Jeremy Strong Knows He Can ‘Sound Like a Jackass’ Discussing Art: ‘This Is Who I Am’
Jeremy Strong is just fine sounding like a jackass for the sake of high art.
The “Succession” star, whose Method acting techniques became controversial fodder in 2021 following an infamous New Yorker profile, addressed his penchant for colloquially quoting other artists in interviews.
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“I’m sure I sound like a jackass when I say stuff like that,” Strong told GQ. “[But] I’m just going to keep quoting shit, because this is who I am.”
Strong added, “People have been making fun of me about it for as long as I can remember. I had an old girlfriend who used to call me Kierkegaard. I’m like a walking book of aphorisms.”
To note, Søren Aabye Kierkegaard was a Danish theologian, philosopher, poet, social critic, and religious author who is considered to be the first existentialist philosopher.
“Maybe the quoting is just a part of an armor,” the “Armageddon Time” actor said. “I don’t come from a very highly cultured, highly educated…I come from a family that has a lot of emotional intelligence and presence and empathy. But when I went to Yale, I felt like I had a lot to compensate for, and part of it was probably a way to cope and a way to feel a sense of belonging in that environment.”
It was the New Yorker profile, including quotes from “Succession” co-star Brian Cox, that plunged Strong back into a similar mindset of needing to belong again.
“I hadn’t felt judged like that in a very long time,” Strong revealed, calling the period post-publication his “15 minutes of shame, with a long tail.”
“I was less bothered by other actors having feelings or opinions about the way I work. Really, it was just feeling exposed,” Strong clarified. “Everyone’s entitled to have their feelings. I also think Brian Cox, for example, he’s earned the right to say whatever the fuck he wants. There was no need to address that or do damage control….I feel a lot of love for my siblings and my father on the show. And it is like a family in the sense that, and I’m sure they would say this, too, you don’t always like the people that you love. I do always respect them.”
He summed up, “Am I going to adjust or compromise the way that I’ve worked my whole life and what I believe in? There wasn’t a flicker of doubt about that. I’m still going to do whatever it takes to serve whatever it is. Which is not to say that that is the same thing as riding roughshod over other people. It has to do with autonomous concentration. It’s a very solitary thing. I think there’s very low impact on others except for what they might want to project onto it and how that might make them feel.”
Strong previously told IndieWire that playing Kendall Roy in “Succession” across more than six years makes the character feel “indistinguishable from me, I guess.”
Strong said, “That entanglement is a really important and vital place where elements of yourself and elements of your work fuse. It’s impossible to delineate where one ends and where the other begins. It’s something I’ll probably carry around with me from now on. The show has become sort of iconic in a way. [Though] Kendall, for me, is just another part that I play.”
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