Who among us hasn’t watched Gerri Kellman and Roman Roy passive-aggressively flirting on Succession and thought, “If these two don’t touch in a sexual way, I will die.” Hmm? Certainly not Kieran Culkin, who recently spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about his onscreen family, his offscreen family, and, most importantly, the psychosexual tension between his Succession character and J. Smith-Cameron’s Gerri.
“I remember saying to my wife in season one, ‘I really hope something happens sort of sexually or romantically between those two, but I don’t know that it ever will,’” Culkin told THR. “But we were sure trying.” Culkin is longtime friends with Smith-Cameron and her husband, playwright Kenneth Lonergan. In the interview, Culkin said he and Smith-Cameron even egged on their characters’ potential romance, something that I, personally, will never get over.
“I would flirt with J. in the most obnoxious way, just to fuck around,” he said, recalling the time when they were filming Shiv’s wedding and improved a bit where Gerri and Roman spontaneously turned around to check out each other’s butt. “I remember the writers all laughing,” Smith-Cameron said of the scene, “but it never occurred to me that it would inform anything they wrote.” I’m guessing it also never occurred to her that it would inform entire Gerri-Roman fandoms as well as the internet’s desperate pleas to be called disgusting little pigs.
But can you blame us? It is impossible to watch these two interact without imagining how weird and awful and cathartic it would be if they just … had a little kiss? Played a horny version of Boar on the Floor? Called each other “slime puppies” in bed?
Culkin knows that part of what makes the pseudo-romance work is the fact that it … absolutely shouldn’t work. “It’s so not supposed to happen,” he told THR. “It’s like, ‘Could you imagine what Dad would think about that? Or that she’s Shiv’s godmother? She probably used to help me tie my shoes when I was a little kid — and now we’re fucking.’ That’s why. I think if at any point Gerri turned to [Roman] and said, ‘Take off your pants, let’s fuck,’ he’d be like, ‘No, no, Mama!’ and run.”
Well, how about Gerri gives it a try and we all find out? If only so we all get to hear Roman crying, “No, no, Mama!”