Amid the daddy trend, “Succession” star Jeremy Strong is just fine being a babygirl.
During an interview with The New York Times, Strong addressed the memes of his character Kendall Roy, some of which have labeled him “babygirl Kendall,” while elsewhere on HBO, “The Last of Us” star Pedro Pascal is deemed daddy in contrast.
“It’s wild, the way people project all kinds of things onto the character,” Strong said, adding that Kendall “is a bit of a litmus test” for viewers.
“I’ve managed to avoid all that because I’m really not online and I’m not on social media. I see people walking around with tote bags and T-shirts now,” Strong explained. “Some people use the word ‘cringe,’ and then others find him incredibly sympathetic. Do I think any of that’s misunderstood? I don’t know.”
He added, “There’s something about this character, about this kind of boy-man — there is a lot of male vulnerability, which is something that always affected me growing up when I saw it in storytelling. In this moment in our culture, people either respond to that in a derisive way or in an empathic way. It’s not my job to tell anyone how to respond to it, but there is something about vulnerability that is polarizing.”
Strong, who is infamously a Method actor, previously shared an alternate ending for Kendall in the “Succession” series finale in which the actor almost jumped into the Hudson River. The last shot of the Emmy-winning HBO series focuses on Kendall looking out over the river after being out-voted during the board meeting and losing the CEO seat. Strong called it an “extinction-level” devastation to the character.
“There’s no coming back from that,” he said, noting that during one take, he attempted to jump into the river as a suicide for Kendall. “My God, it would’ve been hard to do,” he said. “But I think you even feel on a cellular level the intention or the longing to cross that threshold. The way [series creator Jesse Armstrong] leaves us with a kind of ambivalence stays true to his vision.”
He added, “It’s a much stronger ending philosophically, and has more integrity to what Jesse’s overall very bleak vision is of mankind — which is that fundamentally, people don’t really change. They don’t do the spectacular, dramatic thing. Instead, there’s a kind of doom loop that we’re all stuck in, and Kendall is trapped in this sort of silent scream with Colin there as both a bodyguard and a jailer.”