the ending where Marcia is just … dazzling.
A lot is stated about “likability” in TV characters, especially on this program where everybody is so ethically insolvent. In your experience, do actors even speak about that the manner in which audiences do?
I mean, it’s constantly nice to have the audience root for your character– however it’s more interesting when you can make them root for a character that is ethically questionable. Previously, it was more powerful for her to go like, “Well, I’m going to produce my own career outside of the family service.
This season, working with her other half and being inside the family organization, it’s too much. Isn’t he simply being narcissistic?
A few of the scenes in between you and Matthew this season were … distressing to see. What’s your relationship like between takes when you’re spitting all this vitriol at him?
To be truthful with you, many of the time we’re laughing because it is so agonizing.
Another thing that pops up a lot when individuals go over Succession is this argument over whether it’s a funny or a drama and how the different actors play it. Do you play it with one or the other in mind?
No. On either side of things, you need to play it with a level of reality and dedication. The reason Parks and Recreation is amusing is because they’re devoted to their characters. They’re dedicated to the minute that their characters remain in. That’s why it works. I believe it’s the exact same thing with Succession The writing exists. It gives us funny lines to state, however they’re comedic minutes since you’re doubling down on who the character is.
Yours is the last face we see at the end of the season ending. Can you talk a bit about how you were told to play it?
The script goes something like … “Logan leaves. We see the kids reverse. Shiv sees Tom, and after that she collapses mentally. Tom can be found in and states, ‘Shiv, you OK?'” When Tom gets in the room, it was improvised. There were several various endings. There was a version where Roman was supplicating with the top tier once again. There was one with Kendall getting actually mad and heading out to face Logan a bit more. Shiv is simply in this shock of what has simply taken place. Her mama has deserted them. Her daddy has actually done the dirty on them and then she sees her partner do the same thing. It resembles, “Fuck me. I can’t rely on a bachelor.” So as the distance of Tom closed in, I had to have fun with, like, “What do I show?” We all have personal and public masks. What do I reveal Tom in terms of the understanding he thinks that I have? Appears wise to conceal that I know that he did that. It’s scripted that I do not state anything.
So when we did that take, I keep in mind Mark turning up later on, like, “Yeah, I believe we found the ending of the season.” It’s always enjoyable when you get trusted by a director to naturally produce. I love how they do this so often with Succession The scene may be completed, but it does not end up until the director calls “cut.” Keep being your character, create, do something else, live in it until you hear “cut.” Some really interesting magic can come out of that.
I speak with a great deal of writers and stars and, when asked if they could work on another program for a couple of episodes, the response is usually Succession As someone who’s on that show, what would your answer be?
Hacks Jean Smart is amazing. Possibly I just want to be her when I grow up.
Interview edited for length and clarity.