“How lucky am I? “: Frank Rich bids farewell to the estate

Kieran Culkin, Brian Cox, Jeremy Strong, Frank Rich and Alan Ruck attend the HBO drama Succession premiere at the Time Warner Center. By Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket/Getty Images.

I asked Rich about one of his favorite moments while working on the show.

“There are many, many, many,” he began, “but one incredible moment was at the end of season two, when Kendall gives her press conference in New York excoriating her father. end of this episode, you see Logan, with a few siblings, on a yacht in Croatia, watching Kendall give this press conference on a TV. The press conference hadn’t been shot yet. It would be shot downtown- New York City a week or two later. So he watches it on a green screen, because there’s no picture yet, no video, Jeremy Strong do this scene. A young production assistant reads Kendall’s lines, perhaps ten feet away. I watch brian [Cox]– the actor and Royal Shakespeare Company veteran who plays Logan Roy – “and I’m also so close to Brian, behind the camera, looking into the monitor.

“I look at his face and watch him react to the betrayal of Logan’s son,” Rich continued. “It has no dialogue. It just reacts. And it doesn’t even react to the actual track, it reacts to someone just reading it flat, and it’s so powerful. And I think, what damn lucky am I, as someone who’s spent my whole life loving theater, loving actors, loving this kind of drama, to be steps away from this stage on a yacht in Croatia As someone who has spent his life cherishing that kind of work, that kind of acting, that kind of writing, what a great thing to have a front row seat.

In journalism, you write an article and it appears in the newspaper the next day, or in the magazine in a few months. In the entertainment business, half the things you work on never see the light of day, and when they do, the cogs of Hollywood turn slowly. But for Rich, when it comes to being on set, there’s something about the experience that seems in tune with his prior career. “You walk into a soundstage, and it feels a lot like a newsroom,” he said. “It could be a hundred people, brilliant people, prima donnas, people who aren’t so brilliant, people of all ages, ethnicities, races and people with very different skill sets, from acting to camera, script, coordinator, make-up artist, writer, whatever – and you’re working to a very tight deadline where, at a certain point, the train has to leave the station.

Succession“Newsroom,” to use Rich’s metaphor, has conquered timelines since the series launched in late 2016. “It exceeded everyone’s expectations,” Rich said. “Anything that becomes a phenomenon, you cannot predict. It’s a mystery. It’s like being struck by lightning.

He told me that the cast and crew had felt for some time that season four would be Successionis the last. But Armstrong didn’t make it official until “literally weeks ago,” Rich said, as they did the “board reading” for the season four finale. Armstrong announced the news publicly on February 23. New Yorker interview. “A misconception,” Rich continued, “is that people said, ‘Oh, well, once you’ve decided [the show was ending], you had to change the end of the season. That’s not how the show works. The ending has not changed.

Rich’s demanding schedule in Hollywood put his life as a journalist on hold. The last song he wrote for new York magazine was published on January 7, 2021. (“What will happen to the Trump Toadies?”) Is journalism behind it? “It would take extraordinary circumstances for me to still want to write political articles,” Rich said. “I feel like I said what I had to say. Can I do more magazine articles? Yes, actually, I spoke to David Haskel“-the editor who succeeded Moss at new York—“about what I could do during my summer vacation.

Barney Greengrass was getting crowded and our table seemed to be in demand. I offered to conclude with a quick whirlwind tour:

What will Rich miss most?

“I will be working with many people on the show again, but finding us all together on a show is highly unlikely, you know? So you miss it.

Could he tell me something about season 4?



“10 episodes.”

Any thoughts on the Fox-Dominion revelations, as someone who wrote critically for Fox News 20 years ago?

“What’s surprising is that it all came out, because we all knew that. I have no idea what a jury will think of this. There are all kinds of problems with the First Amendment. But it’s fun to watch.

Latest: Semafor recently asked Rupert Murdoch what he thought Succession. Murdoch replied, “I never watched it.” Does Rich believe him?

“No, I don’t believe so,” Rich said. “But on the other hand, I don’t care.”


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