Bowen Yang Unknowingly Witnessed Jeremy Strong’s Strangest Method Acting Moment Yet
HBO’s Succession ends Sunday following four award-filled seasons that started with showrunner Jesse Armstrong’s idea to dissect the dynamics of the world’s most powerful families — for star Jeremy Strong, however, the journey starts in the bathroom.
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Strong’s much-noted method acting has earned him a Primetime Emmy, a Golden Globe and a spot on the Time 100 in 2022. His approach has also earned him the ire of his cantankerous costar Brian Cox, and it’s created a swirl of speculation over just how deep his commitment to the character of Kendall Roy goes. Shortly after the end of Season 3, Strong went on record saying, “I take (Kendall) as seriously as I take my own life,” but, as we all know, life doesn’t stop for us when we need to take a shit.
On yesterday’s episode of the podcast Las Culturistas, co-host Bowen Yang told the story of an unintentional run-in with Kendall Roy that he didn’t realize was an in-character meeting until after the fact — according to Yang, the most recent seasons of Succession and the Yang-starred Nora From Queens shot at the same studio, and Yang witnessed Strong approach someone in the Nora office and ask them for directions to the bathroom. Shortly thereafter, Strong’s assistant appeared looking for him — so that they could shoot the scene where asks someone for directions to the bathroom.
“As we famously know, Jeremy Strong is a method actor,” Yang explained. “At one point, Jeremy walks into the Nora From Queens production office and says, ‘Excuse me, do you know where the bathroom is?’ And then someone in the office is like, ‘Yeah, it’s just down the hall to the left.’ He goes, ‘Thank you so much,’ and he leaves.”
That story would be about as innocuous and boring as a behind-the-scenes anecdote could be, if it weren’t for the payoff. “Ten minutes pass, and a (production assistant) from ‘Succession’ comes into the office and goes, ‘Hi, was Jeremy just in here?’ and they were like, ‘Yeah he was — he went to the bathroom,’” Yang continued, “And then this PA goes, ‘Did he ask where it was? Did he come here to ask you where the bathroom was?’ They were like, ‘Yeah, why?’ and the PA says, ‘He has a scene today where he has to ask someone where the bathroom is.’”
Yang claims that this moment supports “the idea that Jeremy Strong has a sense of play and irony,” saying, “I think that is method to such a ridiculous degree that he must be in on the joke.” However, Strong’s own reflections refute the notion that anything about his approach is less than shamelessly, one-hundred-percent earnest — after all, that’s exactly how seriously Kendall takes himself.
Now I want to hear from the production assistant whose job it was to wrangle Strong on set – I bet they have more juicy, embarrassing, NDA-protected stories than Jess herself.