'Succession' star Arian Moayed opens up about his busy post-Stewy future

‘Succession’ star Arian Moayed opens up about his busy post-Stewy future

“So you saw the jammer!” says Arian Moayed with a laugh as she sat in the Ambassador’s Lounge at the Hudson Theater, where a woman had interrupted a performance of the now Tony nominated two nights earlier A dollhouse to tell the actor to take off his costume. “There’s debate within the production as to whether she was yelling at the character — like, take off your proverbial costume — or was she just kidding me,” she says. Moayed is used to the extreme intimacy of the theatre; her Broadway debut was opposite Robin Williams in 2011 Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (he got a Tony nom for that, too), and now he’s performing this abridged, setless adaptation of Henrik Ibsen with Jessica Chastain eight times a week, an experience he describes as “spiritual.”

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He’s also unfazed by a certain level of fan interaction — his role as Stewy Succession it made him something of a god to New York moviegoers. “The hedge fund brothers will stop me. They think they are my friends,” she says. “I’m like, ‘Let’s go to the bathroom, Stewy.’ That kind of vibe. I just have to say, ‘Wait, I have kids and a non-profit theater company (Waterwell)! That’s not me.’ ”

He came to this interview directly after re-recording the dialogue for Successionseries finale. She describes herself as being in denial about the whole thing. The cast group text still shoots every week when the episodes go live, and many actors have come to watch A dollhouse. “The reality is, we’ll never be in the same room together again,” she says. “So now is the time to tell everyone how fucking awesome they are.”

Two days before Succession airs for the last time (May 28), Moayed’s next project will debut. In You hurt my feelings, Nicole Holofcener’s long-awaited second collaboration with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, plays an actor with chronically low confidence – a spiritual opposite of Stewy’s powerhouse bluster player. The film’s central conflict kicks off when the character Louis-Dreyfus, a novelist, overhears her husband telling Moayed that he doesn’t like her new book. “If you have three hours to spare, you should call my wife,” Moayed jokes when asked about his need for approval from her loved ones. “I take everything the wrong way. But at the end of the day if something (I’m into it) goes wrong he’ll sit me down and hold my hand and look me in the eye and say it’s not working.

Moayed in You Hurt My Feelings.

Moayed in You hurt my feelings.

A24/Courtesy of the Everett Collection

At 43, Moayed — who was born in Tehran, Iran, and immigrated with his family to the Chicago suburbs when he was 5 — still vividly recalls his early acting days, when his agents sent him to casting specifically Iranians. “I said I wasn’t going to play terrorist roles because it doesn’t represent who I am and I didn’t want my parents to see me in that shit,” the actor says. He adds that he likes scripts with strong opinions: A dollhousethe exposure of subtle misogyny, Successionit is the overthrow of hedonistic capitalism. “I sincerely believe that art is a tool we can use to advance the needle of progress and humanity,” he says. And there’s no arguing – or, rather, bothering – with this one.

This story first appeared in the May 17 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to register now.