Succession star Jeremy Strong has revealed that the final scene of the iconic HBO show could have been different.
Strong, 44, told Anderson Cooper during a Tuesday night interview, his first since the series ended, that rather than just sitting his character by the water in New York’s Battery Park, he tried to go in the water.
“I tried to go in the water. One of the amazing things about working on something for seven years… is that your instincts for the thing separate from you and are very much alive. Your job is to give the writing heart and nerve and all that,’ Strong said on AC360.
The final scene of Strong’s show character Kendall Roy coming to terms with the fact that he will never inherit his father’s media empire after a board vote comes down against him.
Strong went on to say that it was not for him to say how the show would end. “It’s for Jesse Armstrong, there but for the grace of him we’ve all been going this whole time, and his writing, and the depth of it, and his insight into human nature, he feels people are doomed repeating itself,” the Boston native said.
Succession star Jeremy Strong gave his first TV interview Tuesday night on AC360 with Anderson Cooper
Strong explained that there was an alternate ending to the show’s now iconic finale that was almost filmed.
The show’s final scene sees a contemplative Kendall Roy forced to come to terms with the fact that he will never be the CEO of his father’s company.
Sunday night’s huge 88-minute finale, which concluded the hit series chronicling a billionaire media mogul and his children’s struggles to take over the family business, Waystar Royco, left viewers in shock – as none of the Roy siblings only won.
In the episode, Shiv Roy took one final turn against his brother Kendall, shattering his plans to keep their late father’s company and become CEO by voting to have their media empire acquired by a Swedish tech giant, GoJo.
Strong described her sister ultimately siding with her husband as a “capitulation” of her character by allowing the “patriarchy” to emerge victorious.
Strong said in a separate interview with The New York Times that the final scene was filmed in winter at Battery Park earlier this year.
“I’ve never been so cold in my life. What was happening was like the ninth circle of hell, which is frozen. I couldn’t feel anything,” he said.
The star didn’t specifically say the weather prevented them from shooting the final scene with him in the water.
“I tried to go in the water. We’ve seen Kendall lose again and again and again, but it looks abysmal,” he added.
It’s highlighted in the Times article just how important water is in the character’s life, from a waiter drowning at his sister’s wedding to being in water when his siblings tell him that they will support his candidacy for CEO.
“He’s still in a place where he could take off, or he could get submerged and drown in it. He’s treading water for his life,’ Strong added.
Celebrate: Just hours after the explosive finale of the Succession series aired on HBO, one of the show’s cast members shared how star Jeremy Strong celebrated: by having his head shaved by his on-screen siblings.
Unlike the fictional character, the end of the show was much more celebratory for Strong.
Just hours after the final episode aired, Strong could be seen in a social media video having his head shaved by his on-screen brother, Roman, aka Kieran Culkin.
He tells their co-star Sarah Snook, 35, who plays Shiv Roy, to “get in there” and passes her the clippers as she begins to shave the sides and back of her head.
The mowers are then passed to several other crew members, as a man named Joe asks, “Can I get in there?”
Culkin tells Strong to turn around and look in the mirror, as he sees the top of his clean-shaven head, laughing.
Strong responses, ‘Yeah get in there! Anyone can have a crack,” as Joe passes the mower to Strong, who passes it to a female crew member.
Strong then asks Culkin, “Can I shave your head?” but he answers categorically: “No! as the room erupts in laughter.
Snook is seen shaving the right side of Strong’s head when Culkin pulls out an egg and smashes it on Strong’s nearly bald head, something Snook didn’t expect.
Strong takes the clippers from a stunned Snook as Culkin wipes some of the egg off his face before they both hug, before someone smashes an egg on Culkin’s head.
The show debuted in 2018 and won a total of 13 Primetime Emmy Awards for its first three seasons.
The show won Outstanding Drama Series for two of its three seasons and will likely be a top contender for this year’s Emmys as well.
Strong signed on to play a man who attempts to expose water contamination in a Norwegian spa town in Henrik Ibsen’s 1882 play “An Enemy of the People”.
The play – with a rewrite by Amy Herzog, whose adaptation of Ibsen’s ‘A Doll’s House’ just won a Tony nomination – will premiere on Broadway in early 2024 at a theater to be revealed later. , the producers said.
The rest of the cast will be announced later. Sam Gold, who won a Tony for directing “Fun Home,” will direct the revival.
This will be Strong’s second time on Broadway. He was in ‘A Man for All Seasons’ in 2008 with Frank Langella and Patrick Page. Since then, his work on “Succession” has won him an Emmy and a Golden Globe.
Strong will play a public-minded doctor in a small town who discovers that the public spa’s water supply is contaminated and may have made tourists – the economic engine of the community – sick.
But his efforts to clean up the mess pit his ethics against political cowards and the media, leaving his family in pain.