Succession Season 4 Episode 1 review: Top five talking pointsMar 28 | 6 min read
Succession: 13 things you didn’t know about the critically-acclaimed HBO comedy-drama
From whether it’s really based on the Murdochs to the surprise improvised scenes, discover secrets about Jesse Armstrong's series ahead of the fourth and final season.
It's received rave reviews from critics, was named The Guardian’s No.1 TV show of 2019 and its fourth and final season is one of the most eagerly awaited TV events of 2023.
The high-end comedy-drama, about the family behind the biggest media company in the world, boasts a stellar cast including Brian Cox, Jeremy Strong and Matthew Macfadyen.
Ahead of Succession Season 4 on Sky Atlantic and NOW, here are 13 things you might not have known about Succession - including surprising trivia, facts and Easter eggs.
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1. The Waystar office scenes are filmed in the tallest building in the USA
Waystar Royco HQ is located in New York's One World Trade Center - the tallest building in the United States. This is largely for the views as you can see the stunning Manhattan skyline including Tribeca, Midtown and Lower Manhattan from the rooms.
Filming moved to the 28 Liberty Street skyscraper for Season 3 onwards.
2. The show is produced by Hollywood A-listers
Adam McKay and Will Ferrell are among the show's executive producers for all of its four seasons. Before Succession, McKay and Ferrell produced several other projects together, including Anchorman, Talladega Nights, The Big Short and Vice.
3. The actor who plays cousin Greg is most similar to his character
Nicholas Braun, the Succession actor who plays cousin Greg, was named by his co-stars as the actor who's most like his character.
"Nick is almost indistinguishable," Brian Cox (Logan Roy) told The Hollywood Reporter.
4. Kieran Culkin wasn't supposed to play Roman
Culkin was sent the script to play the part of cousin Greg, but after reading it, he found that he associated more with the character of Roman.
"There was something that clicked with me and this character that's something I still don't understand, and probably don't want to understand, considering the kind of guy he is," Culkin told The Hollywood Reporter.
You might also recognise Kieran - below right - as a child star who appeared in films including Father of the Bride and Home Alone, alongside older brother Macaulay Culkin.
5. The show’s British creator is a top sitcom writer
British writer Jesse Armstrong created Succession - his first foray into a big budget US series.
In the UK, he’s well known for co-creating British sitcoms Peep Show and Fresh Meat with Sam Bain, as well as writing on comedy The Thick of It and its 2009 spin-off film, In the Loop.
6. Spot the scenes filmed in the UK...
Though largely filmed in New York City, the cast and crew of Succession have also jetted across the Atlantic (albeit not by private jet) to film in the UK.
Filming took place at Eastnor Castle near Ledbury in Herefordshire, below, for the wedding of Shiv (Sarah Snook) and Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) in the Succession Season 1 final episode.
Succession Season 2 also saw the Roys back in the UK, with filming taking place on location in Dundee in Scotland for the episodes where the Roys visit.
While Season 3, produced under Covid-19 regulations, didn't visit the UK, filming wasn't confined to New York as cast and crew filmed in Richmond, Virginia and Tuscany, Italy.
While for Season 4, filming also took place in Norway and California, USA.
7. It’s definitely not based on the Murdochs...
Despite rumours that the show is based on media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his family, the show’s creator Jesse Armstrong insists it definitely isn’t.
In an interview with The Guardian, Armstrong insisted: “It’s not bullsh*t to say it really isn’t the Murdochs."
He suggested that the comparison comes from there being a lack of high-profile media barons in the UK. “It could be a parochial view – that because it’s a media family, it must be the Murdochs,” he explained.
8. ...Although some Murdochs have been watching!
Speaking backstage at the 2020 Golden Globes, Brian Cox (who plays Logan Roy) said he was approached by Keith Tyson, the husband of Elisabeth Murdoch - the second daughter of Rupert Murdoch.
According to USA Today, Elisabeth and her husband are fans of the show, with Elisabeth relating to the character of Siobhan 'Shiv' Roy.
Jerry Hall, Rupert's fourth wife, is also said to watch.
9. Some scenes are entirely improvised
Adam McKay - the show's executive producer and director - likes to incorporate improvisation on set, but he got some resistance when he asked the cast of Succession to totally improvise one scene.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, McKay revealed that Logan's birthday meal in Season 1 was 'entirely improvised'.
10. Brian Cox made Logan Roy Scottish
Brian Cox originally suggested that Logan Roy be Scottish and born in Cox's native Dundee, but the idea was rejected by the show's writers, according to an interview he gave with The Scotsman.
They said that the character of Logan Roy was written as an American citizen who had been born in Quebec, Canada.
But towards the end of filming for Season 1, it was revealed to Cox that they'd changed his character's birthplace to Dundee after all!
11. Jeremy Strong makes music playlists for Kendall Roy each season
Jeremy Strong has been vocal about his approach to method acting for the role of Kendall Roy, with his on-screen father Brian Cox (Logan Roy) criticising his method.
Cox told Town & Country Mag: “Oh, it’s f***ing annoying. Don’t get me going on it.”
However, one method that helps Strong get into character as the troubled son is to make music playlists for each season.
In a cover story for GQ, he revealed his new playlist to get into the Kendall headspace for Succession Season 4 included New Level by A$AP Ferg, Moon by Kanye West and I Don’t Care Anymore by Phil Collins.
12. And he has a ritual for after filming
In the same GQ profile, Jeremy Strong reveals that he always does the same thing as soon as filming wraps for the day.
He "puts all his jewellery back on: a vintage green signet pinky ring that was a 40th birthday gift from his wife; a silver amulet necklace, engraved with a guardian angel and one of his daughter’s sonogram footprints; and a silver bracelet engraved with his daughters’ names".
“I sort of shed all of that,” Strong said. “And then I’m happily bound by it again.”
Strong is married to child psychiatrist and documentarian Emma Wall. Together they have three daughters, aged four, two, and one.
They were all born while he worked on Succession.
13. Succession Season 4 is the final season - but we could see spin-off series
Succession is officially coming to an end with its upcoming Season 4, as creator Jesse Armstrong revealed in a profile piece for The New Yorker.
However in the same interview, he confessed that he's open to the idea of spin-off series featuring the characters from the show.
"The feeling that there could be something else in an allied world, or allied characters, or some of the same characters - that’s also strong in me," he said.
"I have caveated the end of the show, when I’ve talked to some of my collaborators, like: 'Maybe there’s another part of this world we could come back to, if there was an appetite?
"Maybe there’s something else that could be done, that harnessed what’s been good about the way we’ve worked on this?'."
Stream Succession Season 4 weekly on Sky Atlantic with NOW from 27 March. Succession Seasons 1-3 streaming.