When it comes to breakout characters from the HBO series "Succession," Nicholas Braun's Cousin Greg has to rank near the top of the list. It's easy to sympathize with Greg in contrast to the members of his extended Roy family, who are just the worst. He's a bit of an audience surrogate at the start of the show, an outsider to a world that's ultra-luxurious and ultra-toxic. The Roys exist at such a level of horribleness that we're almost forced to assume being a raging a-hole is their genetic predisposition. That — and their self-destruction — is what makes them eminently watchable.

As "Succession" moved beyond the first season, Greg showed himself as less a babe in the woods than a snake in the grass himself. He is a Roy, after all. His transformation from blissfully naive to a scheming manipulator has been gratifying and saddening. Since we like the consistently underestimated Greg, it's nice to see him hold his own in the viper pit and occasionally come out with a win. But every one of those victories is also a reminder that they are coming at the expense of another piece of his soul.

Braun is terrific as Cousin Greg, and he rightly earned an Emmy nomination for his work in the third season of "Succession." He portrays Greg's gradual descent down to the level of his cousins perfectly …with a big assist from the wardrobe and hair and makeup departments, of course.

As Greg's Naivety Goes Down, His Style Goes Up

When we first meet Cousin Greg, he's got the maturity level of a high schooler. He's a man-child with shaggy hair and rumpled, ill-fitting clothes, and a predilection for getting high on the job as a costumed mascot at one of the Waystar theme parks. But as he's brought into the Roy family's inner circle — even though everyone still treats him as a punchline and a punching bag — that all starts to change. Those subtle aesthetic and physical changes are no accident, either, as you would expect from a show as tightly written and detail-oriented as "Succession." As Nicholas Braun told The A.V. Club in an interview last June:

"I like to be intentional about all the physical aspects along with the writing in how [Greg] becomes more confident. It's about the hair, the quality of the suits. … If the suit is baggier, it's a sloppier guy. It's literally down to the length and knot of the tie, the quality of the shoes, or where you part your hair. […] His posture and voice evolve, he's not stuttering so much. Vocally, I can't be in the lower register like the rest of the room. I have to be higher, kind of like a 'look over here' vibe."

Given the way Greg's fashion sense, style, and cunning have skyrocketed across the first three seasons, we can't wait to see the next stage of his metamorphosis. Maybe season 4 — premiering March 26 on HBO and HBO Max — will be the year in which he finds his final form.

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