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Jeremy Strong's 7 Best Performances, Ranked – MovieWeb

From his breakout role in Humboldt County to his award-winning turn in Succession, Jeremy Strong repeatedly proves how he is a formidable actor.
He may seem like a newcomer, but comedy and drama film-goers know Jeremy Strong from many roles before his breakout performance as one of the Roys from HBO’s Succession. With idols like Daniel Day-Lewis and Dustin Hoffman, Strong brings an indescribable amount of passion to his art. A highly debated form of acting, method acting is Strong’s preference when approaching a role, possibly because he takes each character he plays so seriously. He revealed to The New Yorker that the stakes in acting are like life and death. Whether he plays a fictionalized character or a real person on a series or in a film, audiences are sure to be on the edge of their seats when Strong is the star.
Strong is currently making waves with his new film Armageddon Time, directed by James Gray and starring Anne Hathaway and Anthony Hopkins. He is also fresh from his appearance the 2022 Primetime Emmy Awards, where he was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his role as Kendall Roy in Succession. In fact, the hit HBO series is gearing up to return for a fourth season. Until then, let's take a look at Jeremy Strong's best performances, ranked.
After the attacks of 9/11, the U.S. government was hell-bent on bringing al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden to justice. Bin Laden had been in hiding for practically a decade before a Navy SEAL team found him and took him out. This event was dramatized in Zero Dark Thirty, starring Jessica Chastian as a fictional CIA agent named Maya. Strong plays a CIA analyst named Thomas, who was part of Maya’s team. Thomas mentioned an informant he knew which Maya discovers is someone who faked their death. Strong’s role may be minimal, but the information he provides is pivotal to the film’s plot.
Director Ava DuVernay’s historical drama Selma is about the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march in 1965 led by Martin Luther King Jr. Strong plays Unitarian minister James Reeb from Boston, who joined the second march with Dr. King. In an interview with NPR, DuVernay talked about lead actor David Oyelowo portraying the guilt Dr. King felt after Reeb, Jimmie Lee Jackson, and Viola Liuzzo were murdered due to their involvement in the second march. Although Reeb died, Strong’s performance as an activist was emotionally moving.
Related: Succession Season 4: Questions We Can't Wait to See Answered
Strong’s breakout role in Humboldt County was also his first acting role. Peter is one test away from graduating from medical school, but his father, one of his professors, fails him. The events that follow are what director Darren Grodsky explains as a quarter-life crisis in an interview with North Coast Journal. Peter gets drunk, has a one-night stand, and agrees to go for a drive with the person he spent the night with. After dozing off, he wakes up stranded at a marijuana farm, unwilling to call his father for help. Strong’s performance as a young adult experiencing an identity crisis was the beginning of his incredible career.
Strong stars alongside acting legends like Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, and Steve Carell in The Big Short. In this Adam McKay directed and written comedy about the financial crisis of 2008, Strong plays Vinny Daniel, a member of Mark Baum’s (Carell) trading firm team. He shows his capability in comedy in the film, vacillating between the office jokester to someone who won’t be outwitted. The journey he takes the audience through is nothing short of spectacular, especially considering the acting powerhouses he’s acting with.
Another film where Strong is on a team of superb actors, The Judge is about Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.) returning home for his mother’s funeral. Hank’s brothers Dale (Strong) and Glen (Vincent D’Onofrio) haven’t left their hometown and lead simple lives. Dale is mentally impaired and always carries around an old-school camera. While an able-bodied person portraying a disabled person can be controversial, Strong has explained why playing Dale had an impact on him as an actor and a person.
Related: Succession Season 4 Trailer Promises More Family Drama
Strong is clearly no stronger to historical dramas centering activists. The Trial of the Chicago 7 is a historical drama based on the anti-war activists in Chicago, who were charged with inciting riots at the Democratic National Convention in 1968. During an interview with StilettoJill, Strong revealed that Selma helped prepare him for the energy of the film. Strong plays Jerry Rubin, the co-founder of the Youth International Party that advocated against the Vietnam War in the 1960s and 1970s.
Succession is on par with many dark dramas that showcase the politics within a family business when the patriarch’s heir fights to gain control against their more business-savvy siblings. Strong plays Kendall Roy, the eldest son and heir to the Roy family business, who struggles with being as cutthroat as the rest of his family. When he does attempt to overthrow his father or siblings, it backfires on him. Kendall is his greatest role because he is a culmination of Strong’s previous roles.
Proud Persian, queer icon, & coffee aficionado writing somewhere in California.

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