The years-long method acting debate centered around Jeremy Strong’s portrayal of Kendall Roy on “Succession” has now infiltrated the set of the hit HBO series.
Adrien Brody, who guest stars on the Emmy-winning drama, told The Hollywood Reporter that Strong keeps his “distance” from co-star Brian Cox during production. Cox plays Logan Roy, the controlling patriarch who is set out to squeeze his eldest son Kendall (Strong) and keep him submissive to the family-owned media conglomerate.
“I feel I’m supportive of any approach as long as it’s not really disruptive to anyone. I think everyone has a responsibility to be malleable to other people’s approaches. That’s part of the job,” Brody said. “I think the hard part comes when an actor disrupts the flow. That can come from many reasons: insecurity about where they’re at in that moment, whether they’re connecting or not, or from ego. Or some other thing. I didn’t experience any of that on ‘Succession’ though. I thought Jeremy was a wonderful scene partner and very thoughtful. He reached out to me prior to coming on board, and we got together.”
Brody added, “I did notice that he was keeping his distance from Brian on set, but I just thought it was all really interesting. I think Brian could probably care less, but it was obviously working for Jeremy. I just remember thinking, ‘Wow, this is so fun to step into this.’ And it all went without a hitch. I just wanted there to be more. I really loved interacting with them. So that was my experience with it. I thought it was great. You know, whatever works — and what they are doing on that show is clearly working.”
As a student of method acting and the Stanislavski practice, Brody noted that Cox’s approach is “more of a technical thing at times, because you’ve done it for so long.”
Cox previously called onscreen alter-ego Roy the “antithesis of who I am,” other than one cynical overlap with the character. “The one thing we have in common is a deep disappointment in the human experience: We think human beings are fucked,” Cox said. “I never used to swear as much as I did until I played Logan.”
Co-star Matthew Macfadyen, who famously plays pivotal RoyCo executive Tom Wambsgans, said that it was “slightly aggravating” to be discussing Strong’s approach to his character. “It makes [the show] about one thing, and it’s an ensemble piece,” Macfadyen formerly explained. You think of [fellow cast members] J. Smith-Cameron and Alan Ruck, who are fucking extraordinary actors. [Strong] is not the main event.”
“Succession” is currently in production on Season 4.