Succession’s Finale Fight Between Greg And Tom Was One Of My Favorite Moments, And Kieran Culkin's Intense Behind-The-Scenes Account Makes It Even Better

 Matthew Macfadyen and Nicholas Braun in Succession.
Matthew Macfadyen and Nicholas Braun in Succession.

Succession has been seeing a lot of love this awards season after wrapping its series last May, picking up multiple awards at the Golden Globes, Primetime Emmys and Critics’ Choice Awards. As such, fans like myself have gotten to reminisce on the phenomenon that was its fourth and final season — including that ridiculous finale. One of my favorite moments from “With Open Eyes” was the bathroom brawl between Greg (Nicholas Braun) and Tom (Matthew Macfadyen), but after hearing Kieran Culkin’s account of the shooting of that scene, I like it even more.

Why Greg And Tom’s Bathroom Brawl Was Such A Huge Moment

Of all the toxic relationships that existed within the world of Succession, the one between Greg Hirsch — first cousin of the Roy siblings — and Shiv’s husband Tom Wambsgans was undoubtedly one of the most entertaining. While the two were always friends of sorts, Tom was a constant punching bag for his in-laws, and he in turn regularly punched down at Greg, the one family member who seemed less powerful than him.

That’s what made the finale fight between the two such a big deal — because Greg (who delivered hilariously perfect quotes throughout Succession’s four seasons) actually stood up to his fellow Disgusting Brother after informing Kendall that Tom was being named the new CEO of Waystar Royco. Tom pulled Greg into the bathroom to confront him, and after smacking Greg on the head and calling him a “little prick,” Greg retaliated by slapping Tom across the face — hard. The two scuffled, but Tom didn’t get any huge licks of his own in before retreating to do damage control.

It was a huge win to see Greg defend himself like that, and the loud smack across the face was delightfully shocking. Hearing Kieran Culkin talk about it, though, makes it even better.

Kieran Culkin Recalled Watching The Filming Of That Fight Scene

Nicholas Braun and Matthew Macfadyen had quite a few intense scenes together on Succession, so when it came time to throw down in the bathroom, the actors apparently decided to just go for it. If you wondered how real Greg’s slap across Tom’s face really was, just ask Kieran Culkin, who said he got to witness the moment. Culkin told People:

I was there. I was watching in the monitor, which was probably a whole room away and I could hear that slap.

Kieran Culkin, who played the sarcastic Roman Roy, heard Nicholas Braun slap Matthew Macfadyen from a whole room away. That is super intense, and I can imagine that was as shocking for Culkin to watch as it was for the audience at home. Props to Macfadyen for agreeing to take that hit — four times, too, as they apparently shot multiple takes of that scene. The actor’s sacrifice paid off, as Macfadyen won best supporting actor awards at both the Emmys and the Golden Globes.

That was only one of countless great moments from the epic finale — which ultimately saw Tom named head of Waystar Royco’s US division by Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård), and chose to bring Greg along with him. Another fun scene, and a favorite of producer Mark Mylod, was Kendall’s “Meal Fit For a King” — which provided one last glimpse of frivolous joy for the Roy siblings.

You can relive the entire Roy family saga by streaming Succession with a Max subscription, and be sure to check out our 2024 TV schedule to see what premieres are coming soon.