Succession's Sarah Snook Would Never Be Friends With Shiv In Real Life

We all know that an actor portraying a problematic character does not equal endorsement of that character's actions. I mean, just because Bill Skarsgård played Pennywise in the "It" movies doesn't mean he thinks it's A-OK to eat children. Just because Bryan Cranston played Walter White in "Breaking Bad" doesn't mean he loves meth and supports violent drug rings. And don't get me started on any poor actor that is tasked to play Hitler in any of the bazillion WWII movies we've gotten over the years.

So now that we all agree that depiction does not equal endorsement, let's take a look at one of the best shows on TV right now, which is filled to the brim with highly entertaining and hugely terrible people. "Succession" is the story of the Roy family, which is mostly focused on the relationship between Logan Roy, a Rupert Murdoch-ish media tycoon who is a right bastard to the ones he loves and a downright devil to everyone else, and his kids who are all angling for control of the multi-billion dollar company should he ever step down.

Some of these kids want to force him out and take control, some of them want to suck up to him and be anointed by him as his successor, and often times their roles swap as they seize whatever opportunity shows itself at any given moment. 

Shiv is probably not the most fun person to hang out with

They're all terrible in one way or another, but there's also something very human about their desire to prove themselves. Of the three main kids, Siobhan (Shiv) Roy, played by Sarah Snook, is the one most progressives can get behind. On paper, that is. She has a moral compass, she has a desire to wield her power and fortune for good, but she also knows that kindness doesn't win in this capitalistic nightmare scenario. If she's going to play the game, she has to play it dirty.

Which is why it's no surprise that Snook herself says she wouldn't want to be friends with Shiv in real life. That's not to say she doesn't understand Shiv, or even love her on some level. She did create the character in flesh and blood form after all, but in an interview with Harper's Bazaar last year, she didn't dance around the character's flaws:

"Shiv and I are very different, I think. People tend to say that Matthew (Macfadyen) and I are the least like our characters on set and that makes me happy (laughs) because she's a lot of hard work. I think I wouldn't be friends with her in real life. I think Shiv has some redeemable qualities."

Some of the character's less redeeming qualities? Well, she's very manipulative and majorly hypocritical. Shiv is just as power-hungry as her brothers, but often gets held to a higher standard because she's the sole woman in the group. It might not be fair, but according to Snook, it is a lot of fun to play.

In short, Snook's relationship with Shiv Roy just proves that while an actor always has to understand and, on some level, love the character they're playing, that doesn't mean they have to like them very much. Matter of fact, sometimes those unlikable jerks are the best characters.

"Succession" airs on HBO and streams on HBO Max every Sunday at 9 p.m. ET.