‘Succession’s Kieran Culkin Revealed An Alternate Version Of Kendall And Roman’s Finale Fight: Jeremy Strong ‘Just Punched The Sh*t Out Of Me’

Just as the Roy siblings are on the verge of maintaining control of their late father’s media empire in the Succession finale, the situation takes a volatile turn as Shiv (Sarah Snook) refuses to vote to elevate Kendall (Jeremy Strong) as CEO. That decision not only robs Kendall of achieving his lifelong dream of finally taking over his dad’s company, but it takes their entire birthright off the table as tech bro Lukas Mattson (Alexander Skarsgård) becomes the new owner in a billion dollar purchase.

In those final moments, Kendall attempts to talk Shiv out of voting against him as Roman (Kieran Culkin) watches the scene unfold and ultimately descend into a brutal meltdown visible to everyone. The situation turns violent as Roman makes some choice comments about Kendall’s children, which causes him to violently grab Roman and squeeze his already damaged head. Kendall also lashes out at Shiv during the violent scene before being shoved away by Roman as he defends his pregnant sister.

It was a viscerally unsettling scene for the HBO series, and according to Culkin, the boardroom meltdown almost got way more violent. The actor recently revealed that he and Strong filmed several alternate versions that occasionally involved taking a few punches to the head. In fact, Culkin hadn’t watched the finale at the time of the interview and was curious as to which takes made the cut.

Via Variety:

Does it ever come to, like, slaps? Or do we ever go to the floor, or anything like that?

You wrestle, but you’re not fully on the floor, no.

Oh, well, cool! There were some where I was on top, and I was smacking his head. There were times when he got on top of me and just punched the shit out of me. And it was very alive, because we weren’t sure what the next one was going to be, and how it was going to manifest.

Culkin also revealed that Shiv was going to be more physically involved in the violent altercation, but there was a “safety thing” over Snook’s real-life pregnancy. That factor led to Strong and Culkin setting aside their aversion to rehearsing scenes.

“Jeremy and I are of the same opinion: We don’t really love rehearsing. We know what’s happening in the scene, let’s just do it,” Culkin said. “But we also have to be safe, because there was a safety risk.”

(Via Variety)