Sarah Snook on the Succession scene that made her gasp and whether she aligns with audience's hatred of Shiv

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Sarah Snook knows how you feel about her Succession character, Shiv Roy. And she agrees.

"I get she's a polarizing character, absolutely," the Emmy-nominated actress says on the latest episode of EW's The Awardist podcast, admitting she doesn't engage with online chatter about the show. "And I can defend her all I want, but I wouldn't be friends with her."

But that, Snook explains, is why Shiv — the only daughter of Roy patriarch Logan (Brian Cox) and potential successor to his media empire — is such an incredible character to portray. "She's complex and she's unlikeable and she's also got these amazing qualities," the Australia native says, but, "her entitlement somehow has given her this strange confidence and belief that she's allowed to be in any room she's in.'"

Succession Awardist
Succession Awardist

Macall B. Polay/HBO Sarah Snook talks with 'The Awardist' podcast about the 'Succession' scene that made her gasp

In season 3 — as if things weren't already dramatic enough on the series, which won the Outstanding Drama Series Emmy in 2020 (one of its seven wins that year) — Shiv tells her husband Tom she wants a baby...that big revelation coming after her mom, Caroline (Harriet Walter), tells Shiv it's best she never had kids because "some people just aren't made to be mothers."

"She's trying to build a kinship or something with her daughter like, 'You and I are the same, daughter. I wasn't cut out for being your mother either,' which is like, you don't say that to your own kid," Snook exclaims of the cruel moment. "It is a nice thing that she's saying, in a way. Like, 'I know I f---ed up. I know that I made a mistake. I know that I didn't do right by you.' But also, 'You are just as bad as me' is not the end of the sentence that Shiv wants to hear. ... I mean, I do love how Shiv reacts to that, which is just competitive. It's like, 'You know what? No, I will prove to you I can and will be a better mother.'" That, of course, is to be determined.


Graeme Hunter/HBO Matthew Macfadyen and Sarah Snook on the season 3 finale of 'Succession'

But the season 3 finale packed in a couple more WTF scenes: when Shiv told Tom she loves him but she doesn't love him, followed by the moment that made Snook gasp when she watched the episode. In the final scene, the Roy children learn their mother reversed the terms of her divorce agreement, eliminating their super-majority and ability to stop Logan from selling the company. (Did Tom tip off Logan about their plan?)

"I obviously know Succession, I was there when we were shooting it," she says. "But because I didn't know how they were going to edit the end of episode 9, when [director Mark Mylod] cuts to black on Shiv, even though I know what she's thinking ... the way he edited it and when they cut to black and then the music, I really genuinely gasped like, 'Oh! What's going to happen?!'"

We'll hopefully find out sooner than later; season 4 of the series is currently in production. And Snook offers some heavily veiled teases about what's to come. You can hear those and our full interview with Snook on The Awardist podcast, below, or check out highlights in the video above.

Check out more from EW's The Awardistfeaturing exclusive interviews, analysis, and our podcast diving into all the highlights from the year's best in TV.

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