Matthew Macfadyen discusses THAT Nero conversation from the latest episode of Succession 2 weeks ago

Matthew Macfadyen discusses THAT Nero conversation from the latest episode of Succession

It will likely be remembered as THE line from this season of Succession.

Every season of Succession has some incredible killer lines, with so many of them now finding their way into the public lexicon. Realistically, where would we be as a society without the introduction of the term "Slime Puppy"?


In the latest episode of Succession, the third season's fourth episode - titled 'Lion in the Meadow' - pretty much every member of the Roy family has found their backs against the wall, with pressure mounting on all sides.

Perhaps none more so than Tom (Matthew Macfadyen), who was offered to throw himself on the sword, offering himself as the sacrifical lamb for the entire family, and now realising that might come attached with some pretty hefty jail time.

During some down time with Greg (Nicholas Braun), Tom brings up a particular story from history, and with it, adds another classic Succession line of dialogue:

"Greg, what do you know about Nero and Sporus? Sporus was a young slave boy. He was Nero's favourite. And do you know what Nero did to him? Well, Nero pushed his wife down the stairs. And then he had Sporus castrated and he married him instead. And he gave him a ring and he made him dress up like his dead wife.

"I bought a book on the Romans to read in prison, it's a big book. It's a decent book. I'd castrate you and marry you in a heartbeat."

Which results in Greg giving the most awkward smile in human history:


Ahead of the episode airing, JOE caught up with Macfadyen to discuss the third season of the show, and we had to mention this interaction simply because it is so memorable, and ask Macfadyen to shed some light on this scene and the very complicated relationship between Tom and Greg.

Macfadyen told us the following:

"He loves Greg. And he really loves Greg. It's complicated. I think he genuinely really does like Greg, and I think he feels like he is a sort of father figure mentor to him. But also Greg is a sort of threat, and he always was from the get go. Because he's a cousin, he's sort of blood family, which Tom isn't. And he's younger and he's got a sort of cheerful sensibility. And he's taller than Tom, which is worrying, a little bit.

"So I think Tom genuinely needs him, and he's one of the sort of constants, where Tom doesn't have many of those anchors and I think when Greg's presence is a bit shaky, like in season two when Greg moots the idea of leaving, it is really, really upsetting [for Tom].

"I think Tom wanted to help Greg with his career, but Greg seems to have been able to work it out and now he's outgrowing Tom, and that is the growing worry.


"But it is a great scene, such a beautifully written scene with those classical references. And the threat of looming possible jail time, that is a big deal for anybody, that is quite scary, even though he's probably end up in quite a cushy jail."

You can watch our full interview with Macfadyen below, and you can also check out our chats with Alan Ruck (aka Connor Roy) here and J. Smith-Cameron (aka Gerri Kellman) here.

The third season (as well as the first two seasons) of Succession is currently available to watch on NOW.