‘Succession’ Star Brian Cox Breaks Down Logan’s Reunion With Kendall
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Succession, Season 3, Episode 4, “Lion in the Meadow.”]
The raging battle between Logan (Brian Cox) and Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) had to take a backseat in the latest episode of Succession as the father-son duo put differences aside to protect the family business.
Aiming to maintain shareholder Josh Aaronson’s (Adrien Brody) favor, Logan and Kendall jump through hoops to prove their capabilities. Despite his strong showing as the company and family’s team lead, Logan’s human nature couldn’t be denied as he struggled to keep up with the much younger Josh and Kendall on the outdoor trails where they take their business conversation.
And even with a reunion under Logan and Kendall’s belts, it doesn’t change much in terms of their personal ongoing battle. Below, Cox opens up about the tense reunion between Kendall and Logan, what the patriarch’s true intentions might be, and much more.
What challenges did you face in approaching Logan’s reunion with Kendall?
Brian Cox: Well, the focus of that episode is Adrien Brody’s shareholder. And he’s a major shareholder, and we have to persuade him that all is well in the Roy family and that this kind of behavior is what we do, we blow up, and then go down, and blow up again. There’s a great deal of respect. And I have this long speech where I say how much I think that [Kendall]’s probably the best one of them all. Now, is he lying? He could be. Or he could be telling a half-truth. Or is he telling the whole truth? There are three possibilities there.
He kind of undermines it, but he’s a strategist, and that’s where Logan’s brilliant. He comes in, and he sees that he’s got this problem with his son, with who he has to show some kind of allegiance, and then also maintain who he is and make sure that this man is still on board to be a supporter. So it’s a responsible episode in that way, but it’s also what Logan thrives on. Apart from the long walk where it becomes tricky, and he overdoes it.
Logan plays mind games with Kendall before they even arrive at Josh’s island, particularly with the planes and helicopters. Is that a childish trait or something that continues to make Logan a strong adversary?
I think that’s what makes him a strong adversary. He’s not going to give Kendall the benefit of any doubt whatsoever. Kendall has to know what his position is, and so that’s a way of showing him, even though when Logan meets Kendall there’s none of that. He’s far too clever for that. He’s boxing him in a way, and Kendall isn’t as skilled as Logan is in that sense. If we pussyfoot around, they’ll never get anywhere.
Is this visit with Josh a wake-up call to knock off this fight with Kendall or more of a nuisance in Logan’s schedule?
It’s an impediment that he has to deal with. He cannot undervalue the impediment because it is a major shareholder, and it’s crucial to his business. But at the same time, he mustn’t let it distract from his overall concern for the firm, of how we make the firm work, and how we keep the firm’s validity alive. So he’s very concerned to do that first and foremost. And then to dot the I’s and cross the T’s.
Logan has a bit of a weak spell during his visit on Josh’s island and he’s against showing any frailty. Are his ailments meant to remind the audience that he’s still just a weak aging man at the end of the day?
I think that he is human. And we see his humanity because when you see someone frail that humanity shows up. But also he will always use it. I once played King Lear, many years ago. And one of the things I observed in my preparation for Lear is, how when old people come to airports, they’re very healthy, and then immediately when they’re offered a wheelchair, they sit [down], and they’re immediately wheeled about. And then they get out, and they’re [fine] again. I think that’s a little bit more like Logan as well. He’s a wheelchair dodger in that way. He’ll play it up if it suits him, and then drop it like a sponge.
Does Logan want to crush Kendall and force him into rescinding his allegations, or is there a small part of Logan that wants Kendall to beat him?
I think we’re going full f**king beast, and we haven’t stopped going full f**king beast. He’s still here, and he’s ready to go full f**k. So in a sense, Logan’s in a state of transition. Kendall is his son, and so therefore there’s that tragic element of Kendall’s mishaps and the f**kups that Kendall makes. There are so many of them, they’re beyond counting. He’s given that boy every benefit of the doubt, he’s given him everything, and he still wants more. He wants to run the machine, and he hasn’t got the capability.
But, by the end of Season 2, Logan did look somewhat pleased about his son’s own “killer instinct.”
It’s so predictable that this is what Kendall would do. Of course, he would because his father sanctioned him to go in that direction, and he did it, and good luck to him. But his timing isn’t very good.
Succession, Season 3, Sundays, 9/8c, HBO