To each their own. Jeremy Strong raised eyebrows with his commitment to method acting — and not all of his Succession costars have been onboard with the process.
The hit HBO series, which premiered in 2018, centers on a wealthy family as they fight for control of their father’s company amid his declining health. Strong, who brings Logan’s (Brian Cox) heirs apparent Kendall to life, surprised viewers when his commitment to the role was the focus of a profile for the New Yorker.
In the December 2021 article, quotes from those who spent time with the Massachusetts native recalled him sustaining injuries while working on Succession. The health scares included hurting his tibia, femur and fracturing his foot.
“If I have any method at all, it is simply this: to clear away anything — anything — that is not the character and the circumstances of the scene,” Strong explained in the feature at the time. “And usually that means clearing away almost everything around and inside you, so that you can be a more complete vessel for the work at hand.”
The Golden Globe winner’s costars, however, didn’t seem thrilled by Strong’s behavior when cameras weren’t rolling. In response, Strong noted that his method may come off as “difficult” to others, saying, “Sometimes there must even be room for necessary roughness.”
That same month, Cox expressed concern that Strong was overworking himself.
“The thing about Jeremy’s approach is it works in terms of what comes out the other end,” the U.K. native detailed during an appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers. “I don’t have a problem with Jeremy because he’s delightful. … He’s an extraordinary dad. He’s a pretty unique individual. But he does get obsessed with the work. And I worry about what it does to him, because if you can’t separate yourself — because you’re dealing with all of this material every day. You can’t live in it. Eventually, you get worn out.”
Cox continued: “Like, to me, Daniel Day Lewis got worn out at 55 and decided to retire because [he] couldn’t go on doing that every day. It’s too consuming. And I do worry about it. But the result — what everyone says about Jeremy — the result is always extraordinary and excellent.”
The Parkland star, for his part, received support from several friends amid the drama. “Ive known Jeremy Strong for 20yrs & worked with him on 2 films. Hes a lovely person. Very inspiring & passionate about his work,” Jessica Chastain tweeted in December 2021.
Following backlash, Strong called the profile a “pretty profound betrayal” of his trust. “It was painful. I felt foolish. As an actor, one of the most vital secret weapons that you can have is the ability to tolerate feeling foolish,” he shared with Vanity Fair in September 2022.
The Selma star admitted that comments from his costars about his preference for method acting hurt his feelings.
“A lot of that is just things that are presented out of context or with a certain agenda,” he told The Hollywood Reporter that same month. “I know what everybody said, and there was an angle and a narrative that was being presented. Which is not to say that there was never friction between my costars. We’re a family in every sense of the word. But foundationally, there’s deep respect and even love.”
In February 2023, Strong pushed back against Cox’s public comments about how there is a “certain amount of pain” behind his performance. “I don’t think there is. There’s certainly a lot of pain in Kendall, and I haven’t really met Brian outside of the confines of that,” he detailed to GQ.
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Scroll down for candid quotes from the Succession cast about Strong’s talent: