Jeremy Strong says Kendall’s reaction to Logan’s will in Succession was genuine: ‘I asked not to see it’
Jeremy Strong has shared his own view on a recent point of viewer contention in Succession.
Since episode three of the show’s current final season, the characters have been doing their best to move on with their lives since the death of patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox).
In episode four, titled “Honeymoon States”, Logan’s children gather for the reading of his will. A piece of additional paper in his private safe names Kendall (Strong) as his preferred successor – though the paper has a line that either crosses Kendall’s name out, or underlines it for emphasis.
Whether the line was intended as an underline or a strikethrough can never be confirmed – a flourish that many fans have noted as a stroke of genius from the show’s writers.
Strong has offered his views on how his character reacted to the ambiguous line, and shared that he didn’t see the mystery mark on the paper prior to filming.
“I asked not to see that piece of paper until we were shooting the scene,” he told Vulture in a lengthy Q&A published on Sunday (30 April).
“I think the initial reaction was like that of most viewers: I wanted to believe my name was underlined, but I felt anguish at the thought that it had actually been crossed out, and then a double anguish at the realisation that I would never know the answer.”
Strong, who is known for immersing himself into his character through “method acting”, notably does not differentiate between himself and Kendall in many interviews.
He continued: “If my father had actually wanted it to be me, maybe we could have sat down and had a conversation. That means he made me hate him, and then he died – that would be a devastating thing for me. It would be easier if my name had been crossed out.
“But my life made sense if it was underlined. It would have meant there was still hope for me to attain the full personhood I always wanted to attain, and that I hoped my father wanted me to attain.”
The Emmy-winning actor went on to note that he didn’t know which scenario would be worse: knowing that Logan intended for “him” to take over and never getting to hear him say it, or feeling the “vote of no confidence” of being crossed out.
In the most recent episode of the decorated drama series, Kendall, Roman (Kieran Culkin) and Shiv (Sarah Snook) continue to unravel after the death of their father – but he makes an unexpected comeback.