“It felt like a real test for me as an actor. I’ve committed my life to doing this work and it’s been the thing that I’ve cared about most of all, my whole life,” reveals Jeremy Strong about the impact that his leading role on HBO’s “Succession” has meant to him. He just received his first ever Emmy nomination.
“The work that has most impacted me is usually work where an actor is not acting at all and not performing anything but having some kind of real experience. You try rigorously to hold yourself to that as an actor,” he says. Watch our exclusive video interview from before nominations were announced with Strong above.
In “Succession,” Strong plays Kendall Roy, heir apparent to the authoritarian Logan Roy (Cox), patriarch of the Roy family and overseer of his Waystar Royco media empire. Roy looms over his adult children Kendall, Shiv (Sarah Snook), Roman (Kieran Culkin) and Connor (Alan Ruck).
The epic drama leads all drama series (alongside “Ozark”) with 18 nominations across the board, up from five nominations for its first season (it won for writing and main title theme music). That impressive haul includes Strong’s bid in the Best Drama Actor category alongside co-star Brian Cox among others. They are joined by first-time nominees Snook, Culkin, Matthew Macfadyen (Shiv’s husband Tom) and Nicholas Braun (cousin Greg) in the supporting categories and three veterans in the guest categories – James Cromwell (Logan’s estranged brother), Harriet Walter (Logan’s ex-wife) and Cherry Jones (rival matriarch Nan Pierce), who happened to win last year for “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
Strong firmly believes that the cast on this show have shone so brightly because of the way they were conceived by creator Jesse Armstrong. “I think one of the great virtues and strengths of Jesse’s incredibly complex and agile writing is that it defies categorization,” he explains.
“These characters are never a binary of one thing or the other. What I love about his writing is that it exists in a place of ambiguity and in that gray area, especially living in a time where the marketplace is so saturated with stories about superheroes. Jesse is existing in a post-heroic world where there are no heroes or antiheroes, but people who are just fundamentally struggling and grappling and in the thicket of themselves.”
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