Alan Ruck almost skipped his audition for “Succession.”
“I was home in LA and I was trying to get back to work in Chicago,” he told The Post. “A lot of family stuff came up during the day and I was like, ‘I can’t, I can’t go to this audition.’ And then finally, I came out of music class with my 2-year-old son, and there were half a dozen voicemails. And they said, ‘Just go to [“Succession” producer] Adam McKay’s house before you leave town. And I did.”
If he hadn’t, Ruck would have missed out on the nasty, near-Shakespearean HBO series that returns for its third season on Sunday, Oct. 17. Even still, the actor, 65, admits that he arrived at his audition woefully unprepared, having barely looked at the script. He said he ended up his improvising scenes, and it worked — by the time he’d flown back to Chicago, there was a call telling him he’d nabbed the part.
Ruck plays Connor Roy, the eldest son of media magnate Logan Roy (Brian Cox) who viciously toys with his three younger offspring and their desires to please their father and be appointed the successor of the sprawling global company. While Logan seems to have no qualms about offhandedly telling his children to “f–k off,” he is relatively kind — or at least kinder — to Connor.
The “Spin City” star theorizes that’s because Connor — who announced his plans to run for president last season — has never shown any interest in taking over the family business, Waystar Royco.
“I’m not trying to usurp him,” Ruck said of his character. “And when push comes to shove, it seems to be, I always come down on Dad’s side.”
Ruck also believes that Logan feels guilty for divorcing Connor’s mother when his character was about 8. “We have hints [in the show] that my mother had psycho-emotional problems … so I think Logan feels quite guilty about Connor, that he’s sort of abandoned him.”
Not that the upcoming season of the critically acclaimed series will be any softer than the previous two.
“Overall, we’re just as nasty and self-involved as any of us ever were,” he said gleefully. “So I think if the audience is hungry for that, they won’t be disappointed.”
“And I have more to do this season,” he continued. “In the second season, I was just sort of around a lot but I didn’t have that much to do … I can just say that Connor still has political ambitions.”
Ruck made his first on-screen appearance in 1983, opposite Sean Penn in “Bad Boys.” But for many generations of viewers, he was probably best known as Ferris Bueller’s hypochondriacal best friend Cameron Frye in 1986’s “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” which he filmed when he was 29.
He confesses he didn’t think much of the classic when he first saw it.
“I remember I went to a rough cut screening with [co-stars] Jennifer Grey and Mia Sara and Jeffrey Jones,” he said. “We were all mortified because we thought it was a piece of s–t.”
Of course, now he’s incredibly grateful to be involved with a film that’s so beloved, and says his career seems to be cyclical.
“It’s just about every 10 years or so, somebody from the top shelf reaches down and says, ‘Alan, why don’t you come hang out with us for a bit,’” he said. “And so ‘Succession’ is just continuing my lucky streak.”