Matthew Macfadyen has been discussing the shocking culmination of Succession season 3 with Deadline, in which he describes Tom Wambsgans’ decision to betray Shiv as “an accumulation, a pivot by a thousand cuts.”
Macfadyen says that he and the rest of the cast didn’t know what was coming; “That’s the fun of it. I’m so fascinated to know what they come up with. We don’t get the episodes until the day before we start shooting them, which is the day before the table read. Every episode is ‘Wow’. You can’t plan anything and I love that way of working.” So, therefore, he also has no idea what is coming in season 4.
However, when Macfadyen discovered that Tom Wambsgans would turn against his wife, it made sense to him; “From the very beginning, he’s had to take a lot. She speaks of an open marriage on their wedding night; it hasn’t been an easy ride for Tom, he’s had to take a lot of sh*t from the Roy brothers and from his father-in-law and everybody. And then there’s the real terror of potential jail time. I think something flipped. But when I read the last episode, I was like: this makes sense.”
Macfadyen, who before Succession was best known for the long-running British TV shows Spooks and Ripper Street, as well as 2005’s Pride & Prejudice, says that Tom is a “weird shape-shifter” who is “a different person with everyone he meets.”
“I don’t think Tom knows himself. You allow the audience to project it all onto you in a way. He’s a collection of things. He’s a big ruffle bag of different stuff. He’s literally like a different person with everyone he meets. His status goes up and down. All the way up to 10 and down to 1 depending on who he’s with. He can be terribly spineless, and then there’s something weirdly noble about him. There’s lots in there. It’s what makes him fun to play.”
And finally, Macfadyen addresses the one relationship that all Succession fans want to know about – the one between Tom and Greg (Nicholas Braun).
“I think Tom really likes Greg. In many ways, Greg is the one he has the healthiest relationship with. They know they shouldn’t trust each other. Tom likes the idea of being some sort of mentor, and likes the back and forth and treat him as a punchbag and therapist. I don’t have all the answers as Matthew and I don’t think Tom does.”
“They’re quite openly venal, and quite openly ambitious. They say ‘We can’t trust each other, but let’s stick together’. In many ways, (their relationship) is quite healthier than him and Shiv.”
Season 4 could potentially be the last season of Succession, so the speculation as to which of the Roy siblings will ‘win’ is going to be through the roof from this point.