Jeremy Strong, who plays high-strung son Kendall Roy in Succession, took the Emmy tonight for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series – his first Emmy nomination and first win.
Strong seemed shocked, almost speechless. “Brian Cox, I share this with you,” he said in his acceptance speech. “I read a poem by Steven Dunn. ‘All I ever wanted was a book so good I’d be finishing it for the rest of my life.’ This job was that for me,” he said. “Oh man, thank you so much,”
His performance was much lauded — angst-ridden, drug addled, power hungry yet vulnerable. But the win was a bit of a surprise. Most pundits had expected Cox, who plays his vicious screen dad and the imposing family patriarch Logan Roy, or well as Jason Bateman’s suburban mob money launderer, Marty Byrde in Ozard, to take the prize. That said, Strong has taken the Lead Actor Drama Series Critics’ Choice Award for his role.
His win did tick a key box for HBO in a virtual COVID Emmys show marked by a massive Pop TV sweep for comedy Schitt’s Creek. With Strong’s win, HBO caught up with Pop’s seven wins — later passing it.
Strong plays Logan Roy’s second oldest son and initially the prime candidate to take over the family’s global media company, Waystar Royco, when his father retires. His father balks, Kendall fights back setting up waves of backstabbing and office and family politics by turn hilarious and tragic. The show, quickly beloved, focuses on a Murdoch-like media dynasty – including a right-wing cable news channel with an anchor whose dog has the same name as Hitler’s. It captured the national zeitgeist.
Succession, created by Jesse Cox, is a production of HBO Entertainment in association with Project Zeus, Hyperobject Industries and Gary Sanchez Productions.
Strong, 41 (The Good Wife, Masters of Sex) is a presence in TV, film and theater. Film credits include The Gentleman, Lincoln, Selma, The Big Short, The Trial of the Chicago 7 – upcoming).
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