How impatient are you for the next season of Succession? F-ck! I want it so bad! They’re still filming though, and HBO hasn’t even announced an air date so it won’t be summer, although hopefully they can get enough done for a post-Emmys start. Which would be ideal, if we can all get down with Waystar Royco when the weather turns, at least in North America.
On Succession, it’s hard to pick a favourite. Every time you want to say Roman, Tom Wambsgans does something so ridiculous you know you can’t live without him. Every time Shiv gives us a power suit, Gerri comes through with her own moment. And Kendall drops a verse, lol. Then, of course, there’s Cousin Greg. Cousin Greg probably tops a lot of people’s lists of favourite Succession characters – because in this amoral family, he’s the one who comes closest as a proxy for the audience, for us. And also because Nicholas Braun is just so good at balancing Greg’s outsider, wannabe, thirty ass, with vulnerable and accessible energy. This is why the role made him a star. A star enough to land on the cover of British GQ.
Nicholas, however, isn’t promoting Succession here. Technically this feature is timed for the release of the upcoming Zola, in which he plays Riley Keough’s hapless boyfriend, a “cuck” as he’s referred to in the GQ piece. Which is actually one of the things that’s interesting about Nicholas’s career so far.
Cousin Greg, as popular as he is, is not, like, a conventional heartthrob. In fact, you might say he’s the opposite – and not the opposite in the trope of the nerdy Some Kind of Wonderful friend who gets the girl kind of way either. Cousin Greg isn’t played like a romantic alternative, that’s not what anyone is going for here. Greg is much more complicated, it’s not quite as simple as someone who is led astray by greed and ambition but whose heart of gold will prevail. Greg is undeniably a social-climber. Greg is manipulative. Greg is an idiot, at times. Greg is …not sexy. But somehow Greg is, well, he’s adored. And Nicholas has leaned into that vibe, going against the convention of what we find attractive in a leading man by being the anti-leading man, both in his performance as Greg and his performance in Zola…
And now we find him on the cover of a magazine that typically features conventional leading men. It’s a different path to a familiar place. He seems to be enjoying it here. After all, he’s also a popstar, with a record deal now with a music label. And he goes viral for his style choices, Virgil Alboh is sending him clothes, he’s an Emmy nominee, everyone wants to talk to him on the red carpet, and yes… to many… he is considered a heartthrob. Cousin Greg is desired. Nicholas Braun is desired. I’m sure there are a lot of you out there reading this who are like… Nicholas Braun can totally get it. All 6 ft 7 of him, in his pink turtleneck sweater and rolled up jeans. This doesn’t happen often in Hollywood. He seems surprised at times that it’s happened to him. There’s a quote in this piece about Twilight and how he used to observe that cast from outside of that orbit and wistfully wonder if that might be for him. That’s him now, people swooning over him, only he got there without being typically swoony. I’m so curious to see where Nicholas Braun will be in five years.
Click here to read the full Nicholas Braun profile at British GQ.