Apparently, Jeremy Strong‘s first audition wasn’t very successful.
In an interview with The New Yorker on Dec. 5, Strong revealed that he originally auditioned for the role of Kieran Culkin‘s character, Roman Roy, before landing the role as his older brother, Kendall, on HBO’s Succession. According to the interview, back before the series premiered in 2018, executive producer Adam McKay approached Strong with the pilot script and said, “tell me what role you connect with.”
Strong ultimately chose the youngest of Logan Roy’s children. “I thought, Oh, wow, Roman is such a cool part,” Strong explained. “He’s, like, this bon-vivant prick. I could do something that I hadn’t done before.”
Strong went on to interview for the role but while he was in Denmark to get married, he got the call that Culkin had received the part.
Following the disappointment of not being cast as Roman, things looked up for Strong, as the show’s creator, Jesse Armstrong, agreed to audition him for the role of Kendall Roy. “I’ve always felt like an outsider with a fire in my belly,” Strong said of connecting with the eager-for-power Roy sibling. “And so the disappointment and the feeling of being thwarted—it only sharpened my need and hunger. I went in with a vengeance.”