Adrien Brody Talks Getting in the Middle of the Roys in ‘Succession’ Season 3

Succession Season 2 Episode 4 Brian Cox, Adrien Brody, and Jeremy Strong
Spoiler Alert
Macall Polay/HBO

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Succession, Season 3, Episode 4, “Lion in the Meadow.”]

Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody made his Succession debut in the November 7 episode, “Lion in the Meadow,” and his character Josh Aaronson proved to be a match for feeding father and son Logan (Brian Cox) and Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong).

A Waystar Royco shareholder, Josh called for a group meeting with Kendall and Logan on his private island as a way of ending concerns about their feud for the sake of his income. He puts the Roys in their place essentially telling them that they’re at his whim for what comes next. If Josh pulls his support, Waystar Royco loses one of its biggest contributors, and if he stays, Logan and Kendall’s hope for the company’s survival remains.

Succession Adrien Brody HBO

(Credit: Macall Polay/HBO)

Below, Brody opens up about joining the mix three seasons in, teases what viewers should expect from Josh moving forward, and much more.

Your character Josh Aaronson was introduced in this week’s episode. What drew you to the role and do we still have more to learn about him?

Adrien Brody: I’m a huge fan of the show. I think everything, from the way it is shot to the eloquent writing, cutting dialogue, and brilliant performances. It’s really beautiful. So I was really grateful to be invited to come play, and he’s a really intriguing character. He’s someone who I think is quite rare in the scheme of things on Succession, to have that much influence and be able to exert a level of authority and control over Logan. He’s really instrumental in ending this charade and getting a clearer picture of where things are for between father and son, and it was very exciting.

Succession Season 3 Jeremy Strong, Adrien Brody, Brian Cox

(Credit: Macall Polay/HBO)

You entered the series at a pivotal moment as Kendall and Logan were reunited. Was there any lingering awkwardness for you during those moments between the onscreen father and son?

It was weirdly pleasurable. I mean, it was funny because Jeremy had been doing all this work on his own of not speaking to Brian. And so this was like an unveiling, they had been preparing for this moment and here I come along and I have to light a fire under them. I had a lot of leeway with that as well. The stakes were really high for these guys and I got to put it to them.

Is Josh a bigger player and threat to Kendall and Logan than they might realize?

Yeah, he’s a big threat for them. I think they only ascertain that on this trip. But I don’t think he’s necessarily manipulating things to the extent that this has been his intention all along. He has a lot at stake and he’s in a position to make some changes, and he’s letting them know he’s going to be making changes. There’s an element that he’s toying with them, but there is a much bigger play by bringing them to his island and taking them on that walk knowing that they’re ill-prepared and using that to strip away the layers of protection that they conveniently have in meetings on their terms. So he’s calculated, but he has a long game that he’s prepared for.

Succession Season 3 Adrien Brody and Brian Cox

(Credit: Macall Polay/HBO)

Is there a lot of pressure joining a series that’s three seasons into its run or is that a fun challenge?

It’s a very exciting opportunity if you get to come and swim with big sharks and get to play with people that are at the top of their game. I’m genuinely honored that they asked me to come in and join them. It’s a luxury to work together and develop an ongoing rapport. You have to find ways of creating an environment for you to be honest and present. Both Jeremy and Brian were wonderful to work with. I felt welcomed.

The episode takes place on an island, was the filming location just as disorienting as it appears to be onscreen?

We shot out in Montauk, and it was beautiful. It’s the edge of the Earth there. It’s so pretty. The labyrinth of pathways created a sense of disorientation I thought worked really wonderfully.

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Josh kept wrongly guiding Kendall and Logan on the trails. Did he really not know where he was going or was that part of his plan?

No, I think that Josh was savvy enough and technologically connected enough to know where he was on his own property. I think there he was pushing the boundaries and ratcheting up the stakes. He might have taken them off path a little bit, but it’s all within his grasp.

You shot this season with COVID-19 protocols in place. What was the collaboration process like with Jeremy Strong and Brian Cox considering the circumstances?

Jeremy was kind to reach out prior, but we collaborated when we began working together really. All the homework has to be done individually. But we were able to spend quite a bit of time together, and it was really lovely. They’re really great people and very generous in their work. It was such a privilege.

Succession, Season 3, Sundays, 9/8c, HBO