Jeremy Strong Reveals He Improvised An Alternate, Much Darker Ending Scene For ‘Succession’

kendall roy in the final shot of succession


Warning: This article contains massive spoilers for the series finale of HBO’s Succession

While the final frame of Succession might have left the ending of the series open to interpretation, Jeremy Strong — the Emmy-winning actor who portrayed Kendall Roy across the series’ acclaimed four seasons — certainly doesn’t think so.

In a handful of interviews that he’s given in the aftermath of the series finale, Strong indicates that he’s so sure of Kendall’s fate that he even improvised a take where he rushes the railing in an effort to jump into the river.

“Listen to the John Berryman poem that Jesse has named these finales after. John Berryman himself died by suicide, jumping into the frozen river,” Strong told Vanity Fair.

“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. 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.”

Additionally, Strong said something similar in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter:

“This time, it’s the first time he’s finally lost everything. From inside of it, I felt there was no coming back from this. [Which is why] when we were there at the water, I did try to go in.”

Despite Strong’s assertions, the decision to leave Kendall’s ending open-ended was a wise one, as directly implying that the “eldest” Roy killed himself would’ve been such a seismic note to end on that it would’ve completely muted the conclusion of all the other storylines. That Jesse Armstrong sure knows what he’s doing, huh?

Eric Italiano BroBIble avatar
Eric Italiano is a NYC-based writer who spearheads BroBible's Pop Culture and Entertainment content. He covers topics such as Movies, TV, and Video Games, while interviewing actors, directors, and writers.