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Jeremy Strong "relieved to be free" of Kendall now "Succession" is over

When Jeremy Strong found out Succession would end with its fourth season he knew that it was the right decision and that there’d be a fitting conclusion for his character Kendall Roy, the actor told Newsweek.

The HBO show became a huge hit for the network when it debuted in 2018, and its popularity and critical acclaim has only increased over the years. So, the decision by Successions creator Jesse Armstrong to end the show with Season 4 came as a surprise to fans.

The cast were also shocked by the news, but Strong explained to Newsweek that he agreed with the showrunner’s choice regardless of having “mixed feelings” about it.

Strongly said Kendall Roy has often been “frustrating” to portray, since the actor prefers to use method acting to get fully immersed in his roles. When he learned that Succession would be over the actor was “relieved.”

“I found out with the rest of us, I think at the table read of the final episode, so very late” the actor said of when he knew it was the end.

“I think it felt inevitable to me,” he went on. “I feel ready to be done, I think similarly to Jesse. I feel that the arc of this character in particular had run its course, and I didn’t wish to try and extend that for the sake of making more seasons.

“It feels like the right time. I feel relieved to be free of it, and I’m also going to miss so much about it. I mean, it’s hard for me to wrap my head around the magnitude of what this journey has been .”

Season 3 ended on a dramatic note, with Kendall and his siblings Shiv (Sarah Snook) and Roman (Kieran Culkin) deciding to veto their father Logan’s (Brian Cox) sale of Waystar Royco to Lukas Mattson (Alexander Skarsgård), only for their plans to be thwarted when Shiv’s husband Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) revealed their plot to Logan.

In Season 4, the siblings are united against their father and have a brand new venture titled The Hundred that they plan to launch as a counter to his media empire.

Strong said: “At least at the beginning of the season it starts out with this alliance, we’re finally flying in V-formation and we’ve got this project that we’re working on together called The Hundred, which for Kendall becomes sort of the new answer and the new cure-all.

“I think he’s all in and Kendall is a mountaineer, he needs an Eiger to climb but it’s that compulsion which is also destructive in him.”

The actor admitted he couldn’t share much more about what the season has in store for his character, but he said that he was impressed by the quality of the writing and the way in which Armstrong and his team brought the story to a close.

When asked about what he felt might have been the most frustrating part of Kendall’s arc this season, Strong said: “It’s a hard question without being able to talk about the full extent of the season.

“But, what I will say is every time I think that the writers can’t possibly clear the bar again in terms of the level of the material, they’ve really given us a double black diamond of a season that we all had to go down together, and with the highest level of difficulty, and challenge, and it’s incredibly rewarding and painful.”

An aspect of the series that has certainly been painful for Kendall, as a character, is his fraught relationship with his father, which has shifted from the patriarch calling him his “number one boy” to Kendall implying food he’s made for Logan might be poisoned and the media mogul giving it to his grandson as a power move.

“In a way, for me, this whole series has been a love story between Logan and Kendall,” Strongly reflected. “He’s like the sun that I’ve been orbiting my whole life and I want his light to shine on me, but also if I get too close it’ll burn me up.

“I will say that as an actor, as different as we are, working with Brian has been hands down the most rewarding part of working on this show. Actor-to-actor, the scenes we’ve had together, I’ll carry them with me for the rest of my life.”

Strong also spoke about his final scene as Kendall, sharing that the last take he did ended up being a scene that was humorous in nature rather than something dramatic.

He said: “It was nice. We finished the heavier stuff earlier and we actually ended the season on location in a beautiful place with some light-hearted, connective material, which is the exception rather than the rule on this show.

“It was not on a particularly heavy scene, and between action and cut you’re not really aware of anything else so it wasn’t like this sense of ‘this is the last take,’ it’s just suddenly over.

“But that’s the way these things are, you work on them very intensely for a long time, and then they’re suddenly over but they live on in the world, it’s been a profound experience for me.”

When Jeremy Strong found out Succession would end with its fourth season he knew that it was the right decision and that there’d be a fitting conclusion for his character Kendall Roy, the actor told Newsweek.

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