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Homeentertainment'Succession' Series Finale Director Mark Mylord Uncovers Layers of 'Unbearable Tragedy' Ending

'Succession' Series Finale Director Mark Mylord Uncovers Layers of 'Unbearable Tragedy' Ending

[This story contains succession, major spoilers for the “Open Eyes” series finale. ]

Inheritance from to is inevitable Tragedy ended . Daniel Faber, Chief Television Critic for The Hollywood Reporter G said of the “relatively irrelevant” and “vicious, funny and haunting ultimate plot”, “Royce is/was the worst guy, Tom in their own beat them in the game.”

Eyes Open was written by creator Jesse Armstrong and directed by Succession Helmer Mark Mylod, he directs four episodes per season, usually the beginning and the end. The episode finale revealed Tom Varmsgans (Matthew McFadden) as heir to the media throne left by the late Logan Roy (Brian Cox), who Died in the third episode of the final season, also directed by Mylod. Tom’s ascension brings different fates to Roy’s three siblings who sell their souls in hopes of wearing the crown of Waystar Royco CEO as Shiv (Sarah Snook ) is relegated to playing the CEO’s wife, Roman (Kieran Calkin) returns to his familiar bar seat, and Kendall (Jeremy Strong) Consider diving into the cold water below him after what the actor calls an “extinction-level event.”

With the Roy family saga wrapping up after four Emmy-winning seasons, there is so much to digest, THR with Mylod as they unravel the final footage of everyone telling the fates of Kendall, Roman and Shiv, and the verbal and physical violence between the three; The show wrapped in a “meal fit for a king” scene, and Strong actually drank that smoothie on every take: “It gave us success team, the illusion of a happy ending. ) The Inheritors creator

Jesse Armstrong said in his HBO postgame interview

The idea of ​​Tom being the eventual successor feels like the right ending for “quite a while now”. After talking to some of the cast, it sounds like this ending made him finally decide that’s how the series should end Note. Why is Tom right and why is now the right time to end the show?

That’s a good question. First of all An indirect answer: I think in terms of the whole dynamic of our storytelling, it makes perfect sense that neither sibling should be successful. It felt like that devastating moment, and I think the whole four seasons tended to be that way, Sitting at a table in that glass room with his brother, Roman horrified the rest of the board and said, “We’re talking bullshit. ’ That’s the absolute distillation of the truth in these characters, should they self-sabotage or fail to fully close the deal, it’s dramatic and emotional to me.

So by the way By the way, who is it? Of course, if this is the real universe we’re exploring, it could be some headhunted unnamed character from some other organization that jumps into it. In that case, it’s totally doable too, It would be this incredibly capable but malleable character. I think Jesse touched on that too, and this guy [Tom] makes perfect sense because they’re able to be normal people, in this case they’re Matsson [Alexander Skarsgård] controlled puppet.

I know you didn’t know about Tom’s decision until the last few episodes were filmed.

That’s true. I kind of deliberately don’t ask and avoid the conversation. I know where my siblings are going, but I don’t want to know about [successors]. I tell myself that’s because I don’t want to unconsciously somehow foreshadows it, or unknowingly winks at the viewer. But I think I also have a perverted barrier in my ears that just doesn’t want to know the ending. I think it’s part of my long-standing denial that the show is actually ending .

The audience is now pointing the way Tom was foreshadowed , but in retrospect, I think there are moments that foreshadow several characters. Do you know how long Tom was determined by Jesse?

I don’t know either. Years I Guess, at least. But I don’t know for sure.

The combined GoJo and Waystar Royco teams after the signing of the agreement, and American CEO Tom (Matthew Macfadyen, third from right). HBOJeremy StrongMatthew Macfadyen and Sarah Snook in the Succession series finaleJeremy Strong

Jesse still talking To the siblings in the series finale: “They’re not going to end. They will go on. But that’s sort of where the show has lost interest in them, because they’ve lost what they wanted, which was to inherit this award that their dad insisted on. ” The interpretation of the ending is that it was tragic, but hopeful in places. What do you think of the Roy trio ending?

I find it unbearably tragic, really. Well, the pretense of their ability to successfully succeed Logan, the game unfolds. Someone might push back on some of the facts, and maybe when the dust finally settles, it will put them in some sort of Freedom to an extent. Honestly, I can’t really feel that because I’ve lived with these characters for so long. They’re trapped in that gravitational field, unable to escape Logan’s orbit, so that I can’t see Along the way, they can really get any happiness or sense of purpose, which is perhaps the key to a happy life. So I feel like the ending is tragic. I don’t hold out hope for them, but I’m glad others can. I find myself with the most Weird way of wondering what they’re doing now, like friends I’ve lost touch with. It’s a very weird feeling, like a phantom limb.

I’d love to hear your take on what they’re doing now.

(Laughing.) I don’t think it’s good. I really don’t think it’s good. I don’t want to put my subjective opinion out there; I’ll keep it private. But, they’re not good.

)THR About putting Kendall’s Ending as his eventual death. He said he tried the last scene, which wasn’t the one you used, and he jumped over the railing to show his intentions. Can you talk about the last photo you took and how you wanted to put us Is there a place with Kendall? Also, do you feel like he has an expiration date in his future?

I think Jeremy is right That impulsive moment when Kendall has such deep affection is probably entirely accurate. I think a big part of the character’s impulsiveness is to consider the choice of cold, icy water to feel a poetic irony if he hadn’t walked away that night many years ago. car [when he kills the caterer]. I totally agree with the spur of the moment.

We are indeed editing where the black cut is and if we should see the character do it There were a few rounds of wrestling. Jesse and I both agreed that, actually, the impulsiveness and possible intent was implicit in the performance at that moment. It was all there. So we didn’t necessarily need to be that literal towards that railing Physical movement on. By not doing so implicitly, we open up another, perhaps more likely, but equally tragic future for the character, in which he will have to live his life in the purposeful void of an unfulfilled destiny. A lifetime. The purgatory of the character’s unfulfilled ambitions.

Kieran Culkin in the Succession series finale.

Kendall (Jeremy Strong) in the last scene of inheriting *).
Provided by HBO Matthew Macfadyen and Sarah Snook in the Succession series finale

This show prioritizes psychological violence over physical violence, but there are key beats in the final scene that are attacks, from Kendall’s attack on Roman to Greg’s (Nicolas Braun) throwing back at Tom . Nicholas Braun told me that he and Matthew Macfadyen actually slapped each other ( check back tomorrow for the THR interview). What was it like filming that scene between Jeremy Strong and Kieran Culkin? As a director, how do you find an actor’s comfort level in transitioning from psychological violence to physical violence?

Oddly, the physical manifestations of violence are often not as bad as their most brutal verbal manifestations of each other. When they were in the conference room, we set the parameters for the physical confrontation, specifically to protect Sarah [Snook], who was pregnant at that stage of our production. So, for her happiness, there is an element of controlling the circumstances there. But beyond that, it really comes down to mutual trust. They know and accept that it hurts. For live, they go there. I do it as few times as possible and allow them to withdraw when I know I’ve got the requisite brutality. But usually they can’t do it for a while.

The most violent and almost nauseating moment for me is the embrace between Roman and Kendall, a complex sadomasochistic love affair. A cocktail so complex it’s hard to even really give it… I can’t think of the word for it. But that moment was so complicated for me and had a huge brutality to it. In that moment, you feel like maybe Kendall could be Logan because he’s going to stop at nothing to succeed his dad in that moment.

Then in the least intentional touch Shiv touched Tom’s hand with her hand. In terms of the phrasing of the script and your direction, how do you know when your poses are right and did Sarah have any issues while you were filming?

That one just played perfectly from the first start. I set it up so we could run it one at a time, and from the moment they got in the car, we’d find Shiv waiting for Tom in the car. So she implicitly accepts the ride, and we know they’re going home together. From the moment the car took off, I pre-programmed the speed to emerge at just the right moment from the darkness of the underground car park, into the light, and into the bare daylight of real life. It turned out beautifully because Sarah and Matthew’s judgment was perfect. We set the frame and we can see everything.

Even in the first shot, his gestures and the timing of her conditional acceptance of her about that contract were so eloquent that the real follow-up shot was actually about, “Maybe we” will run better on the street. “It’s about the physics and crafting elements and camera movement, not about the moment they’re really nailed down from the start.


Tom (Macfadyen) and Shiv (Sarah Snook) Final blow.
David Russell/HBO Matthew Macfadyen and Sarah Snook in the Succession series finale Kieran Culkin in the Succession series finale. Matthew Macfadyen and Sarah Snook in the Succession series finale

How does this affect you regarding the future of their marriage?

For Shiv and Tom, there is a beautiful stage direction written by Jesse to the effect of “two unexploded bombs carefully transported”, which I think is beautiful. I do think their Marriage will go on. I feel like there’s hope that S might be doing some kind of Lady Macbeth manipulation behind the scenes to stay in the game; whether that’s good for any kind of happiness, I’m not sure. But I do think they have Future, I’m just not sure how blissful it is.

Can you unpack Roman’s last martini expression? Bar, and the final The expression, did he say something different with his eyes?

For Roman, if we were a different type of show, we were with Roman The two years that passed were just a wild dream. A bit of a drunken fantasy that we’d find him in that bar at the beginning of the first episode of season one and we’d find him back in that bar in the last scene of the last episode. He’s had absolutely nowhere to go and learned nothing for the past two years, which is kind of tragic. The only thing he’s had is a little bit of self-knowledge, and I think self-knowledge recognizes the pointlessness, and it’s what we end up with in Gone in the ambiguous, grimaceous smile seen on the character.

From left: Kieran Culkin, Sarah Snook and Jeremy Strong in 'Succession.'

Roman (Culkin) in his final scene. Macall B. Polay/HBO Kieran Culkin in the Succession series finale.

You ended the production with a “meal fit for a king” scene, and that scene between Kendall, Roman, and Schiff felt like it was in the series Any other scenario is very different.How much is precisely set up, how much is loose that you hope to find, why do you want to end the show by filming this scene, what do you have to Should it be deleted?

very happy. It was emotionally turbulent because I intentionally put it in the last scene where we filmed Succession, especially since it was the happiest scene the characters had ever had and our happiest close scene. I have seen them. So it gives us Succession team the illusion of a happy ending. Usually we shoot in chronological order. But ending up at the bowling alley with Kendall on a cold day would be a sad way to end it. We have a fantasy of a happy ending, and it’s so lovely to have.

Filming was fun because I basically set up exactly what the characters needed to know. They know the house, they’ve been there for years. They know where the fridge is, they know where the stuff in the living room is. So after walking around and saying, “Well, the food is over there, this is over there,” and the characters knew what they needed to know, and I let them go. We played the keynote, and we did it for how messy the food fights can be. We did some really big, messy food fight options that we eliminated because they might be in danger of feeling a little too melodramatic.

So we played the tune, played it many times, and poor Jeremy was drinking that stuff every time. Whether it’s spit or hot sauce, the combination inside is terrible. Poor guy, I’ll call it “Che”, he throws up into the sink every time . But he didn’t know what to do if it wasn’t full of emotion. So he couldn’t pretend to drink, so he just did. And we have to do it many times to get the pitch in the right place. But in the end, it’s just super fun. As soon as I yelled “cut,” it was obvious that all of us were very sad. But then we had a food fight.

Roman (Culkin), Shiv (Snook) and Kendall (Strong) in the final scene footage of the series.
Depend on Presented by HBO Matthew Macfadyen and Sarah Snook in the Succession series finale

Interview edited for length and clarity. Daniel Fienberg contributed to this story. Succession is now playing on Max. Read 1235502801 THR’s coverage of the series finale.



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