‘Succession’ creator Jesse Armstrong admitted in a new interview on NPR’s ‘Fresh Air’ that he was ‘terrified’ when Jeremy Strong spontaneously tried to jump into the Hudson River while filming Kendall Roy’s final scene. in the Emmy Award-winning HBO drama series.
Strong revealed the treat in a Vanity Fair interview published after the series finale “Succession” aired on May 29.
“I was terrified. I was terrified that he might fall and get hurt,” Strong said. “He didn’t look like he was going to jump in. But once he breaks through that barrier, when you’re filming, there’s usually a lot of health and safety assessments, and that wasn’t our plan that day.”
“If we had even thought about that, we would have had boats and frogmen and all kinds of security measures, which we didn’t have,” Armstrong added. “So my first thought was for his physical safety as a human being, not the character. That’s how I felt that day. Good God, above.
During the final moments of “Succession”, Strong’s Kendall finds himself alone in Battery Park and unchecked by his family’s media empire. His brother-in-law, Tom Wambsgans, was named Waystar’s new CEO following the company’s purchase from GoJo. Kendall was stripped of her life’s purpose. The show fades to black with Kendall staring blankly at the river, but Strong tried to take it a step further.
“I tried to get in the water after we cut – I got up off that bench and ran as fast as I could through the barrier and onto the stilts, and the actor playing Colin ran” , Strong told Vanity Fair. “I didn’t know I was going to do this, and he didn’t, but he ran over and stopped me. I don’t know if at that time I felt Kendall just wanted to die – I think he did – or if he wanted to be saved essentially by a proxy for his father.
Although Strong sensed at the time Kendall wanted to die, Armstrong told “Fresh Air” host Terry Gross that he didn’t believe the character was contemplating suicide at that last moment.
” Not for me. I think for me, Kendall, in the end, one of the things that she lacks is even the freedom to determine her own path in life,” Armstrong said. “The name and the wealth that surrounds it – for many of us it obviously seems extraordinarily lucky, and it is. But I do believe there’s some kind of tragedy to a royal name, to a huge business name, to being a Disney or a Windsor or any of those types of names, and it can never, ever escape to that. And one of the ways he can’t escape it is to have a bubble of protection around him… even if he thinks about it, I don’t think that can ever happen to him. And yet, to me, that’s not how the story goes for that kind of person.
Armstrong also weighed in on the latest shot of Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) and Shiv (Sarah Snook), which sees them in the back of the limo as they go to hold hands.
“For me, it was a moment of equality,” Armstrong said. “Cold equality, rather terrifying, but equality, which has never been the case in this relationship before. Tom has always been helpful. Now he has that status, but his status is contingent. It’s kind of the subject of the whole episode. Shiv’s status is like all children – safe. It is safe from a financial point of view. She has billions of dollars. She has a wealth that could never diminish, no matter what happens in the world. And she also has a name, which is going to kind of haunt her and make her interesting, to some degree, for the rest of her life, and that can’t be taken away from her. While Tom’s position could be removed with a snap of the fingers.
“So for me, there’s a very terrifying tie in there, a remarkable dry hand,” he added. “It’s not even really human contact. It’s some kind of two pieces of porcelain or something. So that’s it for me. That wouldn’t be the case for everyone. And you could definitely see the situation as a clever ploy by which Shiv stays in play. Maybe that thought will come to him tomorrow or the day after. But for me, the show is over at this point and the story is over and that’s where I think they end.
All four seasons of “Succession” are now available to stream on Max.