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HomeEntertainment‘Succession’ Star Kieran Culkin Goes Inside Roman’s Head After “Emotionally Unhinged” Confrontation

‘Succession’ Star Kieran Culkin Goes Inside Roman’s Head After “Emotionally Unhinged” Confrontation


(This story contains spoilers from Succession season four episode five, “Kill List”.)

In his exit interview, Brian Cox revealed that every episode of Successionthe last season is one day. And with the death of his character, Logan Roy, serving as a marker, the days seem to play one after the other, with the final stop in the HBO series’ final tour taking place in the deal-making trenches in Norway.

While Logan’s oldest son Connor Roy (Alan Ruck) handles funeral arrangements for Logan at home, his siblings were armed to leave the country, with many of Waystar Royco’s top executives in tow, at the request of Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård) in order to GoJo deal.

In conversation with host Kara Swisher for HBO’s official Succession podcast, Kieran Culkin explains that his character, Roman Roy, did not appreciate Matsson using Logan’s death as a power move and forcing them to travel so soon after, leading to Roman’s epic showdown with Matsson – a move which ends, likely to seal the deal, despite Roman and Kendall Roy’s (Jeremy Strong) intent to close the deal.

“I didn’t like having to get on a plane and run to some guy in the first place, and he’s going to mock us when our dad isn’t even cold yet — it’s barely been two days,” says Culkin directs all of his grief and anger at Mattson during the scene between Roman, Kendall, and the GoJo boss, which is partially sparked after Roman receives a photo of Connor from Logan’s body. In the post-episode HBO interview, creator Jesse Armstrong described the scene between the three men as an opportunity to “weaponize” humor, truth, and obscurity. “You wonder, can these guys do it? Will they come close to what their father was? I don’t think it’s final. They don’t seem to get it. But they may have their own way of working, which isn’t a total failure in the end,” Armstrong said.

Before arriving at the serene mountain setting, “CE bros” Kendall and Roman decided they wanted to blow the deal, despite Matsson’s higher-than-expected bid to buy the company, as his bid also includes ATN, the news network arm that Logan Roy had explicitly opted out of the deal before his untimely death.

Speaking to Swisher, Culkin explains, “There’s a little bit of trying to keep the deal structured as it is or shitting on the deal, that feels like something Logan would do. And that we want to honor him. If we just let them take it all and take ATN, we can hear Dad say, “You bowed to him.” And we are not going to do that.”

Therefore, as Culkin puts it, Roman is “emotionally unhinged” when he confronts Matsson and (in Logan’s mind) tells him to fuck off. “I fucking hate you,” Roman tells Matsson, after chiding him for forcing them to come to Norway so soon after Logan’s death and vowing to stretch the Waystar-GoJo deal process long enough for Matsson to will eventually get bored and move on. . Culkin explains that under normal circumstances, like Logan, Roman would be able to navigate the game, but that he is currently “beyond too many emotions” to negotiate.

“That’s when he loses it and decides he’s not going to play business anymore. I let the feelings come out,” says Culkin. “It’s not a move. I think at the time, that’s not it. It’s just honesty and how he feels and all of his anger about his dad is coming out on one person who I think deserves it.

Roman (Kieran Culkin) and Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) with Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård) in ‘Kill List’.

Graeme Hunter/HBO

Even though it wasn’t meant to be a power move, it works. Matsson’s answer is to reach out with an even bigger offer — $5 more per share — putting the Waystar team in victory mode. That is, until the “kill list” is announced at the last minute of the episode, revealing that Karl (David Rasche), Frank (Peter Friedman), and Hugo (Fisher Stevens) are among the nine names on the chopping block after the take over.

At one point, Kendall told Roman that he really enjoyed being in charge of their father’s business, which is why he didn’t want to sell it. Culkin, speaking on the podcast, agrees that Roman has found purpose at Waystar: “Finding his way back to (to Waystar) and finding his voice and realizing he can do something at the company and his life felt really good , and that’s what draws him back in. Because otherwise, according to him, he’s kind of like a rich asshole sitting at home. He’s just the son of someone important, and that’s not a nice feeling.”

Culkin also doesn’t think Roman is fussing over the infamous voicemail he left after Logan’s death, which his father may or may not have heard before he dropped dead on his private jet. “I actually think he pushed that aside. I think that was the first time he did anything even close to standing up to Dad,” he says of the tantrum he left at Logan about firing Gerri (J. Smith-Cameron), a move now known only to Roman and Gerri. . “He wanted to confront his dad, but I like that he left it in Dad’s hands, in a voicemail, which is kind of cowardly, but also that he said, ‘Call me.’ Call me back and tell me why you made me do this.’ That was a pretty strong position. I think he pushed that down, pushed it in so deep that it never bothers you again.

In the end, Culkin says that Roman will be fine if they do sell, but that at this point Roman only cares about his father’s approval, even in death. That’s why, he says, Roman can’t even see the Roy trio shatter before his very eyes.

“What drives him right now is the honor of father and father. Just act like Daddy’s here now, because I can’t even get over the fact that he’s gone,” he says. “A lot of that anger over Dad’s death is directed at one person. So I think he’s a little blind to see something like that (the sibling alliance is crumbling). That might become a bit clearer in the coming episodes.”

Succession releases new episodes Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO and HBO Max. Follow along THR‘s Succession coverage of the last season.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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