With Succession’s series finale premiering this Sunday on HBO and on its newly rebranded Max streaming service, there seems to be a lot of loose ends left to tie up. With the fate of media empire Waystar Royco hanging in the balance, there is one character that has remained a pivotal player throughout this Emmy-winning drama series – Gerri Kellman.

Played by J. Smith-Cameron, Gerri has served as General Counsel and interim CEO at Waystar. As her reign on Succession comes to an end, I asked Smith-Cameron what she will miss most about her fan-favorite character.

“I will really miss that it’s such a specific character, and I also feel like I have some ownership in creating her right from the start. We’ve all kind of put our own stamp on our characters and that’s been such a vibrant, wonderful, positive experience. I often feel like when they try to show middle-aged or older lady bosses, they’re just these impenetrable, barracuda-type dragon ladies. There’s a vulnerability about her but she can be mean as a snake, so I will miss that kind of power she has, but also the reality of her being a flesh and blood person.”

Smith-Cameron went on to praise the world of Succession, including the production value, the direction and the writing throughout the series. There is one thing, however, she said with a laugh that she will not be missing: “I’ve had enough Kieran Culkin insult humor for a while.”

Playing a Waystar executive on-screen these past four seasons, I wondered if Smith-Cameron was inspired by any real-life business leaders to effectively bring Gerri to life on Succession.

“I had some personal friends that I kind of used because I knew them. A couple of times, I allude to Nancy Pelosi in my wardrobe. There’s one scene in season two, I think, where I’m walking into Waystar and I have on the red coat and the sunglasses and my hands in the pockets like Nancy Pelosi. Then, there’s another scene I think in season three where I wear a dress and jewelry that’s very similar to her [Trump] impeachment outfit, which she wore both times. It’s ironic because that world of Waystar is very right-wing and how they are, and Nancy Pelosi is not like that, but in terms of just being a boss cat, she’s a good model.”

Smith-Cameron went on to say that she finds Pelosi “very skillful” like Gerri. She told me that she recently saw the former U.S. Speaker of the House at a Vanity Fair party and wanted to tell her about her style choices on Succession, but ultimately missed the chance to do so.

Now as Succession fans prepare to say farewell, Smith-Cameron took a moment to reflect on her on-set experiences with her co-stars and scene partners. “Sarah Snook is like a consummate actor in my mind – she’s just perfect. Kieran is so free and released. If he thinks it, it comes right out his mouth and he’s uninhibited and it’s so perfect for the role. Nick Braun is so witty and so innocent and natural. Matthew MacFadyen is witty and droll and smart. Justine [Lupe] and Alan [Ruck] kill me – they’re just comedic giants in my mind. They’re just great. I could go on and on. I just love them all.”

As I began to conclude my conversation with Smith-Cameron, whose character Gerri may likely have one last power move left up her sleeve for the series finale, I wondered what advice she would give to her Succession character, after embodying her entire narrative and understanding all that she is as the series wraps up.

“Take a vacation. I don’t think she’s taken a vacation. They travel – she probably counts that as vacation because the company travels so much to these beautiful places. If you notice, all these beautiful places they’re in, they’re plotting and trying to stay alive. They’re incredibly tense. I think I would love for her to go on safari or something.”

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