Succession star Kieran Culkin addresses Roman Roy’s sexuality

Succession star Kieran Culkin.

As the internet raves about HBO’s hit series Succession, actor Kieran Culkin has spilt the tea on Roman Roy’s sexuality.

The series, now in its fourth season, has focused on the dysfunctional billionaire Roy family and the power struggle between patriarch Logan’s (Brian Cox) four children, Connor (Alan Ruck), Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Roman and Shiv (Sarah Snook).

During an interview on the podcast Homo Sapiens last year, Succession writer Georgia Pritchett briefly said Culkin’s character “feels a bit fluid and pan”, with no further context.

Now, in an interview with Variety, Culkin has addressed his character’s complicated love life, confirming there were discussions around Roman’s sexuality.

“They 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, ‘OK, but I’m married and have kids?'” he said.

Kieran Culkin as Roman Roy in Succession. (HBO)
Kieran Culkin as Roman Roy in Succession. (HBO)

He is referring to the supposed wife and kid Roman had in the first episode, and where he was sporting a wedding ring, but, after the show was picked up, they mysteriously disappeared and were never mentioned again.

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“I was excited about the idea of having a kid,” he admitted, “and the kid was 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.”

He added: “They were toying with the idea that [Roman has] sort of hang-ups sexually when it comes to monogamy, and might be more fluid, but we don’t know what that is yet.”

As we come to the end of the fourth – and final – season, there is still no indication that the showrunners will act on the idea that Roman is not entirely straight. His romantic history has included a secret casual relationship with Gerri Kellman (J Smith Cameron) and his current girlfriend Tabitha (Caitlin FitzGerald), who he met at Tom’s bachelor party.

The show has long had an issue with LGBTQ+ representation, posing Logan as an openly homophobic father. Meanwhile, after major fan speculation that cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun) was gay, Pritchett confirmed that she “advocated” for that – but it never came to fruition.

However, some fans have pointed to the sexually charged scenes Roman has been in, including a tension-filled gym training scene in season one and an interesting bathroom business deal.

Regardless, Culkin’s standout performance this season has led to his name being submitted for lead actor in a drama at this year’s Emmy awards.

Succession airs every Sunday on HBO in the US and on Mondays at 9pm on Sky Atlantic in the UK.

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