“‘Succession’ is a hard thing to recover from,” says Natalie Gold. “It’s such a beautiful, incredible experience, that it’s hard to move on to the next thing, and find satisfaction within the next thing.”
Hard — but doable. The actress, who starred in the popular HBO series as the estranged wife of Kendall Roy, has landed herself in another “dysfunctional family by way of marriage,” this time on Broadway. Gold currently stars in a new production of Branden Jacobs Jenkins’ play “Appropriate,” along with an ensemble cast led by Sarah Paulson.
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“I really thank god for ‘Appropriate,’ because this is so deeply satisfying and moving and fun, and brilliant and challenging in a whole new kind of way,” says Gold of the production.
In the play, three estranged siblings and their families reunite at their late father’s Southern estate to sort through his belongings and prepare the property to sell. Gold stars as the wife of one of two brothers; the couple arrive at the house from New York with their two young children in tow. The discovery of an unexpected item in the cluttered house destabilizes the already precarious family dynamics.
Gold describes the play as a Rorschach test, with each new audience at Hayes Theater reacting differently to the events unfolding onstage. “Sometimes we get really wild audiences where they’re talking to us, hooting and hollering, laughing, and sometimes they’re quieter — which at first was a little bit disarming to us, and then we realized, oh, that’s not actually a bad thing. They’re listening,” says Gold. “A lot of what we’re seeing is disturbing, so they’re taking that in.”
The play features frequent scenes of overlapping dialogue and concurrent conversations, a challenge that Gold has welcomed. “There’s truly no place in this play for anybody to check out,” she says. “You have to be a mental athlete. Just pure concentration at all times.”
“Appropriate,” running through early March, marks Gold’s third collaboration with director Lila Neugebauer. Gold describes the director as “beautifully precise” and a “pure collaborator.” Ongoing creative collaboration is at the heart of many of Gold’s recent projects, and the actress recalls parting words from “Succession” director Jesse Armstrong, which drove home the importance of maintaining those connections.
“Jesse Armstrong sent out this beautiful email towards the end of the show about his decision to end the show, and the bittersweet feelings around all of that,” she says. “And the one thing that was giving him solace is that — I’m not going to say it as well as he did — but basically that we found these creative collaborators that will take on new life forms.”
After the series wrapped, Gold starred in a short film written and directed by the show’s former script supervisor, and shot by cinematographer Patrick Capone.
“Everybody was so happy to be back together,” adds Gold of the experience. “We spent four days in a hotel in New Jersey together shooting this thing, and it was kind of like being back home with family again.”
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