HBO has many LGBTQ-inclusive shows, from Euphoria to The White Lotus to House of the Dragon. Not really Succession, though… or so we thought.
There was always something rather queer about the ever-complicated character of Roman Roy (played by Kieran Culkin), but it was hard for anyone to highlight exactly what this was. After all, what we did see on the show was Roman’s wife and kid in the pilot episode, as well as his secret sexual relationship with Gerri Kellman (played by J. Smith-Cameron).
Speaking to Variety, Culkin finally spilled some tea that illuminates why some viewers might’ve gotten certain “queer vibes” regarding his character on Succession. First of all, the actor clarified that the woman we see in the pilot is not his wife, and that child is not his, either.
“It was in the pilot, and after it was picked up, it was his girlfriend, and she had a child,” the actor noted. “I’m wearing my real wedding band in the episode. I was excited about the idea of having a kid, and the kid was like seven or eight. It was a little disappointing, but I think the idea was that it would just give them more freedom to play with the character.”
So what did the Succession writers want to explore with Roman, you ask? Culkin explained:
“They had mentioned to me, even before we shot the pilot, about questioning what Roman’s sexuality is… and we don’t know what it is. But it put something in my brain, and I was like, ‘Okay, but I’m married and have kids?’ They were toying with the idea that she’s aware that you have sort of hang-ups sexually when it comes to monogamy, and might be more fluid, but we don’t know what that is yet.”
The fourth and final season of Succession has reached its halfway point, but there are still five episodes to go. There’s a chance we might learn more about Roman’s aforementioned girlfriend, that we’ll get some closure on his complicated relationship with Gerri, and/or that the character’s queerness will finally be explored in the series.
Nonetheless, Culkin’s statement validates a lot of viewers’ feelings that perhaps there was, indeed, something intentionally queer or fluid about Roman on the show. We shall keep tuning in to find out what happens next during this chaotic and explosive final season of Succession.