‘The Other Two’: Brandon Scott Jones Says Curtis & Cary’s Fight ‘Had a Little Tom & Shiv From Succession’

Brandon Scott Jones in 'The Other Two'
Spoiler Alert

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for The Other Two Season 3 Episode 7, “Cary Gets His Ass Handed to Him.”]

The fight that had been building all season between Cary (Drew Tarver) and Curtis (Brandon Scott Jones) finally happens on The Other Two.

With Curtis’ show Girlies out and initially a hit, Cary decides not to join his friend … until the bad reviews start coming in. And Curtis calls him out when Cary claims to be there to support him (“Go f**k yourself”), knowing he was jealous. “It’s sad that I know my friend did that, and I never would’ve jumped to that conclusion last year,” he says. “You support me when I’m below you. You’re happy for me when I’m below you.” With that, he tells Cary to leave — and he does.

Jones breaks down that pivotal, heartbreaking scene and teases what’s ahead.

That confrontation was so good and so heartbreaking.

Brandon Scott Jones: Yeah, it was heartbreaking to film a little bit because I love Drew so much. It feels weird to be angry at somebody, but also, in the story, it totally works. What a sad chapter of their friendship — if they still have one after this.

How long had Curtis been holding that in? Just this season? We saw how Cary reacted to Curtis getting the role he wanted.

One of the decisions I made about the character in the very beginning when I first started in Season 1, because I didn’t know how much you would see him, [was] I wanted him to be somebody that — and the writers obviously gave this to me — really loves his friend and views Cary as his family. So I think he’s willing to put up with a little bit more. He might have been holding onto that feeling for a while, but I think that there was a part of him that believed that everybody reacts differently to not getting something. Everybody reacts differently to those moments of success or failure. So I think he was willing to forgive, but you don’t see him for a couple episodes. He goes off, and he starts filming that show. I think he would prefer his life with Cary than without, so he’s willing to look past that. But I think it does start to build up, especially around Episode 6.

This is also what Cary needed to hear just because of the way that we’ve seen him dealing with the success and the Disney movie…

Oh my God, I know. Globby. [Laughs] It feels so real and, at the same time, so sad, which makes it extra sad, the fact that it feels so real.

Drew Tarver, Brandon Scott Jones, Murphy Lorenzo, Amie Burton, and Samy Figaredo in 'The Other Two'

Greg Endries/Max

So Curtis knows that Cary needed to hear that, but also he needed to say that because of everything that was building up in him?

Yeah, I think he knows his friend well enough to know, “Maybe he’s doing the thing I’ve seen him do to other people to me.” I feel like that’s such a violation because I think he really does root for Cary, and he has done the work on himself to allow himself to love others in a way that’s — I don’t want to say just completely unconditional — genuine, in a way that he can see that somebody else having success doesn’t necessarily mean that he doesn’t. I don’t think Cary has gotten there yet.

I tried to approach the scene as an act of friendship, of “you need to hear this,” kind of exactly what you were saying, Meredith. “You need to hear this, and ball’s in your court. How are you going to react to this? And if you’re going to shut me out or you’re going to try to come back either way, that’s going to be the answer that I need to know.” Because as you get older, you want friends in your life that are good people, that mean something. You’re past the point of toxic relationships.

Yeah, he says that he wants good friends in his life, and it’s clear that Cary hasn’t been one to Curtis in quite some time. Is Curtis really ready to write him off completely? Because there’s a difference between wanting him gone in that moment and wanting him completely out of his life.

It would feel out of character for me to have Curtis let that be the final moment. I think he needs a break, for damn sure. Or he needs to send Cary off and say, “If you want this relationship to work, I want it to work.” I think he does want this to work, but he’s also facing that harsh reality of, “Well, if it doesn’t, then I just have to accept that.” So I think in his mind he’s leaving the door open, but I don’t think he was ready to broach that part of the conversation in that moment because I think he just had to get it out like you were saying.

Especially because we’re seeing Curtis’ other friends, who are good people; even though it’s really messy, I liked the introductions of everyone in the group.

[Laughs] What’s funny is that there’s a frivolity to how he mentions and introduces his friends, but these are people that he sees regularly and makes time for, and I think they all make time for each other. He finds a deep value in that and wants to almost show Cary like, “All this pain and anguish that you’re feeling, all this anger that you’re having or this frustration or this confusion, it doesn’t have to be so bad, and you don’t have to go through it alone. And to have friends outside of your family, which are causing so much of that problem, probably would be healthy for you, but you just can’t see that right now because you’ve just been so focused on work and this dream.”

And those friends went with him to the premiere for Cary, which they didn’t have to.

No, they didn’t. I think that’s a good example of Curtis drawing a boundary a little bit, of saying, “I’ll go to this, but I know what’s going to happen.” Cynically, Curtis probably thought to himself, “These people are coming with me because I don’t want to be some prop for Cary.” When he shows up, it’s way worse than he ever thought it would be. But he brought his friends as a protection circle, almost kind of showing Cary that he doesn’t have that kind of army.

Brandon Scott Jones in 'The Other Two'


Cary does leave when Curtis tells him to. He doesn’t stay to fight. 

Yeah, Curtis [needed] to draw that boundary. … I think there’s a part of him that would, of course, wish that Cary would come to his senses a little bit in that moment, but he’d been bringing the vibe in the room down because I kind of get the impression, and I don’t know if you’ve gotten this, his friends don’t really like him, either.

I don’t think they do at all.

Yeah. [Laughs] So I do think it’s an act of love to have him leave. But I think it’s also an act of self-preservation and boundaries for him.

Did Curtis want Cary to fight to stay?

I think there’s a part of him that just wanted to see the fight. I don’t think he would’ve let him stay, regardless. I think he needs him out in that moment, which sucks. It’s just, like you said, been brewing inside him for a little bit, so he’s not making this decision easily. When Cary doesn’t show him the phone, it’s such a knife. … It would’ve been nice for him to see Cary try to fight for a moment just to check in and be like, “Does this relationship matter anything to you? We were in the trenches together. We’ve known each other for over a decade.” I think there’s a violation of, “Don’t let me think that you’re a better friend than you actually are, because I’m a good friend for you.” Curtis is the type of person that would definitely leave a door open — or if not a door, at least a window, to come back. I don’t think he’s a grudge-holder.

What’s next with the two of them?

It’s going to get worse before maybe it gets better. You’re going to see Cary at least have a real dark night of the soul. He’s going to maybe come to some sort of realization. Whether Curtis takes him back or not that’s something to be discovered. And Curtis is going to sadly keep moving forward without his best friend. It’s a breakup. I would never compare it to this, but it had a little Tom and Shiv from Succession. It felt like a romantic breakup when it was happening, and so like any relationship, it’s going to probably be hard to pick up the pieces.

Who are we going to see Curtis with mostly going forward? Is it Cary, his friends, someone else?

You’re going to see him with his friends. It would be interesting to see what would happen if Curtis ever got a boyfriend and how Cary would react to more good news for Curtis in the future. … You’re going to see who Curtis is from a distant perspective of Cary, where he’s no longer the person he can just call and see maybe how that comes to a head.

Brandon Scott Jones in 'The Other Two'

Greg Endries/HBO Max

Something I’ve really enjoyed is seeing another side of Curtis this season. He is getting some success, and he’s standing up for himself to Cary.

Yeah, it was really fun. One of the things I’ve always loved about this show, and I do love the relationship between Cary and Curtis, is they are non-romantic best friends. But they have a really complex relationship. To see Curtis’ life outside [of that], I really wanted to do what I could to build out, “Oh, here’s this person that is a good thing for you. Here’s this person that could offer you a reprieve from whatever torture that you’re having.” And so I tried to look at it as an opportunity to really flesh out a relationship because I think especially it’s a little queer narrative, but queer found family is a thing that you find a lot when dealing with queer stories and queer people.

I wanted to try to build that bond with his friends outside of Cary, so you could juxtapose the two, and Curtis has some joy. He never was this, but it was fun to see him not be just his friend. He’s a full-fledged person. He’s not just a character on a TV show, whereas I think Cary might sometimes think of him that way.

We also got that feeling at that industry party when we saw Curtis talking to other people. He was fine on his own.

Yeah, that is such a great point. I remember thinking that. It was really fun to just see him out at one of these parties, and he’s holding his own. I was like, “Wow, I wonder if there’s a comfort.” I think he has a comfort in honesty. I’m sure he cares what people think of him sometimes, but he’s honest about where he’s at in his life, and I think that frees him up to experience joy and experience frustration in a way that he can actually process it and move on. But yeah, that’s a really good way to look at it, that he was totally holding his own at that party, and he was there before Cary even got there.

That’s why I’m not worried about Curtis after this episode. I am worried about Cary. But whatever he has to do next, I think Curtis can handle it.

Yeah, when he’s reading those reviews to his friends, and they were all sort of laughing, he has a good, healthy perspective about it. He doesn’t feel the pressure that Cary does to bullseye every moment of your life and anything slightly left of center is a failure. Thank you. I’m glad that you feel that way about Curtis because I feel that way too. And I also think Curtis is worried about Cary. The biggest difference is I think Curtis wants Cary to be successful, but he’s worried what will happen if he does. And that’s a totally different thing than wishing somebody no success.

What do you want to explore with Curtis if there’s a fourth season?

I would love to see more of his just personal life outside of the industry. How is he growing as a person versus his desire to be an actor versus his desire to make ends meet? Because he’s bounced from odd job to odd job, acting class here, whatever. It would be fun to see what steps is he taking towards becoming a little bit more of an adult in his life and how does that juxtapose against Cary? I could see from a career perspective him being a panelist on a show or something.

He should be on a show on Pat’s (Molly Shannon) network.

Yeah, he should. Oh my God. Could you imagine? What if he got his own show on Pat’s network? That would be great. Like The Curtis Show? [Laughs]

And then Streeter (Ken Marino) would try to get involved.

Oh yes, and I think he would welcome that. I think he would be on board with a lot of Streeter’s harebrained ideas. [Laughs]

The Other Two, Thursdays, Max