Succession director reveals crucial Roman line was edited out of final episode 4 months ago

Succession director reveals crucial Roman line was edited out of final episode

This would have brought the youngest Roy sibling back, full circle.

"It's just nothing," Roman Roy proclaims in the Succession finale, as he sits cross-legged on a conference room table. "It's nothing. It's f**king nothing."


For a set of siblings as self-obsessed and naïve as the Roys, the observation from the youngest of the brood shows he at least knew he was playing a game.

Succession ended its' four-season run on HBO, on Sunday, and - there are spoilers below if you have not yet watched it - left us with as many unanswered questions, perhaps more, that tied up bows.

Many viewers had hoped that at least one of Logan Roy's four children would emerge from the battle to keep Waystar Royco relevant and powerful with some shred of victory. For one of them to leave with a piece of humanity, or hope, left intact.

As it was, it seems as eldest brother Connor Roy will pin his hopes to Jeryd Mencken becoming president so he can get a sweet ambassadorial role, and be ignored in a completely new country for a while. Shiv hitched her wagon back to husband Tom but that is a shaky alliance that will be played out in the viper's pit of her late father's old company.


Kendall looked to be utterly bereft in the show's final scenes, but the man has a high threshold for bullshit and spin so he could use his takeover stack of cash to find another company to invest in, or just get involved in an NBA team ownership group. Lots of rich white guys with too much money and not enough sense in that sphere.

What of Roman Roy, then? Last seen sipping on a cocktail and experiencing multiple emotional shifts in the space of a few facial expressions, Succession director and co-producer Mark Mylod has offered more clarity on his story arc.

Roman Roman Roy (Kieran Culkin) signs his part of the Gojo takeover deal. (Photograph by Macall B. Polay/HBO)

Mark Mylod on Roman Roy in final episode

“In a reductive, brutal way, Roman ends up exactly where he started,” Succession creator Jesse Armstrong has said on the youngest Roy.

“He is that guy still. And he maybe easily could have been a playboy jerk with some slightly nasty instincts, and some quite funny jokes. He could’ve stayed in a bar, being that guy. And this has been a bit of a detour in his life, I would say.”

In an interview with Joanna Robinson on The Prestige TV podcast, director Mark Mylod echoes those sentiments.


Roman, he feels, flirted with this idea of him coming in from the outside, after his father first became ill, and taking on more power and responsibility. However, as the whole facade crumbled, he looks content to drift back to that front of being an uncaring, martini-sipping playboy.

"Relatively, one could make that argument [that Roman has the most optimistic ending]," Mylod said. "Yes, I think so."

"I find it absolutely heart-rending," he added, "because, of many things, Kieran Culkin's performance... Only an hour early he had said, 'We are bullshit'. This character has had this self-knowledge that he has been happy to anaesthetize his whole life. But finally the anaesthetic wears off and, bam, there's the truth, horribly...

"The past two years, in terms of the character, is just a little detour and he has found himself exactly back where he started, like it was just a tangent that never happened. A wistful dream.

"I can't remember if we even left it in the final edit now, but on the script, when he walked into the bar [at the end], his words - and I'm probably paraphrasing again - were, 'What up, motherf**kers', which was a deliberate echo, in Jesse's writing, of the very first words we hear the character say, when he is introduced in episode one."

Yes, in fact, that line did not make the final edit.

To Mylod, the line confirms that 'after all that endeavour and noise', Roman ends up exactly where he started.


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