Elevate 335

Series »Serija | 23 You said recently: “I remember things that are instructive. They are like northern lights for me.” What was the most instructive description of Kendall from your earliest conversations with Jesse Armstrong about the character? “I went to visit the writers’ room in South London, about four or five years ago, when we were starting the first season, and Jesse Armstrong had written on a note card: ‘Kendall wins but loses.’ And that stayed with me, the sort of, in a sense, paradox. No matter what, when he’s on the top, he’s on the bottom.There’s a sense of both being on top of the world at this moment, but also in the ninth circle of hell. And there is a way that Jesse is able to contain those two poles within this character. And I think my task as an actor is to try to contain those things in myself.” Where does Kendall’s “muzzled anguish”, as you’ve described it, come from? “Well, I think it comes from a lifetime of being stifled, of being thwarted. I think it comes from a lack of nurture and love from his parents. I think this character has a lot of rage. It’s about a legacy of damage, and it’s about a legacy of abuse that is endemic in this family. I also think the anguish comes fromwhat happens at the end of season one. Until then, it’s a story of ambition. Jesse and I talked a lot about Crime and Punishment. And that phrase that I used is what Dostoevsky described as this ‘monstrous pain’ - pain of the secret that Raskolnikov has, and the way that that secret separates him from the world. And puts an unbridgeable chasmbetween himandwhatever was good in him. And so that, I think, is the terrible anguish that is muzzled because it can’t be shared.” You had a lot of intense two-hander scenes with Brian Cox in season two – effectively they bracketed the season – and presumably have more of them, at an even more intense pitch, in season three. How are they to film for you? “Oh, Brian is pound for pound as great an actor as has ever walked the earth. So, it’s immeasurably exciting to be in the ring with him. He is a primal force, like Logan, but as an actor. Brian is a dangerous actor, which I think in a way is the highest compliment you can pay an actor. We just meet each other in the ring, and it’s just like he’s a heavyweight, and it makes me summon every ounce of artistry and courage that I can summon.” How did you prepare to film the season two finale twist? Did you, for example, take yourself away from the rest of the cast, to isolate yourself in the way that Kendall was in that moment? “Well, I mean, the truth is, I kind of take myself away and isolate myself all the time. Not really because Kendall is isolated, although that is part of it, but just because that’s the way I need to work. I need to stay in a place of negative space and be quiet. I prepared for that scene the way I prepared for any other scene. In a way, part of the discipline of being an actor is that you can’t make any one moment more important than any other moment. But there’s this sense in the show sometimes of ‘here’s the big scene’, and I was aware of it.” In your Emmy acceptance speech, you quoted a Stephen Dunn poem: “All I ever wanted was a book so good I'd be finishing it for the rest of my life.” What makes Succession that book for you? “You know, I’mglad you asked this, because it gives me a chance to redeem myself because I left something out from that quote. The actual quote is: ‘All I ever wanted was a job like a book so good I'd be finishing it for the rest of my life. And so, what makes this that for me? It’s everything. It’s writing at the highest and deepest level, it’s Jesse Armstrong, it’s this incredible cast. I’ve described this as like climbing Everest, that it’s the mountain I’ve always wanted to climb. But it’s really not a mountain. It’s a mountain range, and with that come these deep crevasses, and also these incredibly high peaks. And so, as an actor, the most you can hope for is to go through such peaks and valleys. This third season certainly was the highest mountain peak yet.” Kendall Roy This series is like climbing Everest for me J e r emy St rong Postoji osećaj da si na vrhu sveta u jednom trenutku, ali i na devetoj stepenici pakla /There’s a sense of both being on top of the world at this moment, but also in the ninth circle of hell