The Succession Cast Shares Where Their Characters Stand in the Race for Power

Succession's Brian Cox, Sarah Snook, Jeremy Strong and more stars exclusively discuss the fate of their characters in the upcoming season of the HBO series.

By Beth Sobol, Cydney Contreras Oct 15, 2021 12:00 AMTags
Watch: Nicholas Braun Cried Over His "Succession" Emmy Nomination

Every family is a little dysfunctional in their own way, but the Roys really take the cake.

This was more than evident in the season two finale, in which Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) essentially threw his father Logan (Brian Cox) under a metaphorical bus. It was a triumphant moment for Kendall and should've been a painstaking blow for Logan but, as Cox exclusively told E! News at the season three premiere, he's curious to see how things unfold.

"In the heat of it, you're pissed off. The sense of betrayal is powerful but the other part of you is, ‘Oh he did a thing, let's see what happens,'" Cox explained. "There's two different roads going on at the same time, but that's what makes it a great show. You don't follow the one road. You go between the two."

Indeed, the HBO series could've gone many different ways, especially after Logan nearly died. And yet, the patriarch remains determined as ever to run the family business despite his faltering health. 

Cox said Logan maintains his grip on power partly because he "likes the work," but another part of it is that he doesn't believe his kids are ready to take over the family business.

Everything We Know About Succession Season 3

Cox said of his onscreen children, "They want responsibility but they're not capable of it. They haven't got the skills, they haven't got the power." 

Not to say Logan doesn't want Kendall, Siobhan, Roman or even Connor to succeed. He simply said, "It's a pretty tough thing to negotiate as a father."

Hunter Graeme/HBO

Cox also admitted that Shiv (Sarah Snook) was at one point his favorite, calling her a "daddy's girl." But in the past two seasons she hasn't been the dutiful daughter she once was as she attends to personal issues, like her struggling marriage to Tom Wamsgans (Matthew MacFadyen).

Of course, like any child who has attended countless hours of therapy, Shiv understands that it's not her fault she can't love her husband the way he wants her to. Snook said that it's obvious Shiv "has never grown up in a family that is built upon trust and love."

"I don't think she's really been a person who's comfortable with vulnerability in her life and now she's found Tom and, for the first time, she is comfortable being vulnerable," the Australian actress shared. "But it's exhausting—she's not used to it."

As for what fans can expect of this upcoming season, Snook teased, "I think this season we'll see them think or presume they're working together but obviously growing farther apart. It's a real well of conflict and interesting emotional relationships between Tom and Shiv."

David Russell/HBO

Snook's onscreen partner, on the other hand, declined to comment on the upcoming season. In a very Wambsgan-y way, MacFadyen said, "I can't answer your question properly because I'm scared I'm giving something away."

Alan Ruck, who portrays Connor, was less shy with his answer. The star confirmed Connor will enter the ring this season, saying that at this point in the show it's "unavoidable."

"I think there's so many problems with the company now. There's so many challenges," the Ferris Bueller's Day Off actor shared. "There's such a split within the family that he can't hide as easily as he once could. He might have to take sides."

Whether he's team Kendall or Logan is unclear, but it doesn't seem to matter because he's still got his "political aspirations" to lean on.

Peter Kramer/HBO

Jeremy Strong remains, as ever, on Kendall's team. But the actor said triumph is not always good for the recovering addict, who we've seen "struggle and fail" in the past two seasons.

"Now, he's in a place where he's done the thing he's never been able to do and found the courage to do it. And there is this hope I think that we all have as people, that if we achieve certain things or we do certain things, it will fill some void in us and make us full," Strong reflected. "[But] when that thing fills that void, you're even more f--ked than you were before."

He continued, "It's class five white water rapids for Kendall. I think once again he feels set up to get what he wants and once again, in very ingenious ways on the writer's part, it's thwarted and subverted."

In fact, this was Kendall's fate from the conception of the series. Strong recalled visiting the writer's room some years ago and seeing a note that read: "Kendall wins but loses."

"And we basically see that dynamic played out across all of the seasons, really. And it's different every time and it craters deeper every time," the actor shared.

Arturo Holmes/WireImage

Last but not least is Nicholas Braun, a.k.a. Cousin Greg. The actor told E! News viewers will continue to see Greg grow more of a "backbone" as he becomes a bigger part of the Roy family, saying that his character is becoming "desensitized to some of the heartaches of being in this world."

And at the end of the day, that's probably the best for Cousin Greg if he wants to survive the Roy family.

Season three of Succession premieres on HBO Sunday, Oct. 17.

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