Awards Daily talks to everyone’s favorite Roy cousin, Nicholas Braun, about how Greg starts out Succession Season 3 as Kendall’s bitch before becoming Tom’s top dog.
If you look closely at Season 3 of Succession, Nicholas Braun’s cousin Greg has an arc. . .as a dog.
Early in the season, Tom tells Greg to “Stay” in his office and threatens the runaway to return home before finally elevating him to a “Greg-weiler” in the finale.
“Greg starts the show [in Season 1] in a dog costume,” says Braun. “He’s Doderick the Dog. So I have always thought of him as a floppy puppy dog, the eagerness, the way he looks at people—that’s a dog. He’s a dog that’s maybe being beaten a bit, and we’ll see what that turns him into more and more. But he’s being trained by Tom.”
Ever the flip-flopper, after joining Kendall’s (Jeremy Strong) side in the Season 2 finale, Greg almost immediately regrets his decision in Season 3.
“I think he thought he teamed up with a powerhouse, with the side that can’t lose. It seemed that way, and then I think he quickly realizes it’s an empty promise. There’s not actually a real brotherhood between the two of them [Greg and Kendall]. [Kendall’s] not going to protect him, and he’s kind of a guy full of empty promises. So, yeah, he chose the wrong side. I think he does take some punishment for what he did. He made some bad calls and he got punished for it.”
Greg spends much of the season trying to find guidance and confidence to find the right lane for himself. Is it Tom? Is it his Grandfather? It’s certainly not Kendall.
“I would say this season felt paternal in a way, that Tom is not the older brother that Kendall might have been, but more like a father figure. He takes him under his wing. That scene in the diner felt really important. So that bond got stronger this year. But I think this season was a lot about testing the waters and realizing, ‘Oh, that’s not gonna work out. Maybe my Grandpa will save me and I’ll be on the moral side of justice?’ And that goes wrong, too. He’s running into a lot of obstacles this year.”
Even if Greg is still needed at Waystar Royco. While Kendall got the boot and was banned from the premises, Greg still has an office (albeit a messy one).
“To Logan, in Episode 3, he realizes Greg has value. He’s needed on that side. He can’t write him off like he can write Kendall off. Kendall is out of the building, Kendall is gone from Waystar, but because there’s some leverage that Greg still has, he’s allowed to be in the mix, and I think Greg also thinks, maybe they don’t know? I think they’re allowing him to live that lie.”
It seems like everyone sees the power that Greg might have except for Greg—and Kendall.
“Kendall is really up his own ass and also maybe doesn’t think Greg has the balls to [burn him]. I think that is a learning experience for Greg. I think this season is about fear and Greg conquering fear. He gets bullied and pushed around, and I think that’s why you get a sense in the finale, when Tom proposes let’s go to the dark side, Greg’s like, ‘Yeah, I’m ready.’ There’s relief in the permission to not care so much and not be afraid of everything. I think that’s a big part of Greg’s arc in the future and not to get too macro about it, but I think people in these circles, the people who end up surviving—Greg ends up surviving—they acquire the skills and maybe lose some of their morality along the way. That’s Greg’s arc. He’s getting chipped away at and enjoying the opportunity to maybe have that more.”
In one especially vulnerable scene during Kendall’s 40th birthday party, Kendall calls Greg “the world’s biggest parasite” and “a human tapeworm.” You can see the hurt and disappointment on Greg’s face in the moment.
“I think it’s one of those things you try to ignore about yourself. How substantial are these relationships really? With Kendall, I—Greg—thought there was something. When someone calls bullshit on Greg, I think that does hurt. The few relationships that he has, he’d like to believe in them. Maybe it’s my choice, but I do think Greg is the most sensitive in that he reacts for real to things. He doesn’t instantly cover them up like Roman or Shiv. I think those are opportunities for me to show that Greg is a sensitive person in a cold world.”
However, by the end of the season at the Tuscany wedding, we see a different Greg, one who seems more relaxed and self-assured when it comes to juggling Comfrey and the Contessa as potential romantic prospects.
“The last two episodes, he’s quite confident with these women. Comfrey, he’s ready to throw her out, and then Contessa is this very bold pursuit, to go for this famous royalty. Something’s getting going that he’s running with. It was interesting to find that new level. It’s like, okay, he’s stepping up to the plate in this way.”
And then Tom strikes at just the right time with the proposal to double-cross the Roy siblings, including his wife, and work with patriarch Logan (Brian Cox). Suddenly Greg has newfound confidence to make a big move that might actually pay off.
“So much of what Greg has been dealing with this season and earlier seasons as well, is ‘Do I do this or do I do this?’ The choice is so much of it, but when he’s told by Tom, ‘Come with me to do this,’ I think that’s why that feels so good. ‘Great, tell me where to go.’ And it sounds like I’m protected. That’s what he needs the most. A roof over his head.”
All seasons of Succession are available on HBO Max.