Over the past five years, Alan Ruck would typically watch new episodes of Succession as they aired on Sunday nights. But when it was time for the series finale last weekend, he just couldn’t bring himself to watch it end.
“We had some family stuff going on, and it got to be late, and it was like, I don’t want to do that now,” he tells me in this preview of next week’s episode of The Last Laugh podcast. Instead, he woke up Monday morning and turned it on around 8 a.m. “And I was messed up all day,” Ruck says with a wry chuckle. “I mean, I just got the blues pretty hard.”
Ruck says he came away from the experience feeling like creator Jesse Armstrong and the show’s writers “did a beautiful job of sewing everything up in a way that made perfect sense, and honored the spirit of the show.”
“There was no happy ending, I mean, except for Tom,” he jokes, adding, “Be careful what you wish for.”
Ruck’s character, Connor Roy—the real “eldest boy” of the family despite what Jeremy Strong’s Kendall might think—only really appears in one scene relatively early in the final episode. He’s administering the “Great Reallocation” at his late father’s townhouse, which he bought off Marcia in an earlier episode for a cool $63 million.
With the ambassadorship to Slovenia on the table—if Jeryd Mencken can retain his precarious hold on the presidency—Connor and his new wife Willa are exploring the possibility of a “long-distance thing” to “add another dimension” to their relationship.
“I don’t actually think it bodes well,” Ruck says of their arrangement, citing the overarching theory of Succession that “people don’t change.” He adds, “For the characters in this show, I think that’s absolutely true.”
“So Connor and Willa had a really sweet moment, a brief bit of time where they were together and they were partners and they were equals,” he continues, “and they had that great scene together on the day of the wedding/death. And then they got married.”
But in that final scene together, he thinks Willa is “getting scared.” Ruck imagines her thinking, “I’m going to spend the rest of my life with this guy, we’re going to Slovenia, I don’t want to go to Slovenia, I want to do my plays,” whereas Connor “was really counting on her coming along.”
“I think without her he’s just going to be a mess,” Ruck predicts. “So I don’t know. I mean, either Mencken makes it and Connor will go to Slovenia, but I don’t think he’ll last there too long. I think he’ll relinquish his post pretty quickly if Willa doesn’t come to see him pretty often.”
On the other hand, if Mencken ends up not becoming president and Connor’s “around all the time in New York,” he says that will “probably drive Willa out of her mind.”
“So I don’t know, I’m not that hopeful for them, really,” Ruck says wistfully. And it’s too bad, he adds, because, “I’d love to see that ‘cow-print couch yea long.’”
Subscribe to The Last Laugh podcast now to hear our full episode with Alan Ruck about the ‘Succession’ finale, putting himself into the character of Connor Roy, breaking out of the ‘Ferris Bueller’ box, and more when it drops next Tuesday, June 6.
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