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Q&A: Nicholas Braun on 'Succession' Season 4.

Q&A: Nicholas Braun on 'Succession' Season 4.

"It's like if Santa Claus was a hitman," Nicholas Braun as Greg Hirsch says about his great uncle Logan Roy in the Season 4 trailer for HBO's 'Succession'

With the fourth and final season of 'Succession' streaming now, Nicholas Braun (a.k.a. everyone's favourite cousin Greg) discusses everything you need to know below...

What are your feelings on this being the final season of 'Succession'?
NICHOLAS: I have mixed emotions about it. I think the season is so incredible. The stuff that all the characters, [including] my character, get to go through is just amazing. So I feel very content creatively. But I'll miss this crew a lot. These actors, this crew we worked with, some since the pilot, they are the best! There was a shorthand that came with working together for so long. They knew what Greg wanted to drink at a party. They knew what tie I would probably choose. They knew when I wanted to get a haircut. Things like that. There's just an ease to it. So that's kind of an amazing thing to have to give up.

How was the news broken to the cast that it was the last run?
NICHOLAS: We knew before we started shooting the season that there was a big chance of the show being over. Jesse kind of set that up for us. He never said: “It's 100 per cent.” And even at the last table read, he didn't say: "100 per cent." But he was like: "Unless something brilliant hits me in the next year and I feel like going another round, this will be it." But he's always left that little asterisk on top.

What's the state of the relationship between Tom and Greg, the self-styled Disgusting Brothers, at the start of this series?
NICHOLAS: I think they're feeling really good, like they're at the top. They're aligned with Logan. They're on the side with all the momentum, all the power. It’s the side that probably can't be beat. Tom has a bigger job, with more responsibility. And Greg is right there with him. And with Tom loosely separated from Shiv, I think he’s feeling pretty free. And wants to get a bit disgusting.

How has it been working so closely with Matthew Macfadyen over these four series?
NICHOLAS: It's just an incredible partnership we've got there. We have so much to look forward to every episode. So many scenes that we know are going to be fun to play. I love him as a person. I love how he lives his life off-set. He’s a real family man. And I look up to him. And then on-set, I've learned a lot from him as an actor. We've tried a lot of things. It felt constantly experimental, and I knew I could trust him. He knew he could trust me. We'll try some shit and see what works. That feels good.

Ultimately, what's been your favourite scene, over these 40 episodes and 40 hours, to film?
NICHOLAS: There's a scene on the yacht, where everybody is [present] – the big roundtable scene where everybody's talking about who should be the "head on a stick" or however Logan describes it. Who should take the hit for the scandal in the cruises [division]. And it was a really beautiful acting experience. It's probably a 10-15-page scene, with all of our main characters sitting around this table. The writing is amazing – it's like a long scene in a play - you can see how clearly these actors understand their character. So even if they pop in for two or three lines, like Frank or Karl, it was just so specific. It felt like a table full of actors who are excellent. That was a beautiful, beautiful scene to be a part of.

We talked previously about how in your film 'Zola', your character Derrek had a red rash on his nose, which was your idea to show that he had a lack of grooming. Similarly, you said that with Greg, you played with his side parting, the length of his tie, the darkness of his suit, to create character. What can we divine in this series, with Greg’s shorter haircut and darker suit, about where he is psychologically?
NICHOLAS: Greg's feeling pretty slick at the beginning of this season. He's got a bigger role at ATN. I see him as a guy who now goes to the gym, has a [luxury fitness company] Equinox membership. And he's trying to look like a more complete man in this business world. He's got more responsibility – he's overseeing other people, so I think he feels like a mini-boss. A mini-Tom perhaps. And, yeah, I'm still very much into those specifics. Choosing the suits: the brands of the suits matter and the price of the suits matter. Same with shoes, and watches: Greg acquired another watch or two in the period [between series] we haven't seen him in. So he's definitely got some more money coming in now, a bigger salary.

How have you changed as an actor over these four series and seven years?
NICHOLAS: Because this writing is so elevated, I think it's trained me to read a script differently. Just to be more thoughtful and look for more detail. Jesse and the writers, they write with so much context from years and years and hundreds of scenes [and] history for the character. They pack in so much humour and intention. I never want to miss an opportunity they give Greg in the writing. And then making big decisions for yourself. You're in a big cast, you can't run every decision by Mark Mylod or [another] director or Jesse. You have to make strong choices for yourself. So I liked coming in with my three, four options of how to play this scene and knowing what I might try those first few takes. And if one of them that I thought was going to be great doesn't work, then I know Jesse or Mark will be able to help me find it. I trust Jesse's instincts completely. He would always know what would calibrate the scene, or my performance, to land right where the writing needed it to be.

Finally, very briefly, what can viewers expect from this final series?
NICHOLAS: Business.

Business as unusual?
NICHOLAS: Business. A family doing business.

'Succession' streams on Neon in New Zealand - new episodes out on Mondays.

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