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August 31 2019
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Sarah Snook’s character, Shiv, in the first season of Succession.

Sarah Snook is so adept at embodying the wily Siobhan “Shiv” Roy, on HBO’s breakout hit Succession, that she feels compelled to make clear that she is nothing like the character in real life. “I get a lot of ‘Shiv’s pretty badass,’ which I like, [but] I worry that people will think that I’m like Shiv … and I’m very different,” she explained in early August, shortly after finishing filming on Season Two. “She’s all buttoned up and straight lines, and I’m not that. I’m, hopefully, a lot friendlier than her.”

Shiv—who has been compared to the likes of Ivanka Trump, Elisabeth Murdoch, and Shari Redstone—is one of four children of media-conglomerate founder Logan Roy (Brian Cox); the crux of the delicious series is the competition between the quartet, who strive, with varying degrees of effectiveness and ingenuity, to position themselves as the successor for the aging, imposing patriarch. But while Shiv’s three brothers, Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Roman (Kieran Culkin), and Connor (Alan Ruck), represent variations on the theme of “doofus” (tortured doofus, puckish doofus, and doofus doofus, respectively), Shiv, for the most part, has appeared to be the relative voice of reason and equanimity.

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