Saturday Night Live personality Bowen Yang has shared a story about Succession star Jeremy Strong and his famous commitment to staying in character.
The Brisbane, Australia-born entertainer, 32, opened up about seeing the 44-year-old actor, who plays Kendall Roy on the HBO hit, as he walked onto the set of the series Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens while remaining in character as the morose billionaire media heir.
The Saturday Night Live personality spoke about the encounter on his podcast Las Culturistas Wednesday, saying that Strong wandered onto the set of the show and into its production office, asking for directions to the restroom.
‘The most recent season of Nora From Queens shot at the same studio as this season of Succession,’ Yang, who plays the role of Edmund on the comedy. ‘The Nora From Queens production office was pretty close to the Succession stages and their production office, and as we famously know, Jeremy Strong is a Method actor.’
Yang said ‘at one point,’ Strong made his way into the office ‘and says, “Excuse me, do you know where the bathroom is?”‘
The latest: Saturday Night Live personality Bowen Yang, 32, has shared a story about Succession star Jeremy Strong, 44, and his famous commitment to staying in character
‘And then someone in the office is like, “Yeah, it’s just down the hall to the left.” He goes, “Thank you so much” and he leaves.’
Yang said that Strong subsequently left and 10 minutes later, a Succession production assistant entered the office and asked about the actor’s whereabouts.
The PA ‘goes, “Hi, was Jeremy just in here?”‘ Yang said. ‘And they were like, “Yeah he was. He went to the bathroom.” And then this PA goes, “Did he ask where it was? Did he come here to ask you where the bathroom was?”
‘They were like, “Yeah, why?” and the PA says, “He has a scene today where he has to ask someone where the bathroom is.”‘
Yang said of the actor’s commitment to his roles: ‘I think that is Method to such a ridiculous degree that he must be in on the joke,’ adding that he subscribes to ‘the idea that Jeremy Strong has a sense of play and irony.’
Strong’s hyperfocused commitment to his craft has been well documented amid his success on the HBO drama the past five years.
In a key scene in the first season of Succession — in which his character is involved in a late night car wreck, in which the vehicle he was in careened into a lake — he had assistants drench him with ice water to amplify the reality of the morose situation.
The show’s executive producer/director Mark Mylod told IndieWire in 2018 that Strong had ice water bucked dumped atop his head during the already-grueling shoot.
‘I guess the great thing about a physical obstacle is that what you really have to do is put yourself in that situation, in those given circumstances, and then deal,’ Strong told the outlet.
The actor, who won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 2020, continued: ‘So I had to get in a lake that was close to freezing cold temperatures in the middle of the winter and it is horrible as it would be.
‘Those things in a sense actually are easier than the, for lack of a better word, emotional work.’
Strong has portrayed the role of morose billionaire media heir Kendall Roy for four seasons
Strong won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 2020 for his efforts on the HBO series, which comes to a conclusion Sunday
He described the physical impact of the routine, saying, ‘Your head is burning and your limbs are numb, so you don’t have to act that basically.
‘That was very scary, just letting the air run out in my own lungs to the point where I felt just enough in jeopardy and in danger so that I was really in the situation and then trying to extract myself from it.’
Strong’s focus to his craft has occasionally garnered scrutiny from his costars on the HBO hit from creator Jesse Armstrong.
Brian Cox, who plays the role of media magnate Logan Roy on the series, dubbed Strong’s techniques as ‘f***ing annoying’ while speaking with Town & Country this past February.
‘Don’t get me going on it,’ Cox said, adding of the craft, ‘It’s just there and is accessible. It’s not a big f***ing religious experience.’
Cox made clear that he feels Strong has top notch acting skills, and doesn’t need to put himself through the ringer to achieve onscreen authenticity.
‘He’s still that guy, because he feels if he went somewhere else he’d lose it. But he won’t!’ Cox said. ‘Strong is talented. He’s f***ing gifted. When you’ve got the gift, celebrate the gift. Go back to your trailer and have a hit of marijuana, you know?’
In a publicized piece from The New Yorker that was published in December of 2021, Cox said he was concerned about how Strong’s dedication impacted him personally.
‘I just worry about what he does to himself,’ Cox said. ‘I worry about the crises he puts himself through in order to prepare.’
Brian Cox, who plays the role of media magnate Logan Roy on the series, dubbed Strong’s techniques as ‘f***ing annoying’ in an interview earlier this year
Kieran Culkin said of Strong, who plays his older brother on the show: ‘It’s hard for me to actually describe his process, because I don’t really see it. He puts himself in a bubble’
In the piece, Kieran Culkin said of Strong, who plays his older brother on the show: ‘It’s hard for me to actually describe his process, because I don’t really see it. He puts himself in a bubble.
‘The way Jeremy put it to me is that, like, you get in the ring, you do the scene, and at the end each actor goes to their corner. I’m like, “This isn’t a battle. This is a dance.”‘
Culkin, who has been feted for his portrayal of Roman Roy on the series, added, ‘That might be something that helps him. I can tell you that it doesn’t help me.’
The series finale of Succession airs Sunday on HBO/Max.