Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past few months (or you’re more of a Billions stan), you’re probably more than aware that Succession’s fourth and final season begins this Sunday—bringing, hopefully, a whole slew of long-awaited answers with it. Who, in the end, will take over the company? Will Roman finally get to kiss the tall man of his dreams? And will Tom wise up and hold onto his current power position? Or fumble it like he largely has thus far?
Taking on this last one has been a doozy for even Tom’s actor Matthew Macfadyen, who—like the rest of us—has sometimes been inclined to mistake Tom’s, well, extreme doormat-ness for outright idiocy. “Jesse [Armstrong, Succession’s creator] will remind Nick [Braun] and me, ‘He’s running a billion-dollar wing of this company; he’s not a total moron,’” Macfadyen said in a recent New York Times interview.
When we last saw our goofy, conniving Nero, he was attempting to comfort his wife after betraying her for Logan and his own interests, even earning the honor of the episode’s final, lingering shot. Still, even after this stunning move, Macfadyen doesn’t think Tom’s future is locked down. “Tom may be in Logan’s camp, but it’s not an easy camp to be in,” he said. “He still doesn’t feel particularly secure, and he’s still worrying about his relationship with Shiv. And everyone else is still maneuvering and jockeying and competing.”
But while Tom may have finally thrown his hat in the ring, Macfadyen himself is happy to sit back and let it all play out around him. “I’ve seen actors get very proprietorial about their ‘journey’... but I don’t feel like it’s my character—it’s Jesse’s, and I’m the conduit for it,” he said.
As for his feelings about the show coming to an end, something that made his on-screen wife Sarah Snook “very upset” and his on-screen father-in-law Brian Cox feel “nothing”?
“It was a really lovely bunch of actors,” he said. “It’s a weird thing, the grief when you finish a job. It’s sort of awful and heartbreaking but at the same time, there’s a slight relief—a complicated mélange of feelings.” Right down the middle–; very on-brand for Tom.
The fourth and final season of Succession premieres Sunday, March 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.