The Rise of Cousin Greg: Nicholas Braun on His Emmy Nod and Quarantine Bop "Antibodies"

Succession star Nicholas Braun reveals his reaction to an Emmy nomination and talks about his new single "Antibodies (Do You Have the)"

By Cydney Contreras Jul 29, 2020 10:43 PMTags
Watch: 2020 Emmy Nominations for Competition, Variety & Miniseries

An Emmy nomination is just the beginning for Succession's Nicholas Braun.

On Tuesday afternoon, the star learned that his portrayal of Cousin Greg in season 2 of the HBO series earned him his first-ever Emmy nod for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. It was a moment that Braun describes to E! News as "mind-boggling." 

"My publicist called me and she was like, ‘I can't believe this, I can't believe this,' and I was like, ‘I know it's great,'" he says, explaining that he thought she was talking about the show's 18 nominations. "And she was like, ‘You got nominated,' and I was like, ‘No, no, no, you're kidding me.' I just kept saying, 'You're kidding me,' like 20 times."

Braun explains that despite the buzz around the show, he doesn't "ever expect awards stuff to happen," at least when it comes to his role specifically. "I was sure a few of the other actors would get some because I love them and I think they should get all the nominations."

Emmys 2020: First-Time Nominees

Nicholas wasn't the only Succession star to be recognized in the Supporting Actor category. Co-stars Kieran Culkin and Matthew Macfadyen were also nominated, with their female counterpart Sarah Snook going up against others for Supporting Actress. Jeremy Strong and Brian Cox will compete for Lead Actor. 

Were it not for the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the cast would've been able to celebrate this moment together, but for now, Braun says they're staying in touch through a small group chat. He shares they were able to have a virtual "little handshake," but it doesn't quite make up for seeing them in person.

"It makes me miss everybody a lot, to be thinking about them so much and not have seen each other in a little bit," Braun says. 

That sense of longing for a time pre-COVID, when hugs were acceptable and masks weren't required, is what inspired his new single "Antibodies (Do You Have the)."

For those who haven't been following along on Braun's Instagram account, this pop-punk tune came about when the star was quarantining in a friend's L.A. guest house, where he was advised to ditch in-person dates for fear of encountering anyone carrying the novel virus. This word of caution was what inspired the catchy chorus he would later share with his Instagram followers.

On May 7, he posted a video in which he sang the lyrics: "Do you have the antibodies?/Do you want to be with me?/Do you have the antibodies?/'Cause if you don't/you better stay away!" From there, his creative followers sent ideas for sounds that would best fit the well-established lyrics. 

Peter Kramer/HBO

Before long, Nicholas found himself presented with an offer from Atlantic Records to produce the single. It was only fitting that they brought on Papa Roach producer Colin Brittain and turned "Antibodies (Do You Have the)" into the bop it is now. 

Wednesday marked the release of the full single and the accompanying music video, shot entirely on Braun's iPhone. Like the song, the video was inspired by bands like Blink 182 and the Instagram account @catatonicyouths. He says he tried to channel his inner "sad quarantine boy" while breaking sticks and and kicking rocks in the L.A. river, as one does for an "emo" song.

Though Braun wasn't initially drawn to this genre of music he explains he's not against becoming a punk artist. He reasons, "It's fun for me, like I said I grew up on these types of bands. Clearly there's something in my ear for this type of genre and we'll see."


He's applying this same "we'll see" mindset to his dating life, too.

Braun's 81-year-old father had the virus earlier this year and survived, which explains why Nicholas says he's "definitely still very hesitant" to go on dates right now. "I just don't feel like it's safe really, but I guess that's what the song is about. The desire is still there but you're not exactly sure how to do it," the Emmy nominee explains.

For now, the star is relishing in Emmy nomination bliss, which he plans to celebrate in true Cousin Greg fashion: "A bottle will be popped tonight."

Part of the proceeds made from "Antibodies (Do You Have the)" go to Community Outreach and Patient Empowerment (COPE) and Partners in Health. Check out the video above!