Thirsty Tweets, & Kieran Culkin on 'Succession' Season 3, Thirttey tweets
She tweets that she could really use a piece of chocolate cake.Her followers, who have grown exponentially since her role as Gerri in HBOs Succession, respond quickly. Will someone please give this woman a chocolate cake? My god, says one. Nigella Lawsons chocolate fudge cake is the way to go, advises one. When we meet the following afternoon at the popular West Village Italian restaurant Morandi, I feel the Gerri Hive on my shoulders. I must give this woman a piece of cake. Smith-Cameron says shes already reduced her desire for more food when we sit down. Instead, shes feeling salty, so we pair fried olives, blistered shishito peppers and crispy artichokes with our glasses of ros and settle down to discuss how a 64-year-old Broadway veteran became smitten by an internet crush.
Its a strange place. Its rather bizarre that I got Gerri, that Garri exists, and that she has such a large role, which fans like, she says from the quiet of our corner booth. I dont take any of this for granted. Every day, I think to myself, This is just delightful. Smith-Camerons soft, conspiratorial voice is the only trace of the Waystar Royco s ever-corporate chief counsel. People of all ages want to get together with Gerri. She smiles, before turning the conversation delicately back to the Lyndon B. Johnson biography that shes currently reading.
Smith-Cameron, as her followers of Twitter know, prefers to talk about politics than sex appeal. Successions immense online following loves her for both. Such is the hunger for the HBO show that a sloppy video of Kermit the Frog dancing to Nicholas Britells Emmy-winning title tune became. Likewise, @No Context Succession ill-considered screenshots with profane subtitles are favored by the media. Smith-Cameron has had her own Twitter account since 2013, when she joined to promote her work on Sundance Channel's Rectify. She adds, [Following] Paul Rudnick and Duchess Goldblatt are two of my absolute favorite things about being on Twitter, although the memes are an added bonus. I love interacting with fans and seeing how creative [they] are with reels, memes and GIFs, he said.
Despite her recent online fame, the Kentucky native flies under the radar in real life. She arrives 10 minutes early for our dinner, navigating the West Village with the authority of a local. (She was a longtime resident until relocating to SoHo, where she and her husband, Kenneth Lonergan, are now empty nesters after their daughter, Nellie, has left to study acting at the University of St Andrews in Scotland.) Smith-Cameron goes unnoticed when a dispute with our reservation forces us to stay longer than anticipated on the restaurants busy street corner.
Before playing Gerri, she worked mostly in New York theater, earning her first Broadway credit for Crimes of the Heart in 1982 along with Holly Hunter, who would later appear in Succession as Rhea Jarrell. Smith-Cameron began appearing on screen in cult classics like Harriet the Spy, Mighty Aphrodite, and The First Wives Club in the early 1990s, but she never put much faith in becoming a movie star. All the film and television things I got by accident, she explains. Scott Rudin would make these big cast comedies, and he really liked New York actors, explains Rudiner. So he'd offer to take us in. Nathan Lane, Dana Ivey, Victor Garber, [and] myself are among those who have acted in movies like this.
In a similar fashion, her role on Succession took off in surprisingly unexpected ways. My mother was very ill, and she was on her deathbed, she says. She had originally written it as a woman, but she sent in'self-tape' anyway. She was back in Kentucky at her mothers memorial when they asked her to meet in person. I was like, Listen. I would love to do the role, but I dont want to come back right away. I really thought that was it, she says. But then they picked me up.
Gerri has become a joyfully mischievous counterbalance to the Roys' self-destructive cruelty, moral without being sanctimonious, commanding but still likable. Gerri believes she has daughters theyre very strong and very bright, [went] to the best colleges, had great careers, and are a little scared of her, but theyd be very pleased, she says but we dont see them on television. We do notice, however, a rather sexy dom-sub relationship with Kieran Culkins Roman Roy, which was incorporated into the script because the two couldnt stop flirting while filming. She has a long-standing relationship with Culkin they first met in 2005 on the film Margaret, which was written and directed by Lonergan - but she was still worried about how the audience would react to their first phone sex scene. I thought they'd be a little [repulsed] but not downright repulsed, she says. I was really worried, she added.
She shouldn't have been; their adoration for one another is now a major part of the show's appeal. Gerri, who is pictured behind Roman, looks like a cat and mouse in recent promotional material, and when the cast of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert last week spent an entire segment discussing Roman and Garri in Season 3. Smith-Cameron was the one who most wanted to return to during Successions long, strep throat-induced extended hiatus the series was in pre-production when the world shut down in March 2020; filming reportedly began the following November and it was this connection that Smith and Culkin were most interested in returning to. I was hoping that she would take this misplaced sexual energy and turn him into a great business partner. They would have fun with cloak-and-dagger power plots, she adds. In the first episode, they could break up or get married in the second episode.
Roman and Gerri's performance in Season 3 may surprise viewers, but the thirst for more will surely continue and not just for Smith-Cameron. A lot of people seem to want Shiv to step on their neck, while Nicholas Braun, who plays Cousin Greg, has become a DeuxMoi favorite and one of social medias most eligible bachelors. Oh, my God. Smith-Cameron describes the latter as a sensational image. Do you think that because he appears so aimless, they think a man who isnt interested in offers or something? So you know hes available? I explain that Ive seen 50 girls throw themselves at him during a recent event. She continues, "Hes very, very appealing." Very intelligent, very funny, and very kind all kinds of things Id crush on but I dont consider him a sex machine.
But, as you'll see, Smith-Cameron was probably the same. Women over 50 only spend 8% of their screen time, and when they do, they are rarely sexually desired widows with invisible children. In this case, her newfound objectification is certainly a win, and perhaps even an ego stroke. Ill tell you what, she says, taking another sip of ros. That amuses me. Isnt that enough?
Photographer: Olivia Joan Joan Olivia Olivia Jean Joan
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