SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not watched the seventh episode of “Succession” Season 3, titled “Too Much Birthday.”
An easy, comically tall target for jokes at his expense, Greg doesn’t get to celebrate many victories in “Succession,” but at Kendall’s 40th birthday party, he finally notches a win and asks out Comfry, Kendall’s PR consultant. With so many failed or strained relationships on the show — just look at Tom and Shiv, Kendall and Rava, Connor and Willa, Roman and Gerri — Greg and Comfry could be the start of a new power couple.
Throughout Season 3, Greg (Nicholas Braun) has shot glances at Comfry (Dasha Nekrasova) and attempted to flirt with her in his own awkward Greg way, but hasn’t made a move. Kendall (Jeremy Strong) and Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) both said she’s out of Greg’s league, but in the seventh episode, titled “Too Much Birthday,” he finally musters up the courage to ask her out, although there’s a clear conflict of interest as Comfry may have to burn Greg to the Department of Justice as Kendall continues his battle against Waystar.
Tom and Greg’s toxic relationship also hits new highs and lows in “Too Much Birthday.” After learning that he won’t go to prison, Tom flips over Greg’s desk in destructive celebration, as Greg stands back in a mix of genuine fear and shock. Later, walking through a “compliment tunnel” at Kendall’s party, Tom’s joy turns to ire and jealousy when he realizes that Greg is happier than him after asking out Comfry.
Here, Braun tells Variety about the future of Tom and Greg’s relationship, Greg and Comfry’s date and how much has changed about playing the character since Season 1.
Does Greg see Comfry as an actual romantic relationship or just a way to gain power against Kendall?
I think he does want to fight Kendall a bit or get something that Kendall has. He’s always taking care of people’s feelings or making sure this is OK or that’s OK, and this is a moment of, “Fuck it, I’m going to do something I want right now.” Greg also hasn’t found anything that’s a kind relationship where it makes him feel good, so I think he just needs this.
Would Comfry still have said yes if Greg hadn’t said Kendall disapproved of it? Is she doing it just to get back at Kendall?
I think there’s some actual interest from Comfry. I don’t think it’s all just to get back at Kendall, but I think that’s a big part of it. She is miserable working with him at this point because of his delusion. She was giving me compliments on my wrists earlier in the season, and there’s a little flicker of something real.
Where would Greg go on a first date with her?
She’s a PR girl, so he probably projects onto her that she’s cultured. So, I bet he tries to take her to a play that he’s heard is really great, but it ends up being boring to both of them. Maybe they leave at intermission and they go get some donuts because he probably has a favorite donut place, but it’s very cheap. I feel like he eats donuts every day.
How many attempts did it take to pull off the desk-flipping scene?
Matthew had permission to do whatever he wanted to, and the desk was the main intentional thing. They made sure to take pictures of it before everything gets destroyed and then tried to reset it. We didn’t do it many times because that scene is so much about whatever Matthew’s instincts want to do. Not much was planned, and he was just amazing. In rehearsal, we’re talking about it and wondering, “Is this gonna work?” As soon as we start filming, Matthew is flying high with emotions and he was just going crazy. I loved being a part of it and having to react to it.
Where does Tom and Greg’s toxic relationship go from here? Will Greg ever realize he should cut Tom out of his life?
There’s always that question for Greg — “Why am I enduring this?” But in this world you just want somebody to take you by the hand and be like, “Hey, come this way.” Kendall was doing that for a while, and Logan has done that from time to time, but Tom is the most consistent person who’s like, “Come do this, Greg, and just trust me.” Maybe Greg will hit a breaking point soon, but every time he does, Tom does something to keep him wrapped up.
In Episode 6, Greg asked Tom to take the fall for him if he gets burned by the DOJ. Did that represent a shift in power between them?
There is something really sweet about the fact that Tom does that for him. It’s also like Tom has a softer side and maybe he’s losing his edge. That probably is a nice development for Greg — “I can manipulate Tom a little bit if I wanted to.”
If Greg and Tom had to share a prison cell, how well would they get along?
I think they’d work really well together. Maybe Tom would be upset because Greg would form a bond with a better gang. Somehow I think Greg would land with the really hard dudes and Tom would end up with the tax evaders. They come back to the room every night and Greg would say, “Oh yeah, my boy shanked somebody today,” and Tom would go, “Well, I played dominoes.” That could be a real tough thing for them.
What’s your favorite line from this season?
There’s a line in Episode 6, “I just got called a ‘soy boy’ by some guy with an undercut.” That was a good line. There’s one of my favorite Greg moments in the whole season, where he speaks up about Connor not being fit for the president job. It’s not such a funny line, but a line I was happy to have for Greg. He’s not just gonna go with it because he’s supposed to, he’s gonna say something real here.
What’s been the biggest change in how you’ve portrayed Greg from Season 1?
Trying to give him a different energy in the room, maybe more relaxed. He’s standing a bit taller. Early on, it felt really good to make Greg this eager puppy dog in the room, who hardly even knows what to do ever, and then as this season came along it felt good to have more of a confident energy in these rooms and speak from his chest a bit more. Speak a little bit more like, “I know what I think.” Hopefully that continues to grow, otherwise he wouldn’t survive. Eventually you get cut out of this world if you can’t speak up for yourself. That’s what I’ve tried to bring into it, just a stronger spine and give him an energy that others might start to respect in the room, as opposed to “What’s Greg doing here?” He does get included in that very small group in Episode 6, so there’s something Logan is feeling from him that he wants to include him in these moments.
Do you think Greg has what it takes to be CEO one day?
Yeah, I think everyone’s corruptible.
“Succession” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.