Succession has some of the best acting on television right now, with multiple Primetime Emmy wins, and some of that acting is method acting. Method acting has been around for decades, with actors like Dustin Hoffman and Daniel Day-Lewis popularizing it.
Several actors have gone to extremes to get into their character’s minds, risking their health in the process, thus proving that as effective as method acting is for the delivery of roles, it has an adverse effect.
In an interview, Succession actor Brian Cox revealed that watching co-star Jeremy Strong play Kendall Roy can be intense.
Cox finds watching Strong play Kendall in ‘Succession’ difficult
Strong doesn’t consider himself a method actor, but sources inspiration from those before him, like Day-Lewis, whom he worked for back in 2005 as an assistant. Strong told The Guardian that he had always admired Lewis’s commitment to the craft and his bravery and willingness to make a fool of himself to deliver a character perfectly.
On the set of his hit show Succession, Strong acts almost like his hero Day-Lewis. To bring to life his shaky character in the critically acclaimed series, Strong separates himself from the other actors on set, especially Cox, who plays his father with whom he has a fraught relationship.
Strong admits his ability to separate himself from Cox makes it easy to capture their characters’ strained relationship accurately. He said,
“We have every different process, and he tolerates me, and I have inestimable respect for him. But I prefer to keep him in his corner, and I stay in mine so we can meet in the ring.”
However, Cox disapproves of Strong’s methods. In an interview with the New York Times, Cox, going over the contents of his book, said that he doesn’t care for Strong’s approach as it can be difficult to watch him play the intense character.
The actor told the interviewer that he disapproved of the word “process,” laughing and saying,
“It’s tiresome beyond belief. But you’ve got to let it go and say, this is fine as long as what’s coming out at the end is justifiable … That’s tough because sometimes you say ‘Jeremy for (expletive) sake. Stop it now.”
Kendall Roy is a complex character
Kendall Roy is complex for several reasons. For starters, his ambition usually results in repeated conflicts with his father as he clamors for his approval. Kendall also has an ongoing battle with substance abuse that creeps its head at the worst possible time. He also lacks confidence in himself which worsens when his father is around.
The show has successfully sprinkled hints of Kendall’s insecurities throughout the show. In season 1, Kendall was the prime candidate to inherit the business empire from his father but betrayed him toward the end.
However, as the second season came to a close, he was ready to carry the blame for the sexual assault scandal plaguing the company.
Before every scene, Strong talks through the details about his character with Jesse Armstrong, the show’s creator. Strong has talked about how the role has affected him, saying acting isn’t “just an imaginary experience, but you go through something, and it costs you.”
‘Succession’ is almost wrapping up its three seasons
The third season of Succession follows the Roy family company, Waystar Royco, which is under increased scrutiny following the FBI raid.
The family and friends have had to take sides in the feud involving Logan and Kendall, who want to boost their respective profiles as they try to maintain and gain power.
The third season debuted on October 17, 2021, with a lineup consisting of nine episodes. Seven episodes have already aired, with two more set to air on December 5 and 12.