"This season for Shiv is really about self-identity and how she fits in this family — whether she wants to be in this family."

Succession star Sarah Snook is not going to lie: shooting a hefty chunk of the HBO show's third season in Italy earlier this year was as nice as it sounds.

"Italy was pretty swanky, I've got to say," says the actress, who plays Siobhan "Shiv" Roy on the Emmy-winning series, about a media empire and the cunning family that controls it. "We went to places like La Foce and these beautiful Tuscan villas. We had been in a pandemic for so long at that point, and [spent] seven months shooting in winter in New York where everything was closed, that getting to go to Italy for six weeks in the summer was pretty special."

Sarah Snook
'Succession' star Sarah Snook
| Credit: Arturo Holmes/WireImage

Season 3, which premieres Oct. 17, tracks the fallout of the decision by Shiv's brother Kendall (Jeremy Strong) to betray their father, Logan (Brian Cox), at the end of season 2. Snook says viewers should expect "more of the same, which is all that juicy stuff, right?," adding, "I think this season for Shiv is really about self-identity and how she fits in this family — whether she wants to be in this family. Alliances are being laid. What are the consequences of that? I think that's the same for each of the siblings, for Kendall and Roman (Kieran Culkin) and Connor (Alan Ruck) as well."

So who does the Australian actress think would make the best head of Waystar Royco once Logan eventually steps aside? "Maybe an outside person? Not the siblings," she says, with a laugh. "I think the siblings would probably drive it into the ground."

Sarah Snook and Kieran Culkin on season 3 of 'Succession'
| Credit: Macall B. Polay/HBO

New cast members this season include Sanaa Lathan, who portrays a high-powered lawyer; Adrien Brody, who plays a billionaire investor; and Alexander Skarsgard, who's been cast as a tech company CEO.

"We love getting fresh eyes and new blood, seeing who else these Roys know, and expanding the world," says Snook. "I saw Cherry Jones [who appeared on season 2] last night, and it was like, 'Ahhh, I want Nan Pierce to come back!' It's the same with these characters that Adrien Brody and Alexander Skarsgard and Sanaa Lathan [play] — they really exist in the world."

Snook hints that season 3 will see more flirtatious shenanigans between the louche Roman Roy and J. Smith-Cameron's more uptight corporate veteran Gerri. "Yeah, you can't leave that hanging and not play around with that dynamic," she says. "That's just ripe for the storytelling."

Is she shipping the pair? "Shipping them?" Snook asks. You know, hoping they'll become a real couple?

"Oh, I don't know, actually," she replies. "It's a fascinating relationship. I hope just for my own enjoyment and entertainment that it continues."

For her part, Snook, perhaps inspired by her stint in Italy, has pressed pause since the season wrapped. "I've been taking a break in nature," she says. "Just living it up in the country, saying hi to the kangaroos, and being very Australian."

Succession season 3 premieres Oct. 17 on HBO. Watch the trailer for it above.

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