Oscar-winner plays billionaire investor Josh Aaronson on show

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Imagine being asked to not only guest star on one of your favorite TV shows but getting to appear in an extended sequence with two of the series' most acclaimed actors. That's a scenario Adrien Brody no longer has to fantasize about. The Oscar-winner made an impressive debut on Sunday's episode of Succession playing Waystar Royco investor Josh Aaronson who demands that the warring Logan Roy (Brian Cox) and Kendall (Jeremy Strong) both meet with Aaronson at the billionaire's house in the Hamptons. Speaking with EW, Brody revealed that he is indeed a longtime viewer of the hit HBO show.

Succession
Adrien Brody in 'Succession' season 3, episode 4
| Credit: Macall B. Polay/HBO

"Yes. Yes, very much so," said the star of The Pianist and The French Dispatch. "I've been a fan of the show from the early days. It's very rare that you get asked to come onboard something that you love and appreciate. It was very fortuitous for me."

Below, Brody talks about the episode, working with Cox and Strong, and cold clam consumption.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The first time I watched the episode I thought your character seemed like a nice, or at least somewhat reasonable, guy, compared to the Roy clan. But the second time, I thought maybe he had lied about his kid being unwell, and maybe he dragged Logan out of Kendall out to the Hamptons for no good reason, and maybe he should have gotten a golf cart for Logan before he collapsed. I started to think that perhaps Josh was as bad as everyone else on the show.

ADRIEN BRODY: Ah, well, that's okay to be ambivalent about Josh. I feel like he's a nicer guy in my opinion. I don't know if he's an angel but he's someone who's much more in touch with the world around him, in touch with reality, and he's toying with them These are tests, right? It's pretty apparent that he is letting this meeting unfold and has a plan to, I guess, flush out the nonsense and see if this is just a charade or if there is a bond that exists. He's trying to break through by ratcheting up all the stakes. Unfortunately, it reveals a selfishness, a lack of empathy, or just a block in being able to let go of the control that [Logan and Kendall] are both clamoring for. It's fascinating to watch that and you really witness a troubled family. [Laughs] I think it's a calculated play and I don't think it's completely malicious. [But] even if Josh is alluding to being lost I'm sure he's very well versed with his property. He's not someone who can't get his way out of his own sprawling ranch. So I do feel like it's ratcheting up the stakes for them and seeing how things fall.

Succession Adrien Brody
Brian Cox, Adrien Brody, and Jeremy Strong in 'Succession.'
| Credit: Macall B. Polay/HBO

How much of a background did you create for Josh?

I think I brought quite a bit to him. Jesse Armstrong (Succession creator) and the writers were really very kind and collaborative and listened to a lot of thoughts that I had about Josh and people that I had encountered in my life. He's an amalgamation of people that I know and then he's also in part designed by their imagination. But he's complex. What's fascinating to me is, no matter how much you achieve, for some individuals, it's not quite enough and there is just this need for winning. They always like to win. I think that's what the three of them really have in common, they like to win and they can all sense weakness and try to use it to their advantage.

I understand Brian and Jeremy have different processes when it comes to acting. What was that like for you?

It was really wonderful and fascinating. You're right, they do have very different approaches to the craft. Brian has a wonderful stillness and strength that is very accessible to him and Jeremy is much more Method and approaches things in a way to really make sure that he is suffering through it or in the zone, so to speak. And I relate to both approaches. It was really interesting to me because at times I have been much more like Jeremy and for other roles, I'm more similar to Brian's way of working. In this case, I was kind of in the middle, so it was really interesting.

How much shellfish did you eat while shooting the lunch scene?

[Laughs] Oh, more than I care to. It was fun. I haven't seen the episode yet, so I forgot about that. It was so fun. That was a bonus! That was just because they happened to have stuff there for me. I love that he doesn't give a shit. [Laughs] I thought, wow, this is just such a great opportunity, so I ate a lot of cold clams. I've eaten worse for movies. I had to eat a worm for a movie or I opted to eat a worm for effect for a movie role. Yeah. I've eaten quite a few things, metaphorically and not. [Laughs] All for the art! All for the art, Clark!

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Succession
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  • TV Show
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  • 2
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  • Jesse Armstrong
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  • HBO

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