David Rasche plays Karl Muller on "Succession." Photo courtesy of HBO
LOS ANGELES, May 22 (UPI) -- (Editor's note: This story contains spoilers for "Succession" Season 4, Episode 3.)
David Rasche's new movie, About My Father, premieres Friday, while the HBO drama Succession, in which he portrays Karl Muller, airs its series finale Sunday.
Rasche, 78, said he was grateful for both roles.
"It was a real gift," Rasche told UPI in a recent Zoom interview. "It's a little bit different."
On Succession, Rasche plays Waystar Royco's chief financial officer. In About My Father, Rasche plays Bill Collins, owner of a hotel empire whose daughter, Ellie (Leslie Bibb), is engaged to Sebastian (Sebastian Maniscalco).
When Sebastian brings his father, Salvo (Robert DeNiro), to the Collins' Fourth of July celebration, the culture clash leads to comic situations. Rasche said he appreciated that About My Father never had to get raunchy for laughs.
"It's not dirty, it's not smutty," Rasche said. "It's not clean, but it's just funny."
Salvo balks at the country club menu that does not list prices, and worries that the wealthy Collinses will corrupt the hard-working upbringing Sebastian learned from his father. Bill has problems of his own within his family.
Bill's eldest son, Lucky (Anders Holm), works for Collins Hotels, but coasts on the family name. Bill's youngest, Doug (Brett Dier), rejects the family business in favor of new-age healing. Rasche admits Ellie is probably Bill's favorite.
"I've always been sort of partial to her," Rasche said. "Don't tell the boys."
The Campbells do get Salvo to dress in their pastel country club wardrobe. Rasche said he enjoyed the khaki slacks and polo shirts of the East Coast elite.
"You can go to Greenwich, Conn., and you walk down the street and you see clothing stores," Rasche said. "You can't believe that it's still in stores and people are buying the shorts with the whales on it."
After having a laugh with About My Father, Rasche said Succession fans should prepare themselves for quite a dramatic finale. Since Waystar CEO and family patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox) died earlier this season, Rasche said every character jockeys for power.
"Everybody is on a kill mission and that won't end until the end," Rasche said.
Karl and Vice Chairman Frank Vernon (Peter Friedman) have been managing the Waystar Royco board since Logan's death. Logan's sons, Kendall (Jeremy Strong) and Roman (Kieran Culkin), have assumed leadership, pending a merger.
Karl has not hidden his feelings about the way the Roy kids are running things, sometimes even laughing with Frank behind their backs. Rasche credited Succession creator Jesse Armstrong and the writers with his juiciest dialogue this season.
"I've had some absolutely delicious lines," Rasche said. "They're wonderful, but I didn't write 'em."
Rasche suggested that Succession fans are finally getting to see a version of Karl that always existed behind the scenes.
"He's always been like that," Rasche said. "You just didn't see it."
Armstrong announced that Season 4 would be Succession's last before the season premiere. Once Logan died in Episode 3, it became clearer that Succession was heading toward a conclusion.
"Now, it's even more about succession because in Logan's absence, talk about knives being out," Rasche said. "Everybody wants to make it go their way."
In addition to writers, Rasche also credited the casting directors of Succession and About My Father for choosing him and his co-stars.
"The casting directors really are the unsung heroes," Rasche said.
Rasche may be a little biased. His daughter, Amelia Rasche McCarthy, is also a casting director, who has selected her father many times.
"That's the way to do it," Rasche said. "I have friends and their children are actors. No, you're never going to get anywhere that way. You have to have a daughter who's a casting director."
Succession airs at 9 p.m. EDT and streams on Max.