Jesse Armstrong On Writing

I grew up in middle-class Malibu. Many people think it’s just the rich and the famous living there, but a lot of people that I went to school and grew up with were middle-class. There was a major fascination for me growing up there. I was so close, yet so far from the mega-rich. I saw them, I spoke to them and was friends with them, I went to some of their mansions as I grew up, but it’s not a world I had lived in constantly. I had a taste here and there. Succession takes the type of people that I had an exposure to, and brings that to a whole other level. Add a few zeros onto their worth. I find this show beyond fascinating. I love the characters, and I love to see the fight for power in this family. When you have all the money in the world, what else matters?

I have a theory about money. Some people say more of it would make them happier, while others that have it beg to differ. I think money is a magnifier. The more you have, the more it brings out your innermost qualities. If you’re a good person and live a well-rounded life it will bring out the best in you, and if you’re bad it’ll do just the opposite. If you don’t know how to be happy without money, you probably won’t be happy with all the money in the world. When you think about this, think about the Roys, the richest family in the world. Think about the things that kind of money magnifies.