Jeremy Strong, who plays Kendall Roy in Succession, gave an inside look to his process of method acting in a new interview with The New Yorker.

The actor has been widely celebrated for his intoxicating portrayal of Kendall in the award-winning drama, a character who is both anxiety ridden and filled with an unwavering bravado.

It turns out that Strong goes the extra mile to ensure Kendall is represented correctly and he has a few shocking ways to ensure it. Admitting method acting is key to his role, Strong also shared the immense intensity he goes into any scene with—and some of his fellow co-stars share they’re not the biggest fans of the way he prepares for a shoot.

While the reaction to his interview has been explosive, many are split between whether Strong is a genius actor or simply an inconsiderate jerk. Scroll below for the craziest lines from his interview.

On playing Kendall

“To me, the stakes are life and death...I take him as seriously as I take my own life.”

Discussing Kendall, he said, “It’s weird saying his name in the third person.”

On method acting

“If I have any method at all, it is simply this: to clear away anything—anything—that is not the character and the circumstances of the scene,” he explained. “And usually that means clearing away almost everything around and inside you, so that you can be a more complete vessel for the work at hand.”

“I can’t work in a way that feels like I’m making a television show. I need, for whatever reason, to believe that it’s real and commit myself to that sense of belief.”

“I want every scene to feel like I’m encountering a bear in the woods”

On his Succession injury

“I jumped off a stage, thinking I could fly, but it turns out I can’t,” he said. “It made sense in the moment, though.”

What Strong’s co-workers have to say about him

Brian Cox, who plays Logan, admitted he has some concerns about Strong: “The result that Jeremy gets is always pretty tremendous...I just worry about what he does to himself. I worry about the crises he puts himself through in order to prepare.”

After the first season, he said something to me like, ‘I’m worried that people might think that the show is a comedy.’ And I said, ‘I think the show is a comedy.’ He thought I was kidding,” said Kieran Culkin, who plays Roman said.

Executive producer Adam McKay said, “He’s not playing it like a comedy. He’s playing it like he’s Hamlet.”

Strong’s response to any negative press he might receive on being ‘difficult’

“I don’t particularly think ease or even accord are virtues in creative work, and sometimes there must even be room for necessary roughness, within the boundaries dictated by the work.”

On wrapping up a scene

After he ripped up his script pages and tossed them in a trash can, he told the reporter: “This is my favorite part of work... it’s like a stay of execution every time you finish a scene and it goes O.K., and you can tear it up and let it go.”

On arranging for Al Pacino to come to his Yale campus to teach a master class

An alumnus recalled, “Basically, in order for Jeremy to have his fantasy of meeting Al Pacino play out, he nearly bankrupted a hundred-year-old college-theatre company.”

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