Sarah Snook Almost Turned Down Playing Shiv In 'Succession'

·2 min read
Photo credit: Zach Dilgard/HBO
Photo credit: Zach Dilgard/HBO

After two seasons of Succession (and a third premiering October 17), it's hard to imagine anyone other than the indomitable Sarah Snook playing Siobhan "Shiv" Roy, the only daughter in the billionaire Roy family. However, Snook, who captures Shiv in all of her cool, sharp, and often frustrating glory, recently revealed to Town & Country that she almost turned down the role that has now made her a household name.

Casting director Francine Maisler, who cast Snook in 2015's Steve Jobs, offered her the role in Succession. However, Snook initially said no, which, according to her, ironically “felt like my first step toward Shiv,” she said.

Snook noted that, though she loved the script, the Australian actress did not feel she was the right choice when it came to playing an American heiress. On top of that, her management team advised her to advocate for a higher salary than the initial offer. The producers eventually returned to Snook with more money, a deal to which she agreed, she still felt unsure about the part.

"I felt like this Antipodean bargaining chip that they were going to use to get a better person," Snook revealed.

Snook's fears did not dissipate until halfway through shooting the show's first season, when she realized it would be too expensive for HBO reshoot everything with a different actress. However, she also noticed that her own strategy behind playing Shiv—sitting back, strategizing, as the men in her family argue—worked well for her character.

"There’s a taciturn nature to Shiv where she will observe and sit back, and part of that was just me going, 'Well, I don’t have the confidence to improv in an American accent right now, so I’ll just stand and watch and have an opinion, but not say it out loud,'" Snook said. "That fit Shiv."

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