On “Succession,” Sarah Snook plays an heiress who embodies the luxe lawlessness of the one percent. Offscreen, however, she has found a less Machiavellian path to fulfillment. Snook spoke with Town & Country ahead of the season 3 premiere tonight to talk about the upcoming season, how she originally turned down the part of Shiv, and getting married to Australian actor Dave Lawson during the pandemic: “We’re in that very fortunate and strange position to be like,‘ Well, f**k this pandemic,’ but also we wouldn’t have had this relationship if it never happened.”
On the scene in the upcoming season of Succession where Shiv spits into her brother Kendall’s planner after he’s done something awful: “It’s brilliant. When I saw that on the page, I was like, ‘Yes!’ …I love that there are these big decisions [the family] make on the macro level, affecting the global business, but when you get down to it, it’s just siblings being siblings and spitting.”
On her new husband, the Australian actor Dave Lawson, and how their relationship began during the pandemic while sheltering in place together with a group of friends: “We’re in that very fortunate and strange position to be like,‘ Well, f**k this pandemic,’ but also we wouldn’t have had this relationship if it never happened.”
On leaning into her character Shiv’s tendency to play her cards close to the vest: “There’s a taciturn nature to Shiv where she will observe and sit back, and part of that was just me going, ‘Well, I don’t have the confidence to improv in an American accent right now, so I’ll just stand and watch and have an opinion, but not say it out loud.’ That fit Shiv.”
On turning down the role of Shiv at first: It was a bold move that, ironically “felt like my first step toward Shiv,” Snook says, adding that while she loved the script, she wasn’t sure she was the right person to play an American heiress. Plus, her management team felt she deserved more money. The producers came back with a better offer, but even after Snook said yes, she couldn’t shake the feeling that it was all going to fall apart. “I felt like this Antipodean bargaining chip that they were going to use to get a better person.” It wasn’t until she was halfway through shooting Succession’s first season that Snook let go of her fears. What changed? Partly, Snook says, she realized it would be too expensive to reshoot everything with a different actress.
Jess Armstrong, creator of Succession, on Snook’s character on the show and her ability to express multiple conflicting emotions at once, helping fans root for Shiv even when she’s behaving abominably: “That is why it’s so enjoyable to watch [Snook] playing the role. Shiv is somebody who’s got a moral compass operating, but sometimes it’s pointing in a different direction than her actions.”
The November issue of Town & Country magazine will be on Newsstands October 26th.
[Photo Credit: Vein Tran/Town & Country Magazine]
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