Director Aaron Sorkin has released a statement defending Succession actor Jeremy Strong following a divisive profile in The New Yorker.
Speaking about playing Kendall Roy in the HBO series, Strong said: “To me, the stakes are life and death. I take him as seriously as I take my own life.”
Those claims were backed up in the article – written by Michael Schulman – by Strong’s co-star Brian Cox, who said: “I just worry about what (Strong) does to himself. I worry about the crises he puts himself through in order to prepare.”
Elsewhere in the piece, Sorkin speaks about working with Strong on The Trial Of The Chicago 7. Apparently, Strong asked a stunt coordinator to rough him up and requested to be sprayed with real tear gas. “I don’t like saying no to Jeremy,” said Sorkin. “But there were two hundred people in that scene and another seventy on the crew, so I declined to spray them with poison gas.”
Aaron Sorkin doesn’t have social media so asked me to post this letter on his behalf xx pic.twitter.com/3Ol1KGoJKM
— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) December 10, 2021
However, after reading the profile, Sorkin wanted to “speak up” and has released a statement, which starts by saying: “I think I helped Mr. Schulman create what I believe is a distorted picture of Jeremy that asks us to roll our eyes at his acting process.”
He then shares the full Q&A transcript that he sent to Schulman, before going on to say: “Let me be clear, Jeremy would never suggest endangering a member of the cast or crew or anyone else. It was something he mentioned in passing and I was telling the story affectionately and as a way of demonstrating his commitment.”
“Jeremy Strong is a great actor and a great company member. There isn’t a writer, director or producer on Earth who wouldn’t grab at the chance to cast him,” Sorkin finishes.
Since Sorkin doesn’t have a Twitter account, the statement was shared on actor Jessica Chastain’s social media, who also defended Strong earlier this week.
“I’ve known Jeremy Strong for 20 years and worked with him on two films. He’s a lovely person. Very inspiring and passionate about his work,” she wrote. “The profile that came out on him was incredibly one-sided. Don’t believe everything you read folks. Snark sells but maybe it’s time we move beyond it.”