NOTE: This interview is a republication- Source: The New Yorker (by Rebecca Mead).
Afew minutes before Jesse Armstrong was scheduled to call for a chat earlier this month, he sent a polite text saying that he was “adrift in traffic”: could he delay by fifteen? Traffic congestion served as an early plot point in Season 1 of “Succession”: who can forget the excruciating sequence in which Kendall Roy, having plotted the boardroom ouster of Logan Roy, the patriarch who won’t move on, is stuck in traffic—forced to leap out of his car in order to run in his leather-soled shoes toward the Waystar Royco headquarters, delivering his regicidal ultimatum while gasping for breath over the speakerphone? Seeing the ways in which even the super-rich cannot insulate themselves entirely against the vagaries of the outside world—traffic, weather—is one of the many pleasures offered by “Succession.” In three seasons since the show débuted, in June of 2018, as an unsettling comedy-drama hybrid, it has become an ensemble exploration of gnarled humanity at the highest levels of power, offering resonances with contemporary media dynasties and the Julio-Claudians alike.
When Armstrong got on the phone, precisely fifteen minutes after the appointed time, he sounded much calmer than the harried would-be usurper, played by Jeremy Strong, whom he had created. There had merely been busier thoroughfares anticipated on his route from Williamsburg, where he stays when he is in New York—Armstrong’s home is London—to the editing suites in Greenwich Village, where he was working on the show’s upcoming season, which airs on HBO starting next month. But the occasion of the call nonetheless felt consequential: Armstrong was ready to reveal that this season, the fourth, would be the last. In our conversation, which has been edited for length and clarity, Armstrong talks about his collaborative creative process, the cliffhanger end of Season 3, his decision to bring his creation to its dramatic conclusion, and whether there will be a successor to “Succession.”
Read the full interview here