Jeremy Strong reveals Succession had a secret unscripted ending

Jeremy Strong reveals Succession had a secret unscripted ending
Succession season 4 finale preview

Hit HBO TV series Succession came to an end on 28 May at the end of its fourth and final series, but actor Jeremy Strong has revealed there is a secret alternate ending that fans have not seen.

Warning: Spoilers ahead

Strong portrayed sibling Kendall Roy – one of three children who, at one time or another throughout the series, vied to become the successor of their father’s media empire.

In the finale that was broadcast, the pendulum continually swung over whether the Roy siblings were going to approve the GoJo deal and sell to Matsson, or whether they were going to vote against it and have Kendall Roy take the helm in the place of their late father Logan Roy.

With the vote among board members tied at three votes both for and against the deal going ahead, the final say came down to Shiv, who ultimately voted for the deal against Kendall’s wishes.

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Shiv’s deciding vote made her partner Tom the CEO and left Kendall devastated by what Strong described as “an extinction-level event for this character”.

The final scene saw Strong’s forlorn character sitting by the river in a New York park with his security guard Colin trailing closely behind him before the scene ended.

But, Strong has since revealed that moments after the scene ended, he attempted to jump into the water and was stopped by the actor who plays the bodyguard.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Strong explained: “I tried to go into the water after we cut. I got up from that bench and went as fast as I could over the barrier and onto the pilings, and the actor playing Colin raced over.

“I didn’t know I was gonna do that, and he didn’t know, but he raced over and stopped me.”

He added: “I don’t know whether in that moment I felt that Kendall just wanted to die — I think he did — or if he wanted to be saved by essentially a proxy of his father.”

It was an unscripted moment and didn’t make the final cut of the show. Strong explained why he believed showrunner Jesse Armstrong made the choice to leave viewers guessing about Kendall’s intentions.

Strong said: “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.”

Strong explained: “I think you even feel on a cellular level the intention or the longing to cross that threshold. The way [Armstrong] leaves us with a kind of ambivalence stays true to his vision.”

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