Filming Shiv’s Succession Season 2 Meltdown Was Terrifying For Sarah Snook

“As we were rehearsing, and then as we did it, it wasn’t working, I guess,” she admitted. “Jesse [Armstrong, series creator] ended up going to this situation, going, ‘Well, what would you want to say? What’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Let’s just simplify it.'” The script for Shiv’s pivotal “Succession” scene in the “Tern Haven” episode was initially much more dialogue-heavy. “It was a much more wordy thing that [Armstrong]’d written,” Snook revealed. “We just simplified and simplified, and turned it into this very short word vomit.”

Shiv blowing her chances was a scary moment for the actress and the character alike. At that moment, Snook was just as afraid of Logan’s disappointment as Shiv was. In fact, it was the most nerve-wracking moment that she’d ever had as an actress. “I think the most terrified I’ve ever been on set, in anything, ever, was when you, Brian [Cox], started dinging your glass in a take,” the actress admitted. This brief moment passes quickly in the episode, but the actors were forced to sit with this pregnant pause during the shoot.

“Shiv stands up and everybody leaves and the scene as written is over long before that, but what I love the way that we shoot is we’ll play it out until the moment is done,” Snook explained. “Then in the edit, they’ll cut and they’ll change it and shape it. What is going to happen when Logan and Shiv are faced with each other? [Cox] dinging that crystal glass is the death knell. I’ve never been so terrified. I’ve just seen death come with a scythe.”

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