Jeremy Strong has finally spoken up about being profiled in the New Yorker late last year, calling the article “a profound betrayal of trust.”
Michael Schulman’s “On Succession, Jeremy Strong Doesn’t Get the Joke” quickly became one of the magazine’s top stories of the year upon its Dec. 7 publication. Reactions to the lengthy piece, which detailed his hard-earned career and intense relationship to acting, were polarizing: while many readers got a kick out of his eccentric, hyper-serious depiction, others lambasted the profile as a “classist” personal attack.
While many celebrity defenders stepped up to praise the actor – including Jessica Chastain, who criticized the piece as “incredibly one sided,” and Aaron Sorkin, who slammed it as “a distorted picture… that asks us to roll our eyes at his acting process” — Strong has stayed mum on the controversy until now. In an interview with Vanity Fair about his new film “Armageddon Time,” the Emmy-winner expressed his displeasure with the whole ordeal.
The profile “maybe ultimately said more about the person writing it and their perspective, which is a valid perspective, than it did about who I feel I am and what I’m about,” Strong said. “The noise and the fog after it: I think it’s something that, I guess, what I care about ultimately is trying to feel as free as possible as an actor. Part of that is trying to insulate yourself from all of that, and what people might say about you or think about you. You have to free yourself from that.”
“It was painful. I felt foolish,” he continued. “As an actor, one of the most vital secret weapons that you can have is the ability to tolerate feeling foolish.”
Ultimately, Strong conceded that immersing himself in his work, and the vulnerability that comes with it, is part of the job. “Acting is something that’s hard to talk about without sounding self-serious, but it is something that I feel very seriously about and care about and have devoted my life to,” he added.
Everything else, he implied, is just noise: “All that stuff, I have to treat it as vapor and mist. It’s not really relevant to the work.”