Succession is a unique series since a majority of the characters are not exactly good people. That has not stopped the show from becoming one of the most acclaimed series now running on HBO and winning the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series last month. In a new interview with PopCulture.com, Alan Ruck, who stars as the oldest Roy son, Connor, said one reason people cannot stop watching is that the family is a total "train wreck."
For those who missed out on the first two seasons of Succession, the series centers on the Roy family and their jockeying to keep the global media and hospitality empire Waystar Royco from falling apart. Brian Cox stars as the patriarch, Logan Roy, while Ruck, Sarah Snook, Jeremy Strong, and Kiernan Culkin play his children, who all have their own interests and roles to play. Ruck's Connor is the most detached from the business, as he focuses on his own eccentricities. He's spent time running an ill-fated presidential campaign, financed a play by his young girlfriend Willa (Justin Lupine), and lost millions on extravagant purchases.
When the show debuted, some critics thought there were no characters to root for, a thought Ruck never understood. "They're despicable people, they're perfectly miserable, but it's fascinating to watch because it's a train wreck," Ruck said. "Once people kind of caught on to the kind of show we were making, I'm actually not surprised that it's found its audience because it's fun to make and I think it's really fun to watch."
Ruck's character does get to spend a lot of time watching his three younger siblings plan their next move. It is a "conscious sort of self-imposed exile," Ruck said since Connor decided not to have any role in the company. "I think he removed himself from that world because he had no aptitude for that stuff," Ruck said. "I think Connor's always been kind of on the outside of the glass knocking... hoping people will let him in. But it's fun to do."
The character of Connor is written to best fit Ruck's skills, to the point that Culkin things Connor is "just me," he said. "He's convinced that the writers were just like, 'Oh, Alan does this,' and then just started to write out some of my eccentricities. I'm not entirely sure that's true but I don't have a great deal of perspective on myself."
Succession is set to return for a third season, which is no surprise. The show's second season won the top drama prize at the Emmys, as well as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for Strong's performance as Kendall Roy. It also won Best Drama Series and Best Actor in a Drama Series for Cox at the Golden Globes. The only mystery is when filming can resume. Everything has been on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. Even Ruck is not sure how things will work out. "We get our scripts really pretty much like a day or two before we start shooting them," he said. "Brian Cox might know a little bit, but I would say he's probably the only one."