'Succession' Season 3, Episode 4: Alan Ruck on Connor's Decision to Play Dirty (Exclusive)

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Alan Ruck in Succession
HBO

Now that the Department of Justice has descended upon Waystar RoyCo following Kendall’s (Jeremy Strong) public allegations, Logan’s (Brian Cox) position at the top of the company -- and family -- is on even more shaky ground in season 3 of Succession. And in episode 4, the sharks are circling, with a key investor played by Adrien Brody calling for a truce in the family’s civil war and Connor (Alan Ruck) making his own moves within the Roy rankings.

While speaking to ET, Ruck breaks down the eldest Roy sibling’s latest power move and presidential aspirations. When it comes to season 3, Connor “is more active and trying to get involved in the family business and inner circle after he removed himself from this for years,” Ruck says.  

[Warning: Spoilers for Succession season 3, episode 4, “Lion in the Meadow,” written by Jon Brown and directed by Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini.] 

While Logan and Kendall are forced to play nice in front of billionaire activist and investor Josh Aaronson, who is threatening to pull out his financial backing of the company, Connor is back in New York City making moves of his own. Namely, he wants a substantial position within Waystar RoyCo.

“I think I need me some pie here,” Connor tells Shiv (Sarah Snook), explaining that he needs to beef up his business experience in between runs for the presidency of the United States by hitting “three or four major achievements before getting out.” 

Although Shiv offers him the opportunity to become a TV personality on their food network (“He’s probably ingested a lot of wine, so he might know a thing or two about that,” Ruck jokes), Connor pushes back for something meatier at the executive level. And in doing so, threatens to share unflattering stories about Logan and the company’s non-inclusive business practices. 

“This has been cooking for a long time and he’s just like, ‘Well, when push comes to shove, I’ve been around a long time and I’ve seen a lot of stuff,’” Ruck says, explaining that “the only way to get ahead in this family and in this corporation is to play dirty. So, he’s finally taking that to heart and is like, ‘Well, this is what I need to do, so I’m going to do it.’”

And after Kendall’s failed attempt to rally the siblings together for a formal coup to overthrow Logan, “Connor’s not going to remain the family punching bag,” the actor says, adding that Connor’s siblings “are all big babies.”

Alan Ruck in Succession
HBO

Despite Logan’s attempt to shut down Connor’s presidential aspirations by offering him a $100 million loan in season 2, there’s no slowing down his son’s intentions, which Ruck says are just delusions. “It all boils down to what would impress Logan and that’s what drives pretty much all the kids. And so Connor just got this idea that if he could land that job, his pop would have to take him seriously,” the actor says. “That’s really it.” 

And even though Connor is far from qualified (“He had no aptitude for the business world; he had no talents whatsoever in this particular field and didn’t have to work,” Ruck admits), that doesn’t seem to faze him. Nor does he think that he needs to earn his way to the top by running for a local or state position. “If he ran for state legislature, I don’t [think it would matter],” Ruck says. “But if he was in a position where he could actually help the old man with something he might need, then that would do it.” 

Ruck also adds that Connor is driven by the fact that he’s getting older and is unsatisfied with his personal life. “I do think at this point in his life, he’s getting a little lonely,” he says. “He’s got this wonderful girlfriend, but he lives on his ranch and collects objet d'art and he reads… but he’d like to do something and like to be needed by any group of people.” 

Succession Season 3
HBO

Speaking of his girlfriend, Willa Ferrerya (Justine Lupe), “It’s clear that Connor is crazy about her,” Ruck says, adding that despite her attempts to remain disinterested in the family’s squabbles, “she is actually developing feelings for Connor,” especially considering the fact that this all started as a “business relationship.” 

And in the season 3 premiere, that’s seen when she steps up to Logan and gets him to give Connor a role in the strategy to fight back against Kendall. “It’s tricky for her,” Ruck continues, explaining that her continuing to take a step back is self-preservation. “The family, they couldn’t be meaner to her. They couldn’t be more foul in the way they treat her. But I do think that she’s becoming fond of Connor.” 

Justine Lupe on Willa Being ‘A Fly on the Damn Wall’ 

In addition to speaking with Ruck, ET also chatted with Lupe to get her feelings on the Connor-Willa relationship and her attempts to save her disastrous Off Broadway play, Sands

“​​Willa’s running a play that has flopped but she’s still moving along,” Lupe says of the investment that cost Connor millions. Now, they’re trying to salvage it by trying to convince people it’s so bad it’s worth seeing. 

And as previously seen in seasons 1 and 2, Willa couldn’t be more disinterested in what’s happening between the Roys. “Willa’s still a fly on the damn wall in this family,” Lupe says. “She’s hanging on.” 

Alan Ruck in Succession
HBO

But in season 3, there’s a slight shift in their relationship, as Willa stands up for Connor more and more. “She has a soft spot in her heart for Connor. He’s got a sweet side that Willa sees; she sees his vulnerability and appreciates that,” Lupe says, adding that “something interesting blossoms out of this really bizarre relationship.”  

She adds, “There’s something going on between them for sure. So, it’s exciting to see what happens and what their dynamic is as time goes on in the season.”

As for Connor’s presidential aspirations, “He’s ready to go,” Lupe says. “You’ll have to wait and see what Willa thinks of it. I think it’s amazing. You think, like, ‘Wow, what a stretch.' But check out our last president. It’s not that far off."


Want to watch Succession? The series is now streaming on HBO Max and new episodes air Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO. (We may receive an affiliate commission if you subscribe to a service through our links.)

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--Additional reporting by Rachel Smith

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