Jeremy Strong (Profile in The New Yorker)

The television show Succession, which just completed its third season on HBO, follows the wealthy Roy family as they navigate the business world as owners of a major media conglomerate, while simultaneously jockeying amongst themselves to be the most powerful person within their family.

A Shakespearean tragedy dotted with comedic moments, the writing of the show is razor sharp, both in the exorbitant specificity of the scenarios in which the characters are routinely placed, but also in the tone of detachment said characters are written with given their preposterous levels of wealth.

The trailer for the first season of Succession.

Another strength of the show is its outstanding acting, which it gets from every member of the cast. Leading the way on this front are the four core Roy family members, with Brian Cox as the dominating patriarch, and Sarah Snook, Kieran Culkin, and Jeremy Strong as three of his petulant adult children. Though actively noxious toward one another, the interactions between the characters create an intoxicant that makes for addictive viewing.

Over the course of the show’s three seasons, its status in the culture has grown substantially, and interviews with various cast members have become commonplace. Most recently, The New Yorker published a wildly candid profile of Jeremy Strong, in which Strong talks about various parts of his career, including his “identity diffusion” method acting process.

Jeremy Strong, who plays Kendall Roy on Succession.

Evidently, Strong’s approach to his work is so unusual to interact with that fellow cast mates and creatives were not afraid to go on record with their impressions of him, which range from (mostly) bewilderment to (occasional) admiration. This remarkable honesty caused The New Yorker piece itself to hit a chord with readers, and countless think pieces appeared across the web, with people weighing in with (predominantly negative) opinions of Strong’s personality.

Judgments aside, I merely want to encourage people to read the profile for themselves, because every paragraph has at least one compelling nugget about him, Hollywood, or the human condition. As entertainment consumers, these types of articles are rarely green-lit anymore because celebrities are adamant that they only be presented in a generous light, so when these stories surface, we should treat them as the gift that they are!

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