Kieran Culkin annoyed Brian Cox on the set of ‘Succession’ by learning his lines too fast

Succession
Image via HBO

Succession star Kieran Culkin admits that his ability to learn lines quickly frustrated Brian Cox. The two play father and son in HBO’s Emmy-awarded series about a family fighting for control of media conglomerate Waystar Royco, and a bit of rivalry (albeit good-natured) exists behind the scenes as well.

In an interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Culkin told the story of when his co-star became fed up with his acting ability. “I learn lines incredibly fast now because I’ve just been doing it since I was six,” said Culkin. “It’s almost like a fun party trick. It pissed off Bryan Cox one day, who plays Logan Roy, because he’s been acting for a very long time, but he has a process, and it takes him a very long time to learn lines. We showed up to set one day, and we got to rehearse, and I was like, ‘We’re doing this scene? I don’t know it.”‘ Culkin and Cox then did a rehearsal, but they were only halfway through before getting called to set, and when Culkin was able to say the lines perfectly, Cox exclaimed, “Dammit!”

Culkin has been acting since the age of six, acting in a small part alongside his brother Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone. He’s since gone on to star in many movies, including Igby Goes Down and Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World.

In Succession, Culkin plays Roman, the youngest of the Roy siblings who always comes with a punchy one-liner ready to go and greatly fears the all-powerful patriarch Logan Roy. Culkin won the Critics Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2022 and the series won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama in 2020. This year, Succession has continued its Emmy domination with 25 nominations, making it the most nominated program of 2022.

Despite Culkin’s uncanny ability to remember lines lightning-fast, Cox is no slouch when it comes to acting. He’s been in many films including Braveheart, Troy, and Churchill, and he’s a veteran of the London stage, performing in Titus Andronicus for the Royal Shakespeare Company and Rat in the Skull for the Royal Court, which earned him two Olivier Awards for Best Actor.

Succession season three ended dramatically with Logan revealing that he’s cashed out and has let Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård) take control of the board, much to his children’s fury. Their father seethes with anger as he tells them that they will have to work to achieve success, just as he did. It was fraught with emotion and double-crosses and leaves all of them in a precarious situation come season four.

Though filming has begun for Succession season four, a release date has not been set.