Succession’s Karl and Frank Have Quietly Become the Show’s Premier Power Couple


PF: Wow.

DR: Of course, despite the fact that we’re not members of the family, trying to please daddy is always [the priority.]

PF: Are we trying to please daddy?

DR: I’m saying we’re not the kids, but I mean, that’s always part of the element. I guess I think that Frank is more vulnerable to Logan’s shots. He takes more shots at Frank.

Do you think Karl and Frank like each other?

DR: My answer is yes, but he could say something else.

PF: Would we go out for a drink together, do you think?

DR: I would say yes, definitely, because we spend a lot of time together. We go to a lot of places together. We eat together a lot. We know each other’s families. I mean this has been, what, 20 years? I don’t know how long they figure it, but it’s a very long time, through thick and thin. If you look at that scene on the airplane that you referenced before, I mean, that’s two people who are communicating on a very deep level, with very few words, and everybody knows exactly what the other person is saying. That’s two people who have a connection that they’re able to communicate that way.

PF: In their professional sphere. But I think outside of that, I don’t know that I’d seek Karl out.

DR: You’re making a mistake. You’re making a mistake. Karl’s a great guy.

I think that that speaks so much to who they are as characters, though, because Karl does have this—I don’t want to use the phrase puppy dog, but he does seem like he’d be like, “We could go out to dinner. That would be good.” Frank has that hardness to him where he’s like, “No, I don’t want to go out with you.”

DR: If I have, to I will.

What do you think it is that endears viewers to Karl and Frank?

DR: Well, it could be the eye of the beholder. I would… Wait, go ahead. I’ll think of something. Who am I thinking of? Go ahead. Peter, go.

PF: It’s not being heard, not being taken seriously. Maybe that’s what we respond to.

DR: The underdog. Right, well, some actor said they asked him what he was thinking during a certain scene, and he said, “Nothing. I’ll let the audience do that.”

PF: Wait, we leave you alone, and that’s what you come up with?

I personally think it’s because these are two guys who clearly have had to be shrewd to get to where they are, but they have these comedic idiosyncrasies that make them appealing. There are moments with all the Roy kids, I think, where they come off as a little repellent. You’re like, “Ugh.” And there’s something about Karl and Frank where I, at least, never feel that way towards them

PF: As many times as Frank’s been fired, he’s come back, and they’re awful people. So he’s not some angel walking back in, is he? But I’ve never seen him with an axe in his hand.

That’s it right there. What do you think sets Karl and Frank apart from the Roy kids in the Waystar Royco context?

DR: Part of it is this off-balance thing. They live in a world in which they’re never not going to be a child of Logan Roy. Right? They will always be that. So there is a comfort and a kind of a false sense of ability to act with impunity, because “What are you going to do to me? He’s still my dad, I’m still in here. So, we wait.”

But we are not that.

PF: Well, we earned our way in, and they didn’t, and who would he trust more? Who would Logan trust more for a certain response: the kid, or the person who knows really what’s going on?



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