Sarah Snook has won rave reviews for her portrayal of Siobhan “Shiv” Roy in HBO’s “Succession”, but in a new interview with Variety she reveals why she initially turned the role down.
Joined by J. Smith Cameron (who plays Waystar Royco interim CEO Gerri Kellman), Snook shared her apprehension that she would be the sole female within an otherwise misogynistic scenario.
“If the world is going to be interested in a bunch of white dudes talking about business, and if I’m the only woman in that, then I’m likely to get sidelined and be like some sort of prop,” the Australian actress explained.
After turning down the offer, she ultimately she had a change of heart when she was approached for the role a second time.
“Through blind faith, I thought, well, the creatives are interesting,” Snook shared. “You may be one of the only women in the pilot, but that doesn’t mean that you’re going to get sidelined necessarily and maybe this is an opportunity for you to just fight for female characters. There’s a focus lens toward that kind of sexism. It is present in the show because it’s present in real life, it’s there, and that’s inherent in the characters’ behaviour, as well as the things they say.”
Smith-Cameron admitted she also had similar reservations at first. “It’s not only patriarchy, but that Republican stronghold kind of culture. It’s also raunchy, disgusting and full of deliberate chicanery. It’s like being in a pack of thieves. It’s not just being in a boys’ world, it’s like being in a pirate ship,” she said.
However, Snook added, inhabiting that world also offered a chance to shine the spotlight on the uphill battle women face in navigating that business atmosphere.
“There is so much sexism and so much misogyny against you just having an opinion because you’re a woman,” Snook said. “It’s so frustrating but brilliant to play with and chew on.”