Succession star says she studied Fox News hosts to prepare for cringeworthy audition scene

Succession star Zoë Winters has revealed the inspiration behind her character’s disastrous news anchor audition tape in the latest episode.

Winters plays Kerry Castellabate, the assistant and assumed romantic partner of media mogul Logan Roy (Brian Cox) in the HBO drama, which is said to be based on the Murdoch family. You can tead The Independent’s five-star review of episode two here.

In episode two of season four, which aired on Sunday (2 April), Kerry auditions to be the latest newsreader Logan’s Fox News-esque network, ATN.

Unfortunately, Kerry’s cringeworthy audition tape quickly becomes a running joke among the upper echelons of the Roy empire.

“We went into a real newsroom, so we had a whole set-up, prompter, multiple cameras and screens – and it was really fun,” Winters said of filming the scene in an interview with Variety.

“I had watched Tomi Lahren and Laura Ingraham, and tried to collect a number of ideas,” Winters revealed of her inspiration.

Lahren and Ingraham are both prominent conservative commentators on Fox. Ingraham hosts The Ingraham Angle on Fox News while Lahren hosts the Fox Nation talk show, No Interruption.

Zoë Winters as Kerry in ‘Succession’ (Macall B Polay/HBO)
Zoë Winters as Kerry in ‘Succession’ (Macall B Polay/HBO)

“I watched a lot of Laura Ingraham when the camera cuts, mistreating people, getting different information in her ear than she is from the prompter,” Winters continued.

“Tomi Lahren has this very loud, heightened, fast way of presenting. I just took little bits and pieces from conservative political commentators. I didn’t want her to be good. I wanted her to be trying.”

The Independent has contacted Fox News Media and Ingraham’s representatives for comment. A representative for Lahren was not immediately available.

Elsewhere in episode two, Logan mirrored a real-life Rupert Murdoch moment. Journalist Bill Grueskin shared a side-by-side comparison of Logan standing on paper boxes, addressing staff, and a real-life image from 2007 of Rupert Murdoch doing the same thing.

Succession airs Sundays at 9pm EST on HBO Max in the US and Mondays on Sky Atlantic in the UK.