Nicholas Braun On Greg’s Plight In Final Season – Deadline
The following interview contains spoilers from tonight’s season four premiere episode of HBO’s Succession, “The Munsters”
It’s been roughly two months since Logan Roy’s son-in-law, Tom Wambsgan (Matthew Macfadyen) snitched on his wife, Shiv Roy (Sarah Snook), and her brothers Kendell (Jeremy Strong) and Roman (Kieran Culkin), that the trio were teaming up against daddy (Brian Cox) to thwart his merger with tech company GoJo.
The family remains divided with Shiv, Kendell and Roman on one side, looking to launch a new media company and trying to merge with their father’s former rival and acquisition target, family media brand PGM, led by Nan Pierce (Cherry Jones).
Then there’s Tom and Logan’s nephew, Greg Hirsch (Nicholas Braun), who are squarely on the side of the Waystar Royco titan, part of his inner circle and being tolerated as we saw tonight at Logan’s debbie downer birthday party.
One way that Greg tries to liven up the party is by bringing along a rogue, young woman he’s met. She’s a bit of a spitfire, we learn, and gets it on with Greg at Logan’s pad offscreen. Tom tells Greg he’s just screwed up: There are cameras all over Logan’s place which caught him in the act. Greg is reprimanded off camera by his uncle Logan. The media giant’s bodyguard later informs Greg that the girl must leave, particularly since she posted on social media.
As the episode winds down, we see, of course, that Tom and Shiv’s marriage is on the rocks more than it’s ever been. Forget about any overtures she’s made in the past for an open marriage.
In the final season of Succession, expect a bloodbath. And who better to spill the beans to us than Greg himself, 2x Emmy Primetime Emmy nominated supporting actor in a drama series, Nicholas Braun.
What’s interesting in this episode is this whole thing that goes on with Greg and Logan where he reprimands you for fooling around with the girl — it all occurs off camera. How did that come to be? The comedy still works despite having your interaction off scene. Did you guys shoot that scene and then decide not to use it?
Nicholas Braun: We did not shoot that scene. I felt the same when we watched it at the premiere. I was like, ‘Man, that would have been such a fun scene.’ I think it’s [Succession creator] Jesse [Armstrong’s] sensibility of you can’t give an audience everything they want. You can’t give them the thing, the main event. He always comes up to the line and usually he backs off and he lets your imagination take over. But that was one I was like, ‘I wished we did do something like that.’ I think that episode was just jam-packed with stuff and in the thick of them talking about billions of dollars, whatever, the kids versing the father probably would have been too much of a thing. Anyway, I trust Jesse. He made that call.
Tell us where Greg is here at the start of the season. He isn’t with Kendall and the rest of his cousins. He’s over here with Tom and Logan. Does he feel safer with Tom and Logan?
NB: I think he was invited. Tom invited Greg into the fold. Greg didn’t even know what he was signing up for other than going to the dark side, but then he learned why he was the dark side, and I guess you could say that Greg just doesn’t care as much as he used to. You just sort of follow where you’re wanted. So, he’s wanted on that side. He gets to be with the big man. Everything circulates around Logan, so he gets to be close to him. He’s going to go with it.
Greg has a relationship with Kendall. But Kendall also has screwed him a bit in the last season, and Shiv and Roman don’t give a shit about Greg. They’re not going to bring Greg into their little team. So, Greg is feeling good. I think Tom considers Greg like a little ally-apprentice, and so, he needs him for whatever roles he can play on that side. So, yeah, feeling good. Both those guys are feeling great at the top of the season.
Can you tease for us the outcome for Greg in this final season? Are we going to see a major maturing of him or a side of him that maybe we have never seen before?
NB: Season four is big for Greg, I would say in that department. Greg is tested and Greg puts himself forward as a different kind of guy at times this season and he’s more bold than we’ve ever seen him, and strategic. I mean, he’s always been a guy who’s tried to play whatever sides are available to him and he really leans into that this season.
How much does Logan mean to Greg? Like if Logan was out of Greg’s life, is that disastrous for Greg?
NB: Everything revolves around Logan. So, not only Greg, but everybody would be sort of f***ed. They wouldn’t know which way to go. So, Logan means everything to everyone, and you know it’s weird because it’s like, what is the aspiration? Is it just to make more money? It’s not really that. To get a certain title? I don’t think that matters either. Maybe it does for Greg more than others. They’ve already gotten their titles. I guess it’s just to matter more in this world. So, being on this side, getting closer to Logan you matter more in the world.
You’re closer to the great influence that Logan has over the family, over the media landscape, over the world, over the headlines of the world; the control that he has over a lot of different areas, politics, business and all that. It’s addictive. It’s exciting to be closer and closer to that. Even in the first episode, Greg is included in a room where they’re dealing with big shit. Like it’s really going down and Greg is not told to f**k off, out of that room. So, that kind of stuff, that’s pretty exciting. You walk out of that room you’re like holy shit, I was there. I was there.
Is there still a bad situation between Logan and his brother/Greg’s grandfather, Ewan Roy? I remember Greg’s grandfather putting you in a position of ‘you’re either on my side or his side.’
NB: Yeah. For sure. I mean as long as Logan and Ewan are at odds with one another, Greg is not going to be respected by his grandfather. I don’t think they’re doing well at all. I think Ewan is probably caught wind of what’s happened and that Greg is allied even further with Logan. So, I feel like Ewan has just written him off.
Do you think Logan and Ewan could ever make up or, no, their divide goes pretty deep?
NB: I don’t think there’s any making up there. I mean they’re old men, so you think that it should be time to make peace as you go into your darker days, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I mean Ewan is just not even close to the guy. You wonder how they became so different, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. No hugs.
Has Succession creator Jesse Armstrong talked to you about any spinoffs?
NB: I’ve been making jokes about it today. I’ve been making jokes that we’ve already got it greenlit, and we’re going to start shooting it soon but, no, there is not. It’s a fun thing to talk about, but he and I don’t even talk about it. It’s like we’re focused on this. This is the main event of our lives. This is the best thing, the best creative experience I think either of us have had, so to think about doing something that’s like, I don’t know, a fraction possibly of what was great about this show, I don’t think it’s even worth talking about, but I appreciate people wanting more of Greg, or more of Greg and Tom, whatever that would be. That feels good, but just enjoy the season. You’re going to get a nice healthy dose of what you like out of these guys.