‘Succession’ Creator Was ‘Terrified’ When Jeremy Strong Tried to Jump Into the River While Filming Last Scene: ‘That Was Not Our Plan’

“Succession” creator Jesse Armstrong admitted in a new interview on NPR’s “Fresh Air” that he was “terrified” when Jeremy Strong spontaneously tried to jump into the Hudson River while filming Kendall Roy’s final scene on the Emmy-winning HBO drama series. Strong revealed the tidbit in a Vanity Fair interview published after the “Succession” series finale aired on May 29.

“I was terrified. I was terrified that he might fall in and be injured,” Armstrong said. “He didn’t look like he was going to jump in. But once he climbed over that barrier, when you film, there are generally a lot of health and safety assessments made, and that was not our plan that day.”

If we’d even been thinking of that happening, we would have had boats and frogmen and all kinds of safety measures, which we didn’t have,” Armstrong added. “So my first thought was for his physical safety as a human being, not anything about the character. That’s what I felt on the day. Good Lord, above.”

During the last moments of “Succession,” Strong’s Kendall finds himself alone in Battery Park and without control of his family’s media empire. His brother-in-law, Tom Wambsgans, has been named the new Waystar CEO following the company’s merger with GoJo. Kendall has been stripped of his life’s purpose. The show cuts to black with Kendall starring blankly at the river ahead, but Strong tried to take things further.

“I tried to go into the water after we cut — I got up from that bench and went as fast as I could over the barrier and onto the pilings, and the actor playing Colin raced over,” Strong told Vanity Fair. “I didn’t know I was gonna do that, and he didn’t know, but he raced over and stopped me. I don’t know whether in that moment I felt that Kendall just wanted to die — I think he did — or if he wanted to be saved by essentially a proxy of his father.”

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