The actor recalls the discomfort of playing an institutionalised character so close to home in the popular comedy about autism
‘Succession’ star Nicholas Braun: Cousin Greg ‘feels unsafe all the time’
Nicholas Braun has described working on Netflix’s new comedy Succession as “suicidal” and said his character’s inner turmoil over his role in an autistic family feels “unsafe all the time”.
Braun stars as Stanford, the son of Roy (Brian Cox), the patriarch of a multi-generational and multi-faceted family. Just before the second season, writing in the Hollywood Reporter, Braun described the material as “profoundly trying. It’s emotional, it’s hurtful, it’s angry, it’s conflicted, it’s hilarious. In other words, it’s exactly the kind of stuff you’d expect from a grownup actor trying to get a breakthrough role.
“This show is like a sudden appearance of the ghost of your own parents; like looking into the mirror and seeing yourself in someone else’s skin.”
The series is about the hit HBO comedy Entourage, but Andersen claims it isn’t “a big turnabout from a fully fleshed-out portrait of narcissism or money”. The show follows the political machinations of the Betts family over 12 years and sees Don (Jeremy Strong) acquiring more and more control of the family business despite his children having divided power.
“Stanford feels, like me in a lot of ways, also unsafe all the time,” Braun told the Empire Awards, recalling the “raunchy” jokes that Cox indulged in before he understood that Cummings and the adult actor were just characters talking about the world.
The entire cast went on the 2018 promotional trail together: “I’d just been so nervous about having to do it all with the same group,” Braun said, but now feels that they are “exactly like a family who can actually sit around and say, ‘Ack! I’m shit at everything!’”
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Braun’s portrayal of younger brother Stan has led to comparisons with younger brother Dolly in Will and Grace. He added that casting for Stanford and Will had been dictated by the role. “There were a lot of people who were great and really great actors, but none of them felt quite like Stanford. Like, there was the Venn diagram of the things I wanted and the parts that were available, and there was no overlap.”
Braun also told Empire that he had enjoyed telling a crowd that he was “greatly appreciated by my older brother”.
Succession is one of three Netflix comedies set in the US with Friends to follow in 2020.
• The headline of this article was amended on 31 May to clarify that there are three Netflix comedy shows set in the US, not two.