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Succession: No, Kieran Culkin Doesn't Think Roman Got The Happiest Roy Sibling Ending

Nobody got a happy ending on "Succession," which was, ultimately, kind of the point. The Roy family — patriarch Logan (Brian Cox) and children Connor (Alan Ruck), Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Shiv (Sarah Snook), and Roman (Kieran Culkin) — were odious, rich beyond anyone's imagination, and didn't care about anything but their own personal gain, and when Logan dies suddenly, his children scramble to be the one to carry on his legacy. That includes Roman, although, truthfully, he doesn't wage quite as strong of a war as either Shiv or Kendall, the latter of whom says he might "die" if he doesn't get his daddy's vacant job as CEO of Waystar Royco. Roman ends the series alone at a bar, sipping a martini, his face stitched up after getting in the middle of a rowdy protest, a wry smile on his face... but as Kieran Culkin told Variety, this definitely isn't a happy ending by any means.

When interviewer Kate Aurthur pointed out some fans think Roman got the best ending of the siblings, Culkin was surprised by this take. "But that's not saying very much, is it?" he pointed out. "None of the siblings are in a particularly good place at the end. I've heard that interpretation, and I think that's interesting. A lot of people just go, 'Well, he's got tons of money — he'll be fine!' Which just isn't really the case for these people. I don't think it's as simple as, 'Well, I guess I've got my riches and my martini, I'm fine.' I don't think he's OK. No."

According to Kieran Culkin, Roman doesn't have a bright future ahead of him

Culkin then opened up about shooting the scene with series creator and showrunner Jesse Armstrong, which takes place right after Waystar Royco successfully sells to Swedish tech company GoJo and removes the Roy family legacy entirely. While Kendall loses his mind, Roman simply leaves and goes to the bar — and Culkin said they both had different views of the scene.

"I remember on that day, Jesse said, 'Do you want to talk about this moment, or not?'" Culkin recalled. "I said, 'No, let's just shoot it.' Because I didn't want to hear what it was. Because I had my own idea. He has said that he thinks it's more of like, 'Roman has gone back to where he was at the beginning. What's really sad about that was all of this was for nothing. It's been a waste of his time. Like, what's the point? What did he learn? What did he gain?'"

"Which is a cool interpretation, and that's his, so that seems to be the one that's right," Culkin continued. This does feel right considering that, while Kendall is trying to get his brother to shoot down the sale, Roman is the only one who fully realizes that every single one of their efforts came to nothing, saying that he and his siblings are "bullsh*t."

Kieran Culkin thinks Roman has changed, but not in a good way

Culkin, for his part, doesn't think Roman learned absolutely nothing. On the flip side, he thinks that Roman has learned just how alone he is. As Culkin points out, the loss of Waystar Royco and its sale to GoJo essentially severs any binding between himself, Shiv, and Kendall — none of them have much, if any, binding to poor Connor in the first place — in that they'll never even really need to be in the same room again. "The thing that gets me, even at the end of Season 3, was if Roman's cut out of the company, and there's no reason for him specifically to come to the office and interact with his siblings, they don't have the capacity to say, 'Hey, I miss you. Let's get together and hang out,'" Culkin pointed out. This is made all the more true by the fact that Shiv screwed Kendall over to sell Waystar, which leaves Roman between two siblings who may never speak again.

"I think he not only just genuinely loves his family, I think he needs them," Culkin concluded. "Now that it's done, and he's out, and they're all out: When is he going to see them again? Who does he have? He has f**king nobody. That's it. And siblings are out there, somewhere. And it's not like we're gonna get together for a beer. He's very much alone. Have you ever seen Roman with a friend?" Culkin's not wrong — but it makes Roman's ending that much sadder.