Given that Succession is packed with powerful performances – from the ominous presence of Brian Cox’s Logan Roy to Kieran Culkin’s NSFW portrayal of his son Roman – you’d be forgiven for overlooking the show’s real star: Cousin Greg.
While the character of Nicholas Braun is described as that wacky, pure little soul who walks around without much direction, it is for this very reason that he is aware of key information that he can use to his advantage. He’s certainly not Machiavellian (although Kendall says so), but he’s also not as naive as everyone thinks he is. He’s kind of Nick Carraway, inside and out.
This is also something Braun notes about Greg. In a recent interview with The New York Times, he explained, “I think there is an intellect underneath all of that, but it’s buried by all the other things – being afraid to speak in a room full of important people.
“But when he gets the chance, I think he has a great idea to put forward.”
Meanwhile, series creator Jesse Armstrong added, “Greg still has a long way to go. [in order to take over from Logan]. He often gets what he wants, through a mixture of cunning and naivety. I leave it to others to judge whether he is a real candidate for succession or not. “
Here we take a look at Cousin Greg’s best moments in Succession (so far) – and why in a world of power-hungry, authoritarian media moguls, there is a bright and vibrant beacon of hope that we must protect at all costs.
** WARNING: Season 3 minor spoilers ahead **
1. Vomiting in the park
When we first meet cousin Greg, he takes part in Waystar Royco’s management training program, which allows him to dress up as a character at one of the company’s theme parks. Strong on the grass and surrounded by screaming and demanding children, Greg begins to vomit through the eyeholes in his costume. All in all, it’s a pretty memorable introduction.
2. “I will answer both!”
After his snafu at the theme park, this eager to please cherub approaches his uncle Logan outside his New York mansion in hopes of finding a job with the company. In addition to being briefly accosted by Logan’s safety, Greg is mistakenly introduced to Roy’s children as “Cousin Craig”. Rather than pointing out his uncle’s mistake, he accepts the mistake until Logan’s daughter, Shiv, corrects her father.
3. Eat ortolans
Suffice to say that Greg and Shiv’s husband, Tom, has an … interesting relationship. The latter quickly takes cousin Greg under his wing, believing them in a similar position and hoping to take advantage of Greg’s seemingly innocent nature. But in the midst of frat boy-type hazing, Tom offers genuine kindness and tries hard to teach Greg the ways of the Royco business (not that he’s exactly a pro himself).
During an elaborate dinner in a seedy and overpriced restaurant, Tom orders a plate of ortolans, before asking Greg to place his napkin on his head and eat the extremely crispy bird – beak, feet and all. .
4. “The bad guys”
Once Tom establishes that he can trust Cousin Greg, he enlists his help in getting rid of damaging papers and receipts relating to misconduct on the company’s cruise line. Before Tom gets our good boy involved, however, he hints at the nature of the crimes they cover (“robbery, rape, murder”), to which Greg brilliantly replies “bad guys”.
5. Hearing at Congress
Perhaps one of Cousin Greg’s best times (and by that we mean “adorably clumsy”) was when testifying in Congress after – * shockingly * – the cover-up of the cruise was uncovered. The exchange went something like this:
Senator Gil Eavis: Gregory Hirsch, executive assistant to Tom Wambsgans, right?
Grégoire: Yes. Yes, if it has to be said.
Eavis: I’m sorry?
Greg: Uh, if that is to say, it is so, it is so.
Eavis: Are you okay?
Greg: Uh, yeah. Um, I just want to say yes.
Eavis: You can talk to us normally.
Greg: Oh, no – thank you, sir. Uh, uh, then I will.
Speaking to The Wrap about the scene and explaining how Armstrong pitched the script to him the night before, Braun commented, “There’s something pretty amazing about the challenge here, to be able to go tomorrow and to be as prepared as possible, but that’s the same situation Greg is put in.
“He’s suddenly surprised by an audience. I have to take this opportunity to take action to let life imitate art and be as prepared as possible, but also just to have that experience and whatever happens while we are are filming this to make it happen. “
6. “Greg the egg”
Despite the ruthless nature of the Roy family, they have surprisingly affectionate animal names for each other. Logan calls his daughter Shiv “Pinky” and his son Roman “Romulus”, but the most endearing nickname of all is “Greg the Egg”, which is revealed to us by his aunt, Lady Caroline Collingwood.
Less endearing is the fact that CamSoda and sex toy company Lovense have joined forces to create the aptly named “Greg the Egg” technology, which activates its vibrator whenever Cousin Greg is on screen, is less endearing.
“I think, uh… is that a compliment?” Braun said Vanity Show. “It’s such an intimate thing to do with yourself or with another person participating or watching. So the fact that Succession and Greg may be on their minds while this is happening, it’s not something any of us expected. “
7. “Are you asking if you can blackmail me?” “
Like a proud daddy, Tom asks Greg this question after he threatened to divulge the cruise papers he hid as backup. But who would Cousin Greg be without his impeccable manners? Rather than using this leverage to go after his supervisor, Greg politely (and rather obediently) uses the cards that have been dealt to him to give himself some breathing space.
8. Panic room
If this isn’t your favorite scene, are you really a Succession fan, what?
We’re just gonna leave it here …
9. “It’s a rosé, it’s not my favorite”
He might not have enough money to shop for groceries at first, but Cousin Greg quickly adapts to his lavish new lifestyle. Joining the Roys on Logan’s sprawling private yacht, Greg enjoys swimming in the crystal-clear waters off the Croatian coast, sunbathing on the teak deck (even if his fingernails aren’t ready for the yacht) and sipping a cool, passable rosé. .
10. “It’s a bit against my principles”
Greg may be learning the ropes, but he’s staying true to himself. When Tom takes over the company’s global information division, ATN, Greg expresses his concerns about the brand’s lack of morality and truth. Attaboy, Greg!
11. Storage wars
When hunting down an apartment in his “modest” salary bracket, Greg points out to his real estate agent the spatial challenges he faces as a nearly two-meter giant. “It’s just the thing I need most storage, Stanley, is me.”
12. “Good memeage”
Finally, after leaving the ship and forming an alliance with Kendall Roy at the start of Season 3, Greg provides the most unnecessary glimpse of the reaction to his cousin’s daring decision against his father. When asked by Kendall to “slide a socio-political thermometer up the nation’s ass,” Greg informs her that while “negative things tend to stick in the mind,” on the whole there are ” a good memeage “.
Succession Season 3 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and HBO Max.