When she was initially approached to play Siobhan “Chief” Roy, the sole daughter of a ruthless but terminally ill media millionaire, in HBO’s “Succession,” Sarah Snook was apprehensive about the project despite her “success”. The bloodline is clear
As a growing actor This is thanks to a number of award-winning film and television roles in Australia. and well-received in the 2015 biopic “Steve Jobs,” Snook was wary of being overlooked in a performance that at first glance seems about “White men in business”
“I wanted to be a supporting character in this without focusing on me at all?” she recalled recently at a coffee shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, near the apartment where she lived during the shoot. Doing “Succession.” “I read the pilot and said, ‘I want to watch this. But I don’t know if I want to be in it.’”
Snook’s nervousness is understandable. Especially considering the famous TV show’s gender transformation circa 2016, when she said, “’Game of Thrones’ was huge. And there’s been a tilt across the board on TV that there’s more female nudity.” Luckily, it’s misplaced, too: Chief has proven to be a key player in the demeaning and male-dominated world of “Succession.” which returns to HBO for the fourth time — and as was just announced. Final season – on March 26
The news that “Succession” will end with season 4, first reported by a New Yorker last month, has caught many fans off guard — and it seems that some of the cast, Snook said, despite all the indications, are still on the verge of season 4. production of how the show might end. But she wasn’t officially notified until the final table was read in January.
“I’m so sorry,” she said a few weeks after our Brooklyn meeting. In a follow-up call from Melbourne “I feel a great sense of loss, disappointment and sadness. Would be nice to know early in the season. But I also understand that the end will not be told because there is still the possibility that maybe this is not the end.”
“Emotionally, not all of us were ready to act because we loved each other so much,” she added. “But everything must come to an end. And it’s smart not to let something become a joke of its own.”
Created by British author Jesse Armstrong, the Emmy Award-winning fairy tale follows Logan Roy (Brian Cox), a self-made billionaire in dire need, and his grown-up children desperate to make ends meet. Having his approval and taking over Waystar Royko, the family’s massive news and entertainment conglomerate, “Succession” presents viewers with a glimpse into life within a powerful media dynasty. both a superyacht in the Mediterranean and a tricked-out private jet. But also the erosive family dysfunction that can accompany extravagant wealth.
Vicious sibling rivalry and complicated parent-child relationships are what make “Succession” is accessible even to those of us who have never set foot in Davos. Like her brothers Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Roman (Kieran Culkin) and Connor (Alan Ruck), Chief has deep father issues. This was amplified by her status as the only woman in the family. (Her mother, played by Harriet Walter, was chilled to the bone. is what appears in her life)
Smart and ruthless just like her name. Shiv rivals her father in terms of cunning. exploitation Machiavellian Her bans include a ban on former employees from testifying before the Senate committee on sexual misconduct at Waystar and leaking details about Kendall’s battle with addiction and mental illness to the press. Season 4 finds Chief in a slump. Driven from the company and estranged from her devoted husband Tom Wambaskans (Matthew McFadyen) following an unthinkable betrayal.
It’s a nod to Snook, who hardly resembles Shiv: a non-picky and self-deprecating Australian. She doesn’t show her character’s cold rights on her own. appearing at a quiet coffee shop in a gray hoodie and weathered Blundstone boots when a scheduling mistake sends me to the wrong district for our meeting. She texted me the correct address and waited patiently in Brooklyn as I took a taxi across the river.
Still, Snook learned a lesson from Chief. especially confidence “She’s allowed to go anywhere. She doesn’t believe in glass ceilings. Because you can buy this building.”
While you may not know it from her American accent that is almost seamless on the show, Snook grew up outside of Adelaide. This is the city where Rupert Murdoch, who inspired Logan Roy, founded his newspaper empire.
Snook, the youngest of three siblings. Have a performance since early by receiving a high school drama scholarship and working as a children’s party entertainer named Fairy Lavender (she continued her hustle when she moved to Sydney to attend the prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Art). But she had to change her name to Fairy Twinkle Toes. Sydney already has Fairy Lavender.)
This work gave her an introductory lesson in how to win over disbelieving audiences. “You’re going to have a lot of kids going. ‘I don’t know if I believe in you,’” she says. ‘You have to believe that I can do it.’”
After completing his studies at NIDA, Snook continued to work in Australian theatre, film and television.
Hollywood was quick to notice: She was one of the final contenders to play Lisbeth Salander in “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” (the last role went to Rooney. Mara) In 2014, she starred alongside Ethan Hawke in the sci-fi thriller “Predestination,” which is boldly portrayed as a heterosexual character living as a woman first. then a man Snook’s masculine personality, which is similar to Leonardo DiCaprio’s “less attractive brother”, as she said, is very convincing. Her own mother did not recognize her on set.
“Finding a character was easier for me than being a hot surfer girl,” she says. “A man? great”
working with hawk who once posted a “White Fang” poster on her sister’s bedroom wall It made Snook think that she might have peaked too soon. She didn’t. She switched from “The Dressmaker”, a period setting in the Australian countryside, to “Steve Jobs” later (by coincidence, both movies had the same effect). starring Kate Winslet)
Then came the “succession”
Casting director Francine Meisler, Snook’s first major champ, snook the attention of pilot director Adam McKay and Armstong, who was impressed by the combination of ingenuity, grit, and humanity that made Snook’s debut. She brought it to the audition.
“Suddenly you go from thinking, ‘Oh my God, is anyone?’ to ‘Oh my God, I hope she’s not getting any offers,’” Armstrong recalls over the phone during a break from editing “Succession.” She is the only person in the world who can do all of these things all at once.”
over the course of this series If Chief is not yet fully grown In Season 1, she is forging a path outside her family’s conservative media empire as an adviser to Senator Bernie Sanders. Shiv is eventually lured back to Waystar. Dress yourself as a feminist in a activist organization that helps guide the company through a sexual harassment scandal. but was passed on to the position of chief executive and one of her brothers was fired as “Symbol Woman”
for Shiv’s arrogance Her journey illustrates the misogyny that even privileged women face. (She also had a highly controversial style makeover. Crop her bohemian waves into a chic strawberry blonde bob. (Hepburn style pants in his wardrobe.) Snook believes that Chief has true centre-left politics. but she said “She understands that sometimes you have to lower your trust in order to get what you want in the long run.”
Snook’s abilities as an actor make for a dramatic character arc. Armstrong said “The solid feeling you have as a writer is incredible confidence that you can go anywhere. all levels of emotional sophistication And it’s not just Sarah who fits in with it. But she also added three layers of her own,” he said.
Chief’s marriage to the womanizer Tom Wambagans (McFadine), whom she has repeatedly humiliated. including on the wedding night When she told him she wanted an open marriage. It is the lifeblood that will show me the power of all things, its form.
Central to her narrative is crystallized in Season 3’s stand-alone shots, a stunning close-up of Chief as she absorbs the horrific perception that Tom, with his hand horribly resting on his shoulder, is horrifying. Betrayed her in a duel with Logan. “He did the one thing that she believed she could never do. Because he didn’t have any guts or guts,” Snook said.
at the scene “You feel the earthquake from the change in energy,” said Armstrong. “It was like someone opened a door to a rather scary room that they didn’t even know existed. which is a room where the balance of power in her personal relationships is completely thrown off” — all for fun.
The shocking moment wasn’t elaborately scripted: The cast of “Succession” was often encouraged to improvise. Instantly edit the dialogue. and let the scenes Played out beyond what was written on the page. which is a style borrowed from the psychology of acting and emotional realism
“It made me less valuable about my performance. I’m more willing to fail and mess,” says Snook, who, like Macfadyen, faces the growing challenge of exaggerating her non-native accent. “Sometimes I would say, ‘I don’t know what to say’, but it works for this character. Instead of competing with Roman’s diarrhea speech She would stand and watch and that would be enough.”
“She has an amazing ability to control the sadness and rage that Shiv has. It’s a skill to be able to mask it,” Macfadyen says. “You see it from time to time as a spectator. and saw the lid firmly shut upon these immense swirling depths beneath her cold exterior.”
Despite modest ratings, “Succession” has dominated the cultural conversation since its 2018 premiere because of the show’s ingenuity in seducing the billionaire class. But due to the pandemic, the show hasn’t aired for two years, Snook said she just did. He soon “perceived the sound” around him. This interest is particularly evident in certain New York neighborhoods, such as the Upper East Side. which she tends to be more accepted
“I think wealthy people have to watch this show,” she said. “I hope they watch it with a sense of irony.”
With “Succession” behind her, the 35-year-old Snook is looking ahead. Two exciting projects are slated to hit theaters this year: “Run Rabbit Run,” a horror film for Netflix, and “The Beanie Bubble,” inspired by The quirky story behind the ’90s Beanie Baby craze for Apple TV+. She also directed a short film during the pandemic and is eager to get back behind the camera soon.
She also had fun with her husband, comedian Dave Lawson, who waved to her through the cafe window as we chatted. After dating each other for many years The couple fell in love during Australia’s strict COVID lockdown. and married in Snook’s backyard in Brooklyn in 2021. Forces you to be weak,” she said of their astonishment.
Snook’s home happiness is just another way she differs from her character. But she saw similarities in their experiences. On Instagram, the actress recently came across a clip of Chief from Season 1 and was impressed by “The growth of women going from their 20s to their 30s and into adulthood.”
“Chief was young back then. But she has become a woman,” she says, “and that reflects my own journey as part of the series.”