Written by journalist Michael Schulman for The New Yorker, the feature titled “On Succession, Jeremy Strong doesn’t get the joke” was published on 6 December.
It included quotes from Strong’s co-stars, including Brian Cox and Kieran Culkin, both of whom commented about Strong’s serious approach to his performance. The article painted a portrait of an intense actor, deeply committed to his craft, who takes every role he lands – including as media mogul Logan Roy’s son Kendall Roy on Succession – as “seriously as his own life.”
“The result that Jeremy gets is always pretty tremendous,” Cox, who plays Logan Roy, said in the interview. “I just worry about what he does to himself. I worry about the crises he puts himself through in order to prepare.”
He added: “Actors are funny creatures. I’ve worked with intense actors before. It’s a particularly American disease, I think, this inability to separate yourself off while you’re doing the job.”
Culkin said: “After the first season, he said something to me like, ‘I’m worried that people might think that the show is a comedy.’ And I said, ‘I think the show is a comedy.’ He thought I was kidding.”
Responding to the implication that Strong could be “difficult” to work with, Chastain defended him on Twitter.
“I’ve known Jeremy Strong for 20 years and worked with him on two films. He’s a lovely person. Very inspiring and passionate about his work,” the actor, who co-starred with Strong in Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty and Aaron Sorkin’s Molly’s Game, tweeted.
“The profile that came out on him was incredibly one-sided,” she continued, adding, “Don’t believe everything you read folks.”
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“Snark sells, but maybe it’s time we moved past it.”
The Independent has reached out to Schulman and The New Yorker for a comment.
Not all social media users agreed with Chastain’s read of Shulman’s piece.
Responding to her tweet, Variety editor Kate Arthur wrote: “It was an incredibly nuanced portrait of him. I’m sure you won’t see the responses to your tweet — and I’m jealous that you probably never do! — but calling it “snark” seems like a real misread.”
Editor Rosemary Donahue tweeted: “I think Jeremy Strong has probably read the profile of himself and is like ‘no notes’.”
Novelist Shinan Govani said: “I thought it was psychologically complex and thorough (the good, the bad and the ugly)….and one of the few celebrity profiles that was not mere hagiography.”
Meanwhile, Succession fans rallied behind the actor, celebrating his eccentricity, honesty, and tenacity, with one admitting the interview made them like Strong even more than before.
The Succession finale airs later this week.
You can read a recap of episode eight, that may have teased an impending Roy death, here.