‘Succession’: Kieran Culkin Says Roman Can Win It All

“It’s things like, ‘I want to destroy Kendall,’ and then when Kendall is destroyed, ‘It’s sad. I don’t like it, “and that messes up the game.”

With each passing season of “Heir, one of Logan Roy’s (Brian Cox) children becomes the frontrunner in the race to succeed his father as CEO of global media giant Waystar Royco. The crux of the first season is Kendall (Jeremy Strong)’s battle for control of the company away from his ailing father, after his path to succession was delayed. The second season saw Siobhan (Sarah Snook) brought to the screen, in an attempt to shape her into a worthy successor, but that fell apart almost as quickly as it started.

Now that with just three more episodes to air in the show’s third season, audiences are witnessing a Roman Roy (Kieran Culkin) began to shine, at ease in his father’s good care. NS the most recent episode of the series, “What Happened”, seeing Roman convince his father to support an apparently fascist/white candidate for president, this feels like a huge victory for the character and is a terrible, horrible thing. terrible, not to the benefit of all the others in the world.

In a recent interview with IndieWire, Culkin spoke about the character’s moral functions (or lack thereof) and his enjoyment of watching Roman begin to find his place, after much year no more than a little something.

INDIEWIRE: As we go deeper into Season 3, it looks like Roman is actually starting to fire on all the turrets. How does it feel to have him almost, maybe, sort of, in his father’s good care?

KIERAN CULKIN: You know what’s fun, it feels really cool as a fan of the show. I remember watching the first episode and having this moment when they were trying to choose who could be the next CEO and Roman called his dad from the plane bathroom. I forgot about that scene, because it’s been so long since we filmed. And I feel like I really like Roman, almost forgetting about the fact that he shot himself in the foot there.

And earlier in that episode, he made a pretty strong offer about what to do with the company that no one else seemed to like, but he liked. It’s not like trying to impress dad or anything. It was his idea that he thought worked. He doesn’t care if anyone else likes it or not. So he’s finding his own voice that way. And Logan happens to back it up.

Succession Season 3 Episode 2 Kieran Culkin

Kieran Culkin in “The Succession”

Macall Pot / HBO

During the season, when it comes to political candidates and [other moments], it’s that he’s finding his confidence, just like his confidence. However, as a fan of the show, I love that. It was gratifying to see that, but also a little bit of horror and anxiety that he would shoot himself in the foot again.

When I talk to your colleague Brian Cox, he talks about Logan’s frustrations with teaching his children rules of the game” yet found them refusing to comply in his bid to become his successor.

I don’t know if the other [characters] get it, but to my mind, I think Roman really understands that it’s a game and I think he’s pretty good at the game.

But the difference between Logan and Roman is that Roman has an emotional connection to his family and I think Logan can only play games. He loves his kids, that’s obvious, so he doesn’t have to take that into consideration, so he just plays the game, while I think Roman is very upset. It was things like, “I want to destroy Kendall,” and then when Kendall was destroyed, “So sad. I don’t like it,” and that messes up the game.

Which really leads to one of my biggest questions for you. In a recent review of previous seasons, I realized that Roman is probably the most empathetic of the kids. On the yacht in Season 2, after being kidnapped, he tries to have a real moment with his siblings. This season, at the shareholder meeting, he was very protective of Logan and did not want to talk about strategy when his father’s health was in critical condition. There’s a real tenderness that creeps in every now and then. Have you always been aware of that side of his personality?

That just makes sense to me. I try not to analyze it too much, but yeah, that’s always there. In the second episode, when dad is in the hospital, everyone is in shock and everyone in the family is very sad, but they are also trying to solve the problem. “What can we do?” And I think Roman was like, “I’m sad. My father could die. So sad.

I think it’s funny that for Roman, he sees it as a near-death experience with that kidnapping, and then gets on the yacht to say, “Oh, because I feel like I almost died, can we How do you talk? a family?” Well, you’d think his being completely out of character, “Can we be serious for a second and talk?”

Succession Season 3 Episode 5 Connor Roman Gerri Karl

Connor, Roman, Gerri and Karl collect their thoughts.

Macall Play / HBO

It also makes sense to me, because I think he really holds to this real ideal of a family, his family. He doesn’t have a wife or kids or anything like that. His family is like this. So there is empathy. Kendall is required to get fall. And that’s sad. At the same time, Roman’s also said something like, “You’re COO now, congratulations.” Like, this is not a good moment. This is sad. This is family.

How do you balance that part of him, as well as his obnoxious teasing and teasing in every other moment he has?

They are one and the same. That’s him. This is not a difficult dance to figure out. And, I feel like when it comes out, it sounds lame or like we’re saying this or something, but it’s really a beautiful text and it’s amazing. It really starts with the writers putting that together. On the page, what you said, it’s there. And then I just did it.

A lot of the actors raved with me, at various points, about the quality of the writing and then the other night I got a copy of the script for the Season 1 finale, “Nobody is was lost”. I was reading it and thought, “Oh, okay.” [“Succession” creator] Jesse [Armstrong]Its words are so obvious that it translates so clearly from page to screen, so I get that a lame answer.

Okay, good. Because sometimes, I’ll read a script from a really talented writer and it’s a great piece of writing but then you look at it and you’re like, “Actually, all these characters are versions of the same person. It all sounds like it’s just the writer’s voice”, but it’s really cool and fun, isn’t it? I do not know how [the “Succession” writers] write so differently for each character. No one talks like Connor (Alan Ruck) on the show. He’s the only one with that voice and they wrote it especially for him. And that, to me, was also unbelievable, because in the pilot, I felt like Connor wasn’t written that way. I feel like they’re all just looking at Alan and how Alan plays Connor and they say, “This is going to be fun. Let’s play with this. ”

"Heir" Season 1 Episode 10 Final Season Kieran Culkin, Alan Ruck

Kieran Culkin and Alan Ruck

Colin Hutton / HBO

I really think it’s a huge thing, from the pilot to, “Okay, we’re doing the show right now because we have the next episodes.” Episodes 2 and 3 we watch at the same time and are like, “Oh, they found Connor.” Like, I think Alan is like he’s done some terrible things and that’s weird. In the pilot, we were encouraged to just improvise. And at one point we did it on the show like, Adam McKay over a loudspeaker, saying to the camera operators, “Okay. To Alan. ” “Alan, talk about your farm.” And then Alan, as Connor, started talking about his farm and how he brought in and how water. He continued this long monologue, which was odd, and it just popped into his head. And I think someone actually did that on the show, and I think they said, “This guy is weird.”

That’s actually what Alan just told me when I talked to him. He says he’s seen them do it for Nicholas Braun (Cousin Greg), just writing in his voice. And that becomes more and more Cousin Greg. And so I think you all bring parts of yourself into it and they’re very good at picking your voice.

Well, that’s funny. I talked to [“Succession” writer] Tony Roche on that at the end of the season but it’s different now because you have [the cast’s] voice in your head. But he says it’s not so specific. He sometimes says that, especially with Greg, you have the thought, “Oh, it’s going to be really fun to watch Nick say this.” Just write and say, “I really want Nick to say this out loud.”

Succession Season 3 Episode 6 Logan Shiv Connor


Macall Play / HBO

So in episode six we see Roman making up with a white nationalist and he worked to get his father to support him. Do you think Roman has moral structures? Or can he justify almost anything to himself?

I think he can justify almost anything. And also, one choice I made with Roman at the beginning of this was, okay, he’s a guy who’s never suffered any consequences. So I feel like it could never really backfire on him. Always have an umbrella. So with this, I don’t think he’s particularly interested in his politics. That’s not what it’s about. It’s not about finding the right person. It’s about figuring out who can win and can be in our pocket. It’s a win for us. I don’t care if it affects the country or anything. I don’t believe Roman shares the same political views as this guy.

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https://www.indiewire.com/2021/11/kieran-culkin-succession-interview-roman-roy-1234680957/ ‘Succession’: Kieran Culkin Says Roman Can Win It All

Aila Slisco

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