A recent profile from The New Yorker on Succession star Jeremy Strong, which revealed the unusual lengths he goes to for his craft, has sparked quite a lot of conversation online…
In the piece, writer Michael Schulman included several not-so-flattering anecdotes about the 42-year-old actor’s unconventional approach to acting. Specifically, Aaron Sorkin, who worked with Strong on The Trial of the Chicago 7, recalled when Strong actually requested to use actual tear gas for a scene with hundreds of other people present. Another part touched on how he constantly pulled pranks on his co-star for the film, Frank Langella, just because he thought his character would do something like that. This included playing the kazoo in the middle of his monologue.
The article also hints that Strong may be “difficult” to work with. His Succession co-star Brian Cox pretty much sums up his attitude towards acting, saying:
“The result that Jeremy gets is always pretty tremendous … I just worry about what he does to himself. I worry about the crises he puts himself through in order to prepare.”
Basically, the story doesn’t exactly portray Strong in the best of light to some. And now, it has sparked a huge debate online — with many blasting the star for his antics. However, several colleagues like Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, and Sorkin have spoken out against what they believe is an unfair characterization of him.
Hathaway, who worked with Strong in Serenity and the upcoming Armageddon Time, penned a message of support on Instagram, saying:
“As the week ends, I would like to send some love to Jeremy Strong who I’m lucky enough to have worked with twice and who I am proud to consider a friend. I deeply value his qualities of thoughtfulness, sincerity, authenticity, sweetness, depth, kindness, generosity, as well as his powerful intelligence and extraordinary sensitivity. He is an incredibly talented and inventive artist who is fully engaged and committed on set, as well as a passionate, open person in life. I find all of these things inspiring. (oh, and he’s fun.) Anyway he and the entire cast crushed this season of @succession (for the record, the work is where the story begins and ends for me.) Congrats to them all and bring on the finale!”
On Tuesday, Chastain first slammed the article for being “incredibly one sided”:
“Ive known Jeremy Strong for 20yrs & worked with him on 2 films. Hes a lovely person. Very inspiring & passionate about his work. The profile that came out on him was incredibly one sided. Don’t believe everything you read folks. Snark sells but maybe its time we move beyond it.”
The actress then teamed up with Sorkin, who apparently avoids social media altogether, to help him clarify some of the quotes used in The New Yorker piece. In the letter that has trended on Twitter, he insisted that his comments on Strong were misrepresented:
“I think I helped Mr. Schulman create what I believe is a distorted picture of Jeremy that asks us to roll our eyes at his acting process.”
He also included the full answers to Schulman’s questions, which the director answered via email, including one where he gave his take on Strong’s process:
“Jeremy’s not a nut. He doesn’t make people call him by his character’s name on the set. But he builds himself an on-ramp so that he’s already started to give the performance by the time the director calls ‘action.’”
You can read the entire letter (below):
Following the online debate, TheWrap reports that a spokesperson for The New Yorker addressed the intense criticism, saying:
“This is a nuanced, multi-sided portrait of an extremely dedicated actor. It has inspired a range of reactions from people, including many who say that they are even more impressed by Jeremy Strong’s artistry after having read the article.”
What are your thoughts on this, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments (below). You can ch-ch-check out the profile HERE.
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