‘Succession’ Star Jeremy Strong Reveals What He Wanted To Do With His Character Kendall Roy At The End

Jeremy Strong, who played the role of Kendall Roy in ‘Succession’, revealed that he had other ideas for his character during that last shot.

Nitika Sharma
Written By: Nitika Sharma
Updated: June 01, 2023 | 17:23 IST
Kendall Succession
Jeremy Strong, played the role of Kendall Roy in ‘Succession’.

The curtains came down on HBO’s wildly popular show ‘Succession’ with its last episode airing on May 28, 2023. Heading into the ‘Succession’ finale, the question on everyone’s mind was who will succeed Logan Roy (Brian Cox) as the head of Waystar Royco? While many fans were rooting for Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong), others predicted the underdog Cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun) to succeed Logan Roy. But Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen) was the one who eventually walked away as the new CEO of Waystar Royco.

The last shot of ‘Succession’ featured Kendall Roy walking alone in Battery Park where he simply stared at the river ahead. Now, in a new interview, Jeremy Strong has revealed that although the shot ends with Kendall standing, he wanted to jump into the river during the final moment. 

Speaking to Vanity Fair in a new interview, Jeremy Strong said, “To me, what happens at the board vote is an extinction level event for this character. There’s no coming back from that…Listen to the John Berryman poem that Jesse [Armstrong] has named these finales after. John Berryman himself died by suicide, jumping into the frozen river.”

He added, “I tried to go into the water after we cut — I got up from that bench and went as fast as I could over the barrier and onto the pilings, and the actor playing Colin raced over.”

Earlier, showrunner Jesse Armstrong had commented on the ending of the show. The showrunner said that he knew how he wanted to conclude the show and that choice did not change with the possibility of how it must end with the successive seasons. 

Jeremy Strong further said, “I didn’t know I was gonna do that, and he didn’t know, but he raced over and stopped me. I don’t know whether in that moment I felt that Kendall just wanted to die — I think he did — or if he wanted to be saved by essentially a proxy of his father.”

“There’s a kind of doom loop that we’re all stuck in, and Kendall is trapped in this sort of silent scream with Colin there as both a bodyguard and a jailer... My God, it would’ve been hard to do. But I think you even feel on a cellular level the intention or the longing to cross that threshold. The way [Armstrong] leaves us with a kind of ambivalence stays true to his vision,” Jeremy Strong concluded.

An estimated 2.9 million people watched or streamed the series finale, as per reports. 

'Succession' had first premiered in 2018. The show, which stars Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook, Kieran Culkin, Alan Ruck, Matthew Macfadyen, Nicholas Braun and J. Smith-Cameron, enjoys a great fan following.

Over the course of previous three seasons, ‘Succession’ has earned 48 Emmy nominations, and has won 13. 

Created by Jesse Armstrong, the series follows media baron Logan Roy and his four children, Kendall, Roman, Shiv and Connor as the siblings compete to take over the family media company Waystar Royco.

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