Succession Directors Discuss Shiv and Tom’s Showdown in Episode 7

May 24, 2023

As reported by Entertainment Weekly, Succession’s latest episode saw Sarah Snook’s Shiv Roy and Matthew Macfadyen’s Tom Wambsgans finally attempt to address their marital issues, leading to an emotional fight between the pair. While chatting with EW, Succession directors Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman broke down what happened between Shiv and Tom in season 4’s latest episode of Succession.

Berman noted, “I thought of George and Martha, I thought of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, which is one of my favorites.”

Pulcini added, “There was a great line, which was cut, maybe because it was a little bit of a nod to that. Someone confronts Shiv about the fight, and she says, ‘Oh, that was nothing, we’re Burton and Taylor in a car that we f—ing crash constantly, chauffeured by Grace Kelly.’ Yeah, it didn’t make the cut, but it was nice to hear the allusion.”

The directors initially addressed the scene prior to the party, which sees Tom gift Shiv a scorpion paperweight. Berman commented, “The most fun about doing that was finding the right [one]. We had like, 20 scorpion paperweights. How big was the scorpion? Was it too big? Should it be more decorative? You don’t want it to be that nice, you want it to be more sort of horrible. It was fun [looking at] the varied scorpion paperweights that apparently exist.”

Pulcini added, “They go ahead with this party to represent themselves to the world as an item to the most important people in the country. Starting off with the scorpion as a present, it just goes from bad to worse. They’ve done such horrible things to each other. The scorpion is a way of defining like, we can love each other and make of fun of this, but it doesn’t work.”

While diving into the confrontation between Shiv and Tom, Pulcini said, “I thought that I had never seen dialog in Succession that wasn’t in some way coded. Usually, everything is half-committed when they say something in Succession. Everything is half-way, no one commits. It was the first time I saw a scene from beginning to end where it’s raw, and it’s out there, without any kind of jewelry of clever writing. I was just so excited to see that, because you’ve been waiting for them to say these things to each other for so long. Like how long can people survive without actually saying the obvious?”

RELATED: Succession: Who Will Run Waystar RoyCo at the End of the Series?

Succession Director Shari Springer Berman Said, “It Was Cathartic To Read This Very Human Fight”


Berman commented, “It was cathartic to read this very human fight between these people who don’t always act very human. One of the lines that’s just completely devastating is when Tom says, “I don’t think you would be very good as someone’s mother,” which, knowing that she’s pregnant, is just horrible to hear. There are all these amazing comebacks in Succession and she says, “That’s not a very nice thing to say,” which just is such a basic, human, almost a little-kid reaction. It’s true, but it’s so unlike anything we hear in Succession. It really threw me off and was very emotional.”

Pulcini stated that rehearsing and filming the scene “wasn’t as time-consuming as I thought it was going to be because they’re so keyed in to how these people respond to each other.” The director continued, “I was worried that we might need a whole day for it or something. But we did leave them on the terrace alone for a while, while they ran lines, which became a private rehearsal for them, and they worked some things out. We were seeing them through the glass as we were shooting other things or doing other things. We could see where it was going and then they kind of auditioned it for us. Yeah, both of them are just remarkable, they’re just remarkable actors.”

Berman also noted that the set for Tom and Shiv’s talk played a role in the scene. The director said, “I think there was danger in every aspect of it. I mean, on one side, you’re high up above New York City, and all you can see are tops of buildings, and then behind them there’s a glass window where all of the party guests are sitting, and clearly can see something’s going on. They’re in a fishbowl, and to me that says a lot about a fight. If you’re willing to fight like that, in front of people, and in front of powerful, important people, then this is a fight that’s really got a life of its own.”

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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