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    5. Is this the most despicable person on TV?


    Is this the most despicable person on TV?

    Tragic figure: Kieran Culkin as Roman Roy in the penultimate episode of “Succession”. t built in a day. Work on The Heir's strangest, most obnoxious, and tragic character is unfinished for both showrunner Jesse Armstrong and actor Kieran Culkin. But after four seasons and a lifetime of inappropriate jokes, the repulsive novel has finally served its purpose. In the penultimate episode of The Heir, he was both the worst person in the world and the one who crushed the strings of the heart.

    To say the unspeakable was part of Roman's party going back to the first season (“What the hell , for obsessing with milk? Do you know who drinks milk? Kittens and perverts”). But as The Legacy nears its finale, he hits a critical mass of disgust, joking, “Is this mine?” when Shiv's sister reveals she's pregnant on her way to their father's funeral.

    But then, a moment later, Roman falls apart in the church. His mourning eulogy for Logan ends before it can even begin when he breaks down, his tears dripping onto pink post-it notes as he lays out his complex feelings for his father. It's one of those unsettling moments in Legacies when the show suddenly treats its characters like people.

    This transition from a cursing perverted goblin to a heartbroken son could easily irritate him. Culkin, however, sells it. He makes us believe in Roman as a one percent Gollum and a young man who is driven mad by grief.

    But then the actor would know something about a life full of contradictions. A member of the Culkin acting family, he saw his older brother Macaulay become a global star by the age of 12, but was thrown into the Hollywood junkyard before he was old enough to drive.

    As with Roman Roy, Kieran will also know that glamor and misery can exist side by side. While his career as a child actor began with films such as Father of the Bride and Cider House Rules, his mother broke up with Kieran's father, from whom the children are estranged to this day.

    “My father was jealous me. He was a bad man,” Macaulay described his father, Keith, a failed actor who pushed his children into the profession. “He was offensive. In everything he tried to do in life, I succeeded even before I was 10 years old.

    Families are complex; problems with your father can spoil you. The only person who knows this better than Roman Roy is Kieran Culkin.

    Brothers Kieran and Macaulay Culkin in 1991 at the American Comedy Awards. Photo: Daniel Watson/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

    “Poor fucking guy,” Culkin once described Macaulay. “He was small and had to try to accept that level of fame as reality. Even at that time, as a kid, I remember thinking, “This sucks for him.”

    Kieran was never a household name, unlike his brother. But, nevertheless, it was a strange childhood. How strange this was became clear when Martin Bashir interviewed Michael Jackson in 2003.

    “I have slept in the same bed with many children,” Jackson said. “I slept in the same bed with all of them when Macaulay Culkin was little. Kieran Culkin slept on this side, Macaulay Culkin was on this side. We'd all just lay in bed.”

    Jackson's statement caught everyone's attention 20 years ago, before the 2019 documentary Leaving Neverland accused Jackson of child abuse. Culkin was asked about his relationship with Jackson, but he never judged the tarnished King of Pop.

    Kieran and Macaulay Culkin in 2002 Credit: New York Daily News Archive

    “The only thing I can say is that I can't say anything, and the reason for that is that I can't be of any use to anyone” , he told the Guardian in 2021. when the success of Legacy suddenly made Culkin famous in his thirties.

    “It seems to me that this case has two sides, and since I cannot be useful on either side, everything that I say and everything that is published in the press can only harm someone, and already there are many really hurt feelings. There are already a lot of people who are in a quandary and if I help in any way, it will just hurt someone because I can't really help.”

    Five years after Jackson spoke to Bashir, Culkin's life was turned upside down again. His sister Cody died after being hit by a car at the age of 30. But he kept the memory of her – and says that she inspired Roman. He hears Cody's voice when he improvises a sarcastic phrase or shortens one of his siblings, Roy.

    “The only difference is that she wouldn't do it in a big group,” he told Esquire magazine. because she was kind, but because she was shy.

    Roman also has a lot of Kieran. Sarah Snook, also known as Shiv Roy, stated that of all the actors, Culkin is the most similar to his character in terms of speaking style and personality. What she may have captured is the atmosphere of tragedy that child stars often carry into later life.

    The novel is also tragic, although for different reasons. Of all the Swarms, he is the only one who covets his father's affection. Connor needs to be seen. Kendall is desperate to usurp Logan. Shiv is motivated by her desire to be considered equal to her brothers. Only Roman wants to be loved.

    Logan understood this and saw weakness in it. He ruthlessly exploited his youngest son, encouraging him to side with his father over his siblings, and fed Roman with the lie that he was the most beloved of Logan's children.

    But Roman isn't just a victim, which is what makes him so interesting. He may be the most tragic Roy. He is also the most disgusting. In the first episode of “Succession”, during Roy's annual softball game, he offers the guardian's child $1 million if he hits a home run (the child who is knocked out is then forced to sign a non-disclosure agreement).

    From cursing pervert to heartbroken son: Kieran Culkin as Roman Roy Photo: Home Box Office

    He later fired his former love, Jerry, in order to prove to his now-deceased father that he is the coolest. And, as a water carrier for would-be dictator Jerid Menken, he helped plunge a knife into the heart of American democracy by forcing ATN News to “announce early” Menken's election. He's a little lost boy who wants to be a sociopath when he grows up, or to quote Alexander Skarsgård, aka the CEO of tech billionaire Lukas Mathsson, Roman “represents the show's moral decline.”

    Amongst all the complexity, Culkin has directly related to Roman. He found his way early on by deciding that the character “will feel like he will never have to suffer any consequences. He can literally walk into any room and throw a drink in some lady's face, and it's fun.”

    Fun for Roman – but even more so for the viewer. When Legacy ends next week, we'll miss the awful Tom Wambsgans, the pathetic cousin Greg, and the awful Shiv and Kendall. But of all of them, the one whose absence we will mourn the most is undoubtedly the Roman – one of the most contemptible people to ever grace the screen, but also the one in whose desperation to be loved we perhaps catch a reflection of our longing for connection. . /p>

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