Succession was nominated this year for a whopping 18 Emmy awards, including Best Dramatic series and nine nominations for acting performances. Nicholas Braun, Kieran Culkin, Matthew Macfadyen, Sarah Snook, Brian Cox, and Jeremy Strong were all nominated, although all of the male nominees will have to face off against at least one other Succession actor in their category. (There were three other nominations in the guest actor categories for Harriet Walter, James Cromwell, and Cherry Jones).
While all the nominees are obviously wildly deserving, only one of those actors has gained a reputation for being a hardcore method actor. There are rumors that on the set, Jeremy Strong introduces himself as Kendall, the name of his character. There’s even some more absurd speculation that Strong, like his character, did meth, or at the very least, got wasted when his character was having substance abuse problems.
On this week’s episode of WTF with Marc Maron, Jeremy Strong’s Succession co-star, Kieran Culkin, talked about Jeremy Strong’s approach to acting, and how challenging it can sometimes be to work opposite him.
“With Jeremy, it’s complex. A lot of people immediately say he’s method, and he would say that he is not. But for all intents and purposes, I feel like he kind of is,” Culkin told Maron on the podcast. “The things is, he doesn’t want to know if the actor [opposite him] is going to do [blank], because that would mess him up. Sometimes, he doesn’t want you to say certain words. Like, don’t call it a ‘scene’ or things like that. It can be pretty particular sometimes.”
“Usually,” Culkin continues, “my job is to sort of poke fun at him and try to break down that little wall. Like, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, this SCENE? In this SCENE that we’re going to rehearse because it’s a F**KING TV SHOW?’ I like to do that to him, sometimes.”
“If ‘Kendall’ is in a really good place, then Jeremy is in a much better mood. If ‘Kendall’ is in a dark place, then it’s very much don’t talk to him. So, that has its own challenges, too.”
Culkin added, however, that he’s been acting for 30 years at this point, so he’s very good at navigating other people’s processes. He also added that Brian Cox and Sarah Snook are the least like their characters, and that Cox, in fact, is a “teddy bear.” However, though the extreme rumors about Jeremy Strong’s acting are obviously untrue, it’s clear that he does adopt some fairly hardcore method acting practices. On the other hand, at least he doesn’t give away live rats and dead pigs to his co-stars, as Jared Leto does, although gifting a “boar on the floor” to one of his castmates would have been a tremendously good prank.
Source: WTF with Marc Maron