The HBO show Succession racked up a huge number of Emmy nominations this year — one of those a nod to Jeremy Strong’s acting as the ultimate silver-spoon-fed suffering son, Kendall Roy. Out of all the scenes he filmed for the TV show Strong said he wanted to cut this Succession Season 2 “immediately.”
The ‘Succession’ Season 2 episode that made a meme out of Kendall Roy
In an interview with The Wrap, Succession star Strong discussed the season 2 scene that made audiences’ jaws drop: the infamous rap about Logan Roy.
“He had never rapped before,” the publication explained — which probably won’t surprise you. Nicholas Britell — the show’s music supervisor explained to The Wrap that Succession creator Jesse Armstrong was the one with the original idea for the rap.
“Kendall’s gonna rap as a tribute to Logan,” Armstrong told Britell at the time. “And it has to be both completely cringeworthy but at the same time kind of really well executed.” For the Succession actor, the feat appeared to be “impossible.” Perhaps that’s why the cast member was on board to keep the rap out of the episode — and series — and entirely.
“I advocated cutting it immediately,” Strong clarified to the publication, concerned that the rap was “going to be silly.” But Strong understood that the series creator wouldn’t throw something at him he couldn’t handle — or that the show couldn’t.
“… Jesse always knows how to go too far,” the actor explained. “He knew it was just where the show lived.”
Strong said of his rap performance on the HBO show: ‘I like to take risks’
The “L to the OG” rap” — as “cringeworthy” as it was — went “viral” — both in the diegesis of Succession and on the real-life internet. Eminem-inspired Kendall turned into a “meme” and even for some — a Halloween costume. Looking back, even though Strong advocated cutting the scene, he finds a lot of value in it as an actor.
“What I loved about that is that it was an example of a way in which Jesse put me through the wringer,” Strong explained, referencing the series creator. But this was still a major challenge for the Emmy-nominated cast member.
“I like to take risks, but that one certainly I haven’t done before,” he explained to The Wrap. “I had three or four days to prepare and learn and do it. So it felt like walking the plank.” Still, Strong referred to the process — rapping itself — as “very empowering.”
“… that alone was nice — to have a chance to express my love for my father,” the actor said of his on-screen dad.
‘Succession’ cast member Kieran Culkin discusses Jeremy Strong’s Emmy-nominated acting
Kieran Culkin, who plays Kendall’s brother Roman Roy on Succession, admitted more about what Strong is like on WTF with Marc Maron. It sounds like those days prepping for his big rap might have been tense.
“If ‘Kendall’ is in a really good place, then Jeremy is in a much better mood,” Culkin revealed. “If ‘Kendall’ is in a dark place, then it’s very much don’t talk to him.”
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