Jeremy Strong has won accolades and awards for his performance of ambitious scion Kendall Roy in HBO’s “Succession”, but took some heat from a December 2021 profile in The New Yorker that painted an unflattering depiction of his method-style acting.
The profile drummed up controversy, with Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway and director Aaron Sorkin publicly coming to Strong’s defence.
In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Strong shares his displeasure with the writer of the piece.
“What do I say about it?” says Strong of the profile. “It was something that, for me, felt like a pretty profound betrayal of trust.”
According to Strong, the article “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.”
Strong also commented on the reaction that the profile drummed up. “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,” he explained. “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.”
Strong continued: “Any day you walk onto a set, if you’re not in a place where you’re not risking that and you’re not wagering enough, I’m always feeling like I might be making a big, giant f**king fool of myself… That’s part of the price of admission to doing good work, which involves risk and which involves getting yourself out there. I guess I’d say that it’s all fine. Acting is something that’s hard to talk about without sounding self-serious, but it is something that I feel very seriously about and care about and have devoted my life to.”
Ultimately, Strong said, the only way he can respond is to set the whole thing aside and move on so he can focus on his job. “At the end of the day, it’s quite simple,” he said. “You do all this stuff so that you can work as unconsciously as possible. When you’re working on the frontier of your unconscious, I think good work is possible. There’s really not much you can say about that because it’s your unconscious. All that stuff, I have to treat it as vapor and mist. It’s not really relevant to the work.”