The minor heroes of Waystar Royco. Succession is known for a stellar ensemble cast that includes Brian Cox and Jeremy Strong, but the HBO drama has featured a ton of impressive guest stars over the years.
One of the most frequently appearing guests is James Cromwell, who plays Ewan, the estranged older brother of Logan (Cox). Unlike the rest of the Roy family, Ewan isn’t interested in billion-dollar acquisitions and corporate espionage, instead preferring to spend his time on liberal causes dear to his heart.
Cromwell — who in real life is a passionate activist for animal rights and environmental causes — asked the Succession writers to make Ewan more like him. “I demanded that we have similarities,” the Babe actor told The Guardian in October 2021, recalling a conversation he had with creator Jesse Armstrong. “I said, ‘You can’t take the guy who’s fought in Vietnam, and seen what he has seen, and think that he is going to be the same sort of a–hole that the rest of his family is.’ Yes, of course, he’s privileged, and everybody is flawed — but he will have seen the truth.”
Adrien Brody, meanwhile, only appeared in a handful of scenes in season 3, but his character, Josh Aaronson, made an indelible mark on the series with his unique outfit. During a meeting with Logan and Kendall (Strong), Josh wore a truly astounding number of layers: a T-shirt, a button-down, a cardigan, a hoodie, a gilet and a scarf.
“Those layers represent a preparedness for the elements and a previous plan to unsettle them for this proposed business meeting,” the Oscar winner explained during a January 2022 interview on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, explaining Josh’s sartorial prowess. “He’s prepared. He has hiking boots, they’re in their dress shoes. He wears them down, he’s in a position of power. Checkmate.”
Fans love to see which actors will pop up as coldhearted business magnates and conniving heirs, but so do the cast’s peers. In July 2022, Succession broke the record for the most acting Emmy nominations in a single year, scoring 14 for season 3. Cromwell and Brody both scored guest actor nods alongside Arian Moayed and Alexander Skarsgård, while Harriet Walter, Hope Davis and Sanaa Lathan all earned nominations for guest actress. Matthew Macfadyen, who plays Tom Wambsgans, also took home the award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.
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Keep scrolling for a look back at some of the most memorable guest stars in Succession history: