‘Succession’ Star Brian Cox on How the Roy Family May Be More Like the Trumps Than the Murdochs

·4 min read

(Spoiler alert: Do not read this post if you wish to remain in the dark on certain “Succession” Season 3 premiere details.)

By the time we got “Succession” Season 3, the obvious comparisons between the dysfunctional family of media titan Logan Roy and the Murdochs is a pretty tired one. Plus, it might not even be the best one.

Brian Cox, who plays the aging Logan Roy, told TheWrap that the real “tragedy” depicted in the HBO show is pretty similar to what we see in the Trump family. It’s the “tragedy of entitlement,” in Cox’s words.

“Succession” is “the kind of satire of the way things are — particularly in this country,” the Scottish actor said, comparing the fictional drama series to the “entitlement that we’ve seen of the horrific Trumps and Kushner and all of that.”

“We just witnessed the worst element of it ever,” Cox continued, referring to the four years preceding Joe Biden’s presidency.

(OK, so in this version, Sarah Snook’s Shiv is obviously Ivanka, which makes Tom, played by Matthew Macfadyen, Jared Kushner. We’ll let readers decide on how Kendall, Roman and Connor line up with Don Jr. and Eric, and we simply have no idea what to do with Cousin Greg. The Roys can relate to that.)

Thus far at least, the Trump kids have remained quite loyal to their dad. A little too loyal. We’re sure Cox would agree.

Season 3 began Sunday right where Season 2 ended: Logan was fighting back against the ultimate betrayal, one he saw coming a mile away. It’s also a coup Logan is surprisingly cool about — so long as it comes from a worthy adversary within his own family.

Try as the Roy kids have, no one has stepped up in a way that satisfies Logan’s high (and kind of sick?) standards for taking over his beloved media conglomerate, Waystar Royco. Well, Kendall (Jeremy Strong) is again coming at the king, his dad.

As they say in another all-time great HBO drama: Best not miss.

We catch up with Ken as he goes all-in on his (very) hostile takeover attempt of the publicly traded media giant. While the family patriarch may ultimately welcome being ruthlessly overthrown — even in a publicly humiliating fashion — Logan is currently quite peeved about his son’s sudden maneuver. Cox might be just as angry.

“He gets a lot of sympathy, like poor Kendall, poor misbegotten Kendall — but he does behave like an asshole,” Cox said.

Sure does.

In any event, Cox’s Logan is not too keen on Kendall at the moment — but what about the other prodigal son, Kieran Culkin’s Roman Roy? (We didn’t forget about Alan Ruck’s Conn, but, c’mon, let’s be serious here.)

In the Season 3 premiere, when Logan decides to step back (in title, at least) from his CEO role, Roman appears to be a very real contender for the interim gig. That is, until a fairly awkward father-son phone call blows that opportunity.

Immediately after the call wraps, Logan declares that Roman is “out.” We asked Cox to explain what, specifically, about that conversation killed Roman’s chances. “It’s just another way of putting him on hold,” Cox told us of the scene. “I think he’s got a lot of confidence in Roman in many ways.”

For example, Roman solved the kidnaping crisis at the end of Season 2. Remember that? Right, it was overshadowed by Kendall’s betrayal.

“Roman was very perceptive” in that episode, Cox said. “Logan has recognized Roman’s perception, it’s just that Roman’s personality gets in the way. So at this time, he’s not best serving the situation. When (Logan) says ‘He’s out,’ he’s out for the moment. That doesn’t mean he’s out forever.”

In fact, Cox sees potential for Roman coming back into his father’s favor down the line. “I still think he has some kind of — not faith in him — but (Logan) does believe that (Roman) will finally come of age in some way or another,” Cox said. “And he’s waiting for that.”

Roman is still “embryonic,” he added, “like a baby thrashing around in the womb. When he comes out, he might be more formed. Or he might not be.”

True. Those are definitely the two options.

“Succession” episodes air at 9 p.m. Sundays on HBO.

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