Sarah Snook found out she was pregnant while filming Succession’s final season — and chose the wildest moment possible to share the news with her crew.
During the seventh episode of season four, Shiv Roy, played by Snook, 35, and Tom Wambsgams, portrayed by Matthew Macfadyen, find themselves at an impasse in their marriage while hosting a crowded election eve party in their apartment.
When the pair take a beat to argue and exchange heated words on the balcony, a secretly pregnant Shiv tells him her husband he’s pathetic — and Tom retaliates. “And I think you are maybe not a good person to have children,” he seethes.
Moments after Snook was finished filming the heartbreaking scene, she revealed her real-life pregnancy to the show’s cast and crew.
“Inevitably something dulls, and you get used to a scene and you are not finding the sort of same spontaneity or inspiration in it,” Snook told Variety in an interview published on Wednesday, August 3. “So when I hear that line, ‘Maybe you’re not going to be a good mom’ — maybe that’s me hearing it, just as much as it is Shiv. Because that’s a pretty horrible thing to say to somebody!”
Snook was a mainstay on Succession since it’s premiere in June 2018. The critically acclaimed series has nabbed a total of 13 Emmy wins over the years, including two for Best Drama.
Shiv’s arc in season 4, it turns out, paralleled Snook’s own journey closely, with the character realizing she was pregnant with her and estranged husband Tom’s baby in episode 4 of the final season. The actress and her husband, Dave Lawson — who tied the knot in 2021 — announced they were expecting baby No. 1 during the show’s season 4 premiere in March.
The series wrapped two months later on May 28 — and Snook welcomed her first child with Lawson, 44, just one day later.
“I just watched the final episode of the final season of something that has changed my life. And now, my life has changed again,” she wrote via Instagram alongside a photo of herself and her newborn watching the last episode of the HBO hit. “Thank you for all the love and support.”
She continued: “It’s hard to express what this show has meant to me. The places I got to go, the immense talent I got to work with…it breaks my heart that it is all over. But my heart had to be this full of all the memories, good times, challenges and triumphs, to be able to break at all…so that makes me grateful.”
The decision to end the HBO hit after only four seasons came as a shock not only to fans, but to the cast as well.
“I was very upset,” Snook told The Los Angeles Times in a March interview. “I felt a huge sense of loss, disappointment and sadness. It would have been nice to know at the beginning of the season, but I also understand not being told until the end because there was still a potential that maybe this wasn’t going to be the end. Emotionally, all of us weren’t necessarily ready to be done with the show because we love each other so much.”
While speaking to Variety on Wednesday, Snook admitted that she was initially holding out hope that showrunner Jesse Armstrong may want to continue into season 5 and beyond.
However, the last script made it clear season 4 would be the end. “I arrived [after reading the finale script] and was like, ‘That’s it. It’s done,’” Snook recalled, telling the outlet Macfadyen, in particular, thought the onscreen couple’s “last handhold” might mean there was “potential for what’s going to happen with Tom as CEO.’” Their hopes were short lived and Armstrong made the final called shortly after. “It was devastating,” she said.
Snook may be moving on from her time as Shiv Roy, but she’s currently focused on her West End production of The Picture of Dorian Gray, in which she’ll play all 26 roles, and enjoying the experience of new motherhood.
“I don’t feel like I’ve gotten to where I want to go, but if this is it, then I’m grateful,” she gushed. “But I still want more.”