“He is a shapeshifter, he adapts to his environment really well,” declares Nicholas Braun about his fan-favorite character “cousin Greg” on HBO’s “Succession.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Braun above.
“Succession” is HBO’s critically acclaimed drama created by Jesse Armstrong, who won the Emmy for writing the show’s first season finale last year. It follows the brutal power struggles that drive dominating and withholding media magnate Logan Roy (Brian Cox), his entitled and damaged adult children Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Shiv (Sarah Snook), Roman (Kieran Culkin) and Connor (Alan Ruck) and the sycophants, allies and adversaries that orbit them.
Braun’s character Greg is the scrappy first cousin to the Logan siblings, and has probably seen the greatest change from the pilot to the Season 2 finale. “He’s starting to get a bit more of a spine,” Braun says. “To have him be a little more confident and his wardrobe be a little less ratty and cheap,” he explains, has been a joy to play, because he’s “a guy that used to be a pot smoker, a pathetic very ‘whatever’ kind of guy turn into someone with a strong point of view.”
What is most fascinating about Greg is tat he comes across nonthreatening, innocent and even childlike. But underneath that exterior is a guy that is attracted to power and who has learnt to make the right moves by attaching himself to the Roys for personal gain.
Asked whether he really is a ruthless schemer at heart or whether his nonthreatening demeanor is the real Greg, Braun believes it’s likely the former. “I think he is ambitious. When we meet Greg in the first season, the pilot, we’re meeting a guy who has not ever been challenged or has ever been activated to do anything in his life. You’re meeting a character at the moment who is given permission to try and to be someone for the first time in his life,” he says. “I play him with a streak of ambition and that he wants the success, he wants the money. The allure of power is a strong draw for him.”
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