We asked the pair of actors if their onscreen alter-egos could become a real couple.
Kieran Culkin and J. Smith Cameron Succession
Credit: Peter Kramer/HBO

One of the most delightfully weird aspects of Succession is the burgeoning romance (if that's the right word) between Kieran Culkin's louche media executive Roman Roy and the much more all-business Waystar Royco general counsel Gerri Kellman, played by J. Smith-Cameron. While the show's writers play these odd couples for laughs both characters do seem to feel affection, and maybe more, towards the other. Smith-Cameron teases that their flirtatiousness will continue on season 3 of the show, which premieres Sunday night on HBO.

"Why not? What's to stop them?" says the actress. "I think it's on a certain trajectory. It seems to be the two characters have different ambitions for their liaison. I think Gerri would like to see it become a dynamic business partnership. I know what Roman says but I don't know what he really thinks is going to happen. But then in addition they've gotten kind of attached to each other. Like, there's something between friendship and something almost romantic. They've gotten under each other's skin, they've gotten kind of attached but overall they have these different ambitions. Gerri becomes increasingly frustrated with his playfulness because she doesn't want him to blow it."

J. Smith Cameron and Kieran Culkin attend the "Succession" European Premiere during the 65th BFI London Film Festival at The Royal Festival Hall on October 15, 2021 in London, England.
Credit: Lia Toby/Getty

Could Culkin imagine the two becoming a real couple and living happily ever after?

"There's no such thing," says Culkin, with a laugh. "It couldn't possibly be anything specific. I think if it becomes one thing, Roman's going to bail. If suddenly she's like, 'I really like you, let's date,' he'd be like [adopts pathetic child-like tone] 'Mommy, that's scary! I don't like!' and try to run away. It's the chase and the forbiddenness of it. I think he would follow through with it, but it has to be weird."

Smith-Cameron has a similarly dismal view of the pair enjoying a fairytale ending.

"I don't think Gerri thinks of them as a couple. I think they could run Waystar," says the actress. "[In] the world view of the show, the universe that is the Succession universe, nothing like that happens for any of these characters!  They're all thwarted in love. No one's going to ride off into the sunset and be happy, I'm afraid."

Watch the trailer for season 3 of Succession above.

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