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Actor Jeremy Strong on ‘Succession’, ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’

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On HBO’s addictive drama Succession, Actor Jeremy Strong plays Kendall Roy, the second eldest son of media titan Logan Roy (played by Brian Cox). While all Roys are twisted in their own way, Kendall is perhaps the most damaged. Over the course of two seasons, he struggled with drug addiction, family betrayal, and a bad decision after a bad decision (including poorly crafted freestyle rap). The role earned Strong his first Emmy in September. As Rolling stone writer Stephen Rodrick recently proclaimed, “Strong’s Kendall Roy is one of the best broken men in dumbbox history.

In our last episode of Interview RS: special edition, Strong talks with Rodrick about how fucked up Kendall is and why he wanted it Play Sixties Counterculture Icon Jerry Rubin in Aaron Sorkin’s The Chicago 7 trial. The film – which premiered last month – dramatizes a court case that marked an era in which Rubin and six other activists were charged with crimes related to protests that turned violent at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago.

“I never wanted anything more than participating in meaningful stories,” says Strong, “social justice films in particular.”

He says he’s embarrassed that news has leaked that he asked Sorkin for tear gas while filming a protest scene so he could figure out what it was doing. “I felt a great responsibility to capture and experience so many [Rubin’s] life as possible, ”says Strong. “It doesn’t take into account what people are going through right now in Portland, Hong Kong and everywhere.”

Season three of Succession was scheduled to be shot from last spring, with filming scheduled for distant locations, but the coronavirus changed all that. When production resumes, Strong can’t wait to see where Kendall goes, but with a certain sense of unease.

“There is a certain amount of terror and fear,” Strong says. “Because you have to start from scratch every time.” He thinks back to the final scene of the first season, where Kendall, after a fatal car crash, changes from stoic passivity to a sobbing man on the verge of breakdown in front of his father.

“I’m very proud of this scene in terms of work, but I don’t know where it came from, and I don’t know if I could do it again. It makes you feel like it’s not yours. It’s humiliating. And quite terrifying.

This is the final installment in Rolling Stone’s latest new video series, RS Interview: Special Edition, featuring in-depth conversations with notable personalities in music, entertainment and politics. Episode premieres every Thursday afternoon on Rolling Stone YouTube Channel.



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