HBO drama of the rich and venomous begins new episodes
Five Emmy nominations, including one for outstanding drama series, have made a sweet reward for the bitter in-fighting in the first season of “Succession.”
The rancor continues as the much-acclaimed HBO saga of power – created by Jesse Armstrong, currently an Emmy nominee for writing, with fellow executive producer Adam McKay nominated for directing — begins its second round Sunday, Aug. 11, as the members of the Roy family still vie for control of their media empire. Patriarch Logan (portrayed by Brian Cox) plays his own cards as his offspring pursue rival paths in seeking the upper hand.
Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook, Alan Ruck and Kieran Culkin resume their roles as the Roy siblings. Oscar winner Holly Hunter is a major addition to Season 2’s cast, with Cherry Jones (“24”) and Danny Huston new to the show as well. Returning regulars also include Matthew Macfadyen, Nicholas Braun, Peter Friedman and Rob Yang.
“I actually was a little surprised by some of the reaction from ‘regular people’ to it,” Ruck says of the initial reception “Succession” received. “There are so many shows, and maybe they find this more valuable than some other things. It took about four episodes to really determine the direction in which the show was going to go; there were a lot of back stories to set up, and a number of people said, ‘Gee, I don’t know who to root for here.’ I have never had that problem. If the people are interesting, I don’t care if they’re horrible.”
Ruck reasons that his somewhat independent character Connor “is just as entitled as the rest of them,” though he’s a relative innocent. “He’s missing a couple of buttons, but he’s not like the old man (Cox) or Siobhan (Snook), who have that killer instinct. And he’s certainly not as quick as Roman (Culkin) or Kendall (Strong), but he’s a child of privilege and he enjoys the money.
“I’m fond of all of them,” notes Ruck – also known from the movies “Speed” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and the sitcom “Spin City,” and married to actress Mireille Enos (“The Killing”) – “but we have no idea where this is going. We get our scripts pretty close to the time that we shoot. We don’t have a lot of prep time, but the writers are so good, they keep refining it until the last minute.
“And it’s a fun way to work,” Ruck adds, “with a bunch of talented people who aren’t afraid to improvise. The writers will change stuff up, so we’ve learned to expect that. Every now and then, someone will throw a curveball … and if you hang with them, it’s kind of like jazz.”