Jeremy Strong is obsessively devoted to the craft of acting. He toiled away for years until he started to get some breaks in the business. His career is a story of great talent rising to the top.
He’s best known for his portrayal of Kendall Roy in “Succession” on HBO. Before that he had roles in films such as “Molly’s Game,” “The Big Short” and “Zero Dark Thirty.”
Signature Role: Kendall Roy in “Succession”
Kendall Roy is the son of Logan Roy (Brian Cox), the ruthless patriarch of the Roy family and founder of Waystar Royco. Kendall is extremely ambitious but also troubled, and he has always struggled to live up to his father’s expectations. He wants to take over the family business, but his father stands in his way. He’s also battling his siblings Shiv Roy (Sarah Snook) and Roman Roy (Kieran Culkin) who also see themselves as someday running the company. Kendall feels entitled to the CEO, often citing that he’s Logan’s eldest son, notwithstanding that he has an older half-brother in Connor Roy (Alan Ruck).
Jeremy Strong brought an intensity to this role that helped make “Succession” such a success. Kendall is often awkward as he tries to present a “cool bro” image. Deep down he may be decent and kind, but his thirst for power and false bravado makes him often come across as an asshole. Jeremy’s method acting was so intense that he tried to jump into the Hudson River in his final scene on “Succession.”
On “Succession,” Jeremy Strong Doesn’t Get the Joke
This interview provides a window into Jeremy’s full-immersion acting method that he learned from his acting heroes of Daniel-Day Lewis, Al Pacino and Dustin Hoffman. Regarding the role of Kendall, Jeremy explains, “To me, the stakes are life and death. I take him as seriously as I take my own life.” Writer Michael Schulman notes, “He does not find the character funny, which is probably why he’s so funny in the role.” We also learn how Jeremy initially wanted the role of Roman, and how he came to get the part of Kendall.
Jeremy Strong on Artisanal Fashion, Succession Style, and Returning to Broadway
Jeremy discusses his own sense of style, along with the “stealth wealth” style trend that emerged from “Succession.” Jeremy says, “The thing that interests me is when you make these things, it is all very intuitive and in a sense, accidental and contingent. I just walked into a store and picked out a hat, just on an impulse, because it felt necessary in life. So then it has this ripple effect and it gets amplified and a narrative gets told, but really these were just choices that had a veracity in terms of that particular character and that work. But I was never trying to start a thing.”
Interview with Jeremy by Anderson Cooper
Jeremy discusses his final scene as Kendall in “Succession” in this excellent interview. One gets a sense here of how devoted he is to his craft.
Succession – The Best of Kendall Roy
This excellent compilation highlights the goofiness of the Kendall character, particularly when he tries to come off as hip or tough.