Succession's Jeremy Strong Finally Opens Up About That Awkward Profile 'Betrayal' That Led Stars To Support Him

Jeremy Strong on Succession
(Image credit: HBO)

Jeremy Strong’s role as Kendall Roy, who is one-fourth of the power-hungry Roy siblings on the hit series Succession (one of the best shows on HBO Max), has earned him tons of critical acclaim, including an Emmy award win in 2020. However, the actor has also become known for his unique approach to acting. He faced scrutiny from many over a profile written about him last December, during which some of his colleagues -- including Jessica Chastain and Aaron Sorkin -- came to his defense. Now, Strong has finally responded to the profile, saying he felt “a profound betrayal.”

The profile in question was published in The New Yorker last year and bore he  “On ‘Succession,’ Jeremy Strong Doesn't Get The Joke.” In the story, Strong is quote as saying that he is just as serious about his character as he is about his own life. Now, based on a recent interview with Vanity Fair, it doesn't sound like Strong is too pleased with how that turned out, saying:    

Yeah. What do I say about it? It was something that, for me, felt like a pretty profound betrayal of trust.

While being interviewed, the star was specifically asked about the “loud reaction” the profile received. Social media was ablaze after it was published. Lots of people had plenty to say about the actor's alleged methods at the time, with some apparently more critical than others. 

However, his Molly’s Game co-star Jessica Chastain, and writer/director Aaron Sorkin came to Jeremy Strong's defense. Chastain said he’s a “lovely person” and advised her social media followers not believe everything they read. Sorkin, who was quoted in the profile, wrote after its publication that he may have “helped” create a “distorted picture of Jeremy,” posting a transcript of what he said to The New Yorker. 

In the recent Vanity Fair interview, the actor asserted that he takes acting extremely seriously and that he has devoted his life to the art. He also said that sometimes, as a performer, he must make "a big, giant fucking fool of" himself and that such a thing is part of “the price of admission” for doing good work. All in all, he appears to stand by his method for producing quality work, which he says "which involves risk." After reaffirming that he saw the profile as a "betrayal," he spoke about the noise surrounding it, saying:

Yes, and maybe ultimately said more about the person writing it and their perspective, which is a valid perspective, than it did about who I feel I am and what I’m about. The noise and the fog after it: I think it’s something that, I guess, what I care about ultimately is trying to feel as free as possible as an actor. Part of that is trying to insulate yourself from all of that, and what people might say about you or think about you. You have to free yourself from that. It was painful. I felt foolish. As an actor, one of the most vital secret weapons that you can have is the ability to tolerate feeling foolish.

Jeremy Strong has spoken about the ups and downs of filming the acclaimed HBO show, which is a heavy drama. He said Seasons 1 and 2 were hard to film, but Strong felt better going into Season 3. A fourth season is on the way, and one would think that he maintained his polarizing approach to his work during production.

As you await news on Season 4, check out the 2022 fall TV schedule for insight into what's premiering over the next few months. You can also use an HBO Max subscription, to check out the first three seasons of Succession and see Jeremy Strong’s intense, strong, immersive performance as Kendall Roy. 

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She has written for national publications as well as daily and alt-weekly newspapers in Spokane, Washington, Syracuse, New York and Charleston, South Carolina. She graduated with her master’s degree in arts journalism and communications from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Since joining the CB team she has covered numerous TV shows and movies -- including her personal favorite shows Ted Lasso and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She also has followed and consistently written about everything from Taylor Swift to Fire Country, and she's enjoyed every second of it.