Jeremy Strong says shooting Succession series finale was like skiing down a double black diamond

Jeremy Strong says shooting Succession series finale was like skiing down a double black diamond

Turns out you can't keep a self-involved, hyper-ambitious, Porsche-driving billionaire's son down.

At the end of Succession season 3, Jeremy Strong's business executive Kendall Roy was in a very dark place, wracked with guilt over his involvement in an accidental death and facing professional obsolescence thanks to his father, Brian Cox's Logan Roy, plotting to sell the family's media company, Waystar Royco. But Strong reveals that the start of the show's fourth and final season sees Kendall back on the good foot.

"At the end of season 3, we left Kendall on the ground in this dirt parking lot in Italy, in a moment of terrible personal reckoning and devastation," Strong tells EW. "We come back to the story not long after, but there's been time for him to put himself together again. We find him in LA, popping sunflower seeds in his mouth, and driving like a Porsche Taycan, and feeling pretty good. Kendall has always been on a pretty individual, and individualistic, path in terms of his pursuit of the crown, per se. I think now he needs his brother and sister [Kieran Culkin's Roman and Sarah Snook's Shiv], he needs to lean on them. They've joined forces to start this endeavor called the Hundred. It's given him a new purpose. He needs something, he says to them, you know, he refers to his drug use, he needs something to fill that hole in him that demands to be filled by something."

Jeremy Strong HBO Succession Season 4
Jeremy Strong HBO Succession Season 4

Claudette Barius/HBO Jeremy Strong in 'Succession' season 4

Succession creator Jesse Armstrong recently revealed to The New Yorker that the new season of the show will be its last. Strong admits to "mixed feelings" on the matter of the Emmy-winning series coming to a conclusion.

"It's been such a gift, a role like this, getting to play what I think, in terms of the writing, is one of the great modern anti-heroes," he says. "I was also ready for it to be done. I've advocated before now that it should be done for Kendall. I've felt that his arc has been close to, if not at, the point of running its course. There's only so much catharsis and so much tragedy that a character can undergo before there's nowhere left. So I do feel a sense of completion in the best possible way and I also feel a concomitant sense of loss."

"I'll miss the process, I'll miss – well, I won't always miss the process," continues a smiling Strong, who famously brings a Method approach to his portrayal of the tortured Kendall. "I'll miss the writing."

So, what was it like to shoot the series finale?

"Certainly, there's an awareness on the periphery that this is it, but in a way there's no room for that," Strong says. "You can't both be saying goodbye to a television show and be doing what you need to do at the same time –  or I can't. I will say that the final episode, the culmination of everything, where Jesse really brings everything to its crisis, was like a double black diamond to go down. That's what you want as an actor, and so that was incredibly fulfilling."

Succession season 4 premieres Sunday, March 26, on HBO and HBO Max.

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