Kieran Culkin was scared of Brian Cox when the two had scenes together in Succession.
HBO audiences are still reeling from the final episode of Succession, which dropped just a few weeks ago. Now that the daddy issues of the Roy family have seemingly come to a close, many of the actors have been appearing for interviews to discuss their experiences working on one of the network’s biggest titles of the last few years. Breaking down his experience with Claire Danes in an installment of Variety’s Actors on Actors, Kieran Culkin revealed that he was often scared of working opposite his on-screen dad Brian Cox.
It makes sense as the balance between the duo’s characters was an unhealthy father-son dynamic in which Kieran Culkin’s Roman Roy was always scraping by to try and win his father’s affection. A legendary actor, we do not doubt that Brian Cox’s sheer presence on set would make any of his fellow stars shake in their boots and Culkin reveals that nothing could be more truthful. Reminiscing on those intimidating scenes, Culkin says that “I feel like I’m seven.”
Kieran Culkin went on to say that out of character, Brian Cox was a very approachable guy and that there was nothing about him that gave him that crushing childhood trauma feeling, but that when he was in character, his authoritative presence pushed the star’s brain back to his younger years. Things only got trickier for Culkin to deal with when it appeared to audiences that Roman would turn against his siblings and go along with his father’s plans. Much to his shock and dismay, Logan Roy asks his son to fire his longtime employee and Roman’s romantic interest, Gerri.
It’s at this moment that Kieran Culkin said that the young man was “having the worst day of his professional life” and, at the time, didn’t realize “how bad it’s going to get.” It was in these particularly devastating scenes that Brian Cox’s acting skills really turned the pair’s dynamic into that of a son trying his best to gain the approval of his father. We would feel like seven-year-olds too!
During the show’s final season, Kieran Culkin revealed that he and the rest of his castmates were in the know about Brian Cox’s character’s death. It was a real shakeup that put the remainder of episodes on a high-stakes speed toward the finish line with all of the Roy children duking it out to prove themselves to be the best successor. While the show could’ve gone on for several more seasons, Culkin said that he knew that it was best for it to bow out when it did, giving the audience the wrap that they deserved.
Now that his time on Succession has come to an end, Kieran Culkin doesn’t need to fear the unsettling dynamic that he had with his ex-costar Brian Cox. While the Igby Goes Down star doesn’t have any films or family-based dramas on his slate, he will be returning to the world of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World in an anime series that will launch on Netflix. Joining the rest of the cast from the 2010 live-action film, Culkin joins the likes of Michael Cera, Brie Larson, Chris Evans, Aubrey Plaza, and so many more for the colorful adaptation.