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Sunday night’s satire on the symbiotic relationship between right-wing media and Republican politicians is firmly based on reality, star Alan Ruck (Connor Roy) told BuzzFeed News.
Posted on Nov 22, 2021 at 6:01 am ET
Connor Roy (Alan Ruck) and Logan Roy (Brian Cox) consider who should be the next president.
In the sixth episode of the third season of Succession on Sunday, the Roy family travels to a conservative political summit in Virginia, ostensibly to work with top Republicans and talk about politics – but actually to crown a new king.
Since the family’s right-wing cable news station has effectively ousted the current president by making unsubstantiated claims about his mental health Setting up skills (does that sound familiar?), Logan Roy (Brian Cox) has the Republicans audition to decide who he – and his media empire – want to support for the top job.
It’s “The Room Where It Happens “- except that, as Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen) cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun) says,” it’s a nice safe place where you don’t have to pretend you like Hamilton “.
With zune With lingering legal troubles, Succession viewers have grown used to government lobbies over the family business Waystar Royco, FBI agents raiding their corporate offices, investigating the DOJ, and dragging top employees to Congress. But this is the first time we’ve learned so openly how the Roys – and the Murdoch family they are based on – influence the government.
“You feel like the real power – as we all know – rests with the people who control all the money, and many of our so-called leaders are just dutiful servants who obey their masters, “said star Alan Ruck (Connor Roy). Interview with BuzzFeed News. “I would say this is probably the first time we’ve seen Logan in action, protecting his interests through his political decisions.”
Subsequently, the Roys have a blunt discussion in Logan’s hotel room – note, that he, not the Vice President, is staying in the royal suite – while they weigh the pros and cons of each candidate, and most importantly what they might mean, the DOJ’s investigation of Waystar.
Jerk said he really thinks that every four years the rich and powerful gather in such rooms to make decisions that will change the course of the country. “I absolutely think it’s true,” he said. “Kings are made, kings are crowned, and some rise and some do not. It just depends on who you know. “
The episode is especially important for Backpack’s character, the middle-aged billionaire’s offspring who’s never had to work in his life but is now looking for a purpose (and his father’s love) with an offbeat candidacy for president.
So far, Connor’s libertarian campaign has been something of a joke throughout the series and within the Roy family. But, as Shiv (Sarah Snook) quietly admits to younger brother Roman (Kieran Culkin) when she first glimpsed the right-wing extremist participants at the summit, “does Connor suddenly look like a Roosevelt in a room full of Timothy McVeighs?” / p> In one of the most surreal moments in the entire series, Logan asks people around him at more than one point whether they should actually stand behind Connor’s candidacy. “Joe Kennedy did it for his boys,” jokes Logan.
Shiv and Roman seem just as stunned as the audience at home that the idea is even being considered. “Are we serious?” Asks Roman. “We’re talking about making Connor President of the United States. Bastard.” The moment is reminiscent of the feeling millions of Americans had in 2016 when they saw Donald Trump’s campaign slowly evolve from a joke about a serious one to … successful. Connor even becomes one by one Describing supporters in terms that could easily apply to Trump: “He has a brand name, a war chest, populist appeal, and he’s a fighter.” Ruck told BuzzFeed News that he believes Logan’s consideration for Connor’s candidacy Partly due to the guilt he felt for leaving his eldest son to his troubled ex-wife as a child, but he’s also obviously selfish.
“I don’t think Logan is with this political Stuff would start something if it wasn’t beneficial for him, so he would only consider Connor if Connor would prove to be useful in this position, “said Jerk. “Obviously he has the feeling, and probably rightly, that he could wrap Connor around his figure and make him do whatever he wanted.”
Cousin Greg, the only other character who laughs as well how Connor is played ultimately falls to being the one brave enough to speak out against the eldest Roy’s presidential candidacy and what that could mean for the republic. “I think I owe it to my country to say you shouldn’t crown or make Connor president,” he says to Logan.
“I think in that case, [Greg] had a moment the clarity and realized that this could be the end of the solvency of the United States of America, “said Ruck. “If Connor becomes president, that could be a sign of the end times!”
The episode was filmed in April, Ruck said, a full year after the show’s original production start date was postponed due to the pandemic (Ruck himself was shot while filming tested positive for COVID and had to quarantine for 10 days). While some exterior scenes were filmed in Virginia, most of the interior shots were filmed in New York City, including the famous Plaza Hotel, which, to continue the theme, Trump once owned.
Today Republicans ruthlessly satirize the entire 60 minutes of this episode . As billionaire Roys mingles in the hotel’s gilded ballroom, the show’s vice president (Reed Birney) states, without a hint of irony, that the GOP has become “now the working class party,” while the “Dems and Tech all the riches.” keep. (That joke about elites comes back up later when Tom speaks lyrically about what horrible wine he admits and then eats in a diner to get a taste of what he imagines prison food to be like.)
Meanwhile, another top job contender, a far-right congressman with fascist leanings (Justin Kirk) jokes with Roman about sending people to gulags – “no labor camps, summer camps” – and admits he is ready to share ideas from the Spanish dictator to take into account Francisco Franco or even a certain better-known German dictator whom he only calls “H”.
In another allusion to Trump, when Logan ultimately decides to support these fireworks – much to Shiv’s horror, which continues to swallow its morale – that’s partly because Roman correctly observed that viewers of cable news get angry, engrossed, or entertained by him.
“[Those media managers think], ‘If we pick the right man, at least our regular audience will get the ratings,'” he said. “I absolutely think that powerful people who control information and have access to huge piles of money are very drawn to people who seek high office. They scratch each other’s backs. ”
Ruck, best known for his roles on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and the sitcom Spin City prior to Succession, admits that his leftist politics influenced his approach to the characters on the show . (Jerk hit the headlines in September when he volunteered to drive a press escort car when President Joe Biden was visiting California for a rally to support Governor Gavin Newsom.) “But there’s a little bit of Connor in everyone because nobody wants to pay taxes, “he joked.
Nevertheless, he warned the fans of Succession not to count Connor and teased that the Roys might regret their many years of teasing his character.
” With time we’ll see that Connor won’t be the family’s punching bag anymore, “said Jerk. “At some point – and I’m not saying it will happen this season – Connor will find his teeth and bite back.”
David Mack is Senior Breaking News Reporter for BuzzFeed News and lives in New York.
A BuzzFeed News investigation conducted with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists based on thousands of documents the government refused to see.