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Why Heirs creator Jesse Armstrong expressed sympathy for the show’s ‘caged beast’

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  • Ian Youngs
  • Entertainment and Arts Reporter

Image Source, Claudette Barris/HBO

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Will one of the Roy siblings win in Succession’s finale?

Successor creator Jesse Armstrong has expressed sympathy for the “beast in a cage” at the center of the TV show as the eagerly-anticipated finale draws closer.

A brutal power struggle between the children of media mogul Logan Roy will come to an end on Sunday.

“I don’t like to see them suffer,” he said. “So I don’t know why I’m doing this.”

Speaking at the BBC Comedy Festival in Cardiff, the writer said he was “excited” for viewers to see the finale but was “increasingly saddened” as it drew to a close.

The fourth and final season saw sibling relationships plummet to harrowing new lows, while also exposing the corrosive influence of dysfunctional families on American society.

Armstrong said some viewers suggested he was intentionally cruel to his on-screen creations.

Image Source, Getty Images

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Jesse Armstrong (centre back) celebrates with the show’s cast at the 2020 Golden Globe Awards

“Indeed, sometimes [writers’] In the room we’d say, ‘What’s the worst thing that could happen [to them]? ’ And, I mean funniest,” he said.

“We put the characters through a lot, and I do like not flinching at seeing that. But I don’t have sadistic feelings about the characters. I feel empathy and humanity.

“Hopefully you can see their whole background, which is to say, by the most common standards, most of them are pretty bad guys who do terrible things to the world. And yet we see a degree of What makes them do that.

“So I guess I feel like I have more empathy for them. I see them more as caged beasts, in these cages of social pressure, family pressure [and] Trapped their minds. I don’t like to see them suffer. “

Image Source, Getty Images

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Lachlan Murdoch suspects brother James fed family stories to ‘Succession’ writers, according to Vanity Fair

The Roy dynasty has been compared to Rupert Murdoch and his children. Armstrong said he had never had contact with any of the Murdochs, but had “occasional lunches with influential media people”.

“They’re usually men. And you’re there, and they tell you this stuff. Not even that [Murdoch] Level, but strong man. When you hear the sound coming directly from the horse’s mouth, you are vibrating. You’re like, ‘That’s it! I understand the world.

“Then you take some notes and go out [read them and] It’s just like, ‘[late Viacom and CBS boss] Sumner Redstone loves trades. I knew it on the way in. “

Books and articles are better sources of research, Armstrong said.

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Actor Brian Cox calls Armstrong a ‘writing genius’

The magazine reported that Rupert Murdoch was “obsessed with his succession,” and that even that son, Lachlan, suspected James’ younger brother of feeding the “Succession” writers a family story.

Armstrong said people had asked him, “Is Murdoch whispering in your ear?”

“No, we’ve read Vanity Fair — they’re attacking each other on the pages … you don’t need to have lunch with those people,” he said.

Warning: Spoilers for Season 4, Episode 3 of Inheritance

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WATCH: Brian Cox criticizes Inheritance plot twist

The British writer did not respond Commentary by actor Brian Coxwho said his character Logan Roy was killed “prematurely” in the latest series.

However, in an interview with the BBC’s Amol Rajan, the star praised Armstrong for “excellently” executing the plot.

“Jesse was bold,” Cox said. “That’s what’s great about Jesse. There’s no question he’s a writing genius.”

Armstrong told BBC Comedy Festival he was “delighted that the world saw the finale”.

“But it starts to get sadder as you don’t naturally see those people you enjoy working with, especially writers in my case.”

Armstrong began his career writing for children’s TV shows such as “The Queen’s Nose” and “My Parents Are Aliens” before moving on to comedies such as “Peep Show” and “Deep Love.”

Diorama returns?

Diorama ended in 2015, but Armstrong gave some hope for a possible return, revealing that he still has thoughts on the dialogue between Mark and Jeremy, played by David Mitchell and Robert Webb.

“I have a file and I write them down,” the author said.

Asked if the show could revisit the pair in later life, Armstrong, who co-created the show with Sam Bain, replied: “Well, I don’t know. We did say when we finished it, maybe You can see them when they are older.

“It’s been a great time working with Sam, David and Robert. So yeah, maybe.”

At this week’s film festival, the BBC announced that Mitchell is producing a new sitcom called Ludwig.

He’ll play someone who “never really ventured through his front door,” but takes over for his identical twin brother, a police inspector, after he goes missing.

Meanwhile, Ricky Gervais directed a comedy short called “7 Minutes,” about two people who commit suicide in the same place at the same time. This is Gervais’ first work for the BBC since 2013.

Comedies confirmed to be returning include Bad Education, Avoidance, Peacock, Mandy and Ellie & Natasia.

The Succession finale will air on Sky Atlantic and Now in the UK from 02:00 BST on Monday. Amol Rajan interview with Brian Cox is on BBC iPlayer.

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