'The First Time' With Nicholas Braun

Succession star Nicholas Braun discusses the ever-looming presence of “Cousin Greg” in his life, acting advice from Philip Seymour Hoffman and making the music video for his pop punk quarantine song “Antibodies” in the latest episode of Rolling Stone’s The First Time.

Braun recently garnered his first Emmy nomination for playing Cousin Greg on Succession, and he recounts the experience alongside anecdotes about being referred to as both “Cousin Greg” and “Greg the Egg” on the street. He also reveals the first great Succession meme he ever saw — a digitally animated Kermit the Frog dancing to the show’s theme song.

Elsewhere Braun remembers being star-struck for the first first time when he met Kurt Russell at the table read for his first film role, the Disney superhero flick, Sky High. Years later, he would get to ask one of his idols, Philip Seymour Hoffman, for advice at a Q&A: “I was like, ‘Do you ever not know what to do when you’re on set? Are you ever puzzled?’” Braun remembers. “And his answer was, ‘If I am, I have to read the script again. I just have to read it again — all the answers are in the script for me.’”

Throughout the episode, Braun talks about his life-long love of music. He recounts the story of his first concert — Outkast opening for Lauryn Hill — and says his mother almost made him, his brother and friend leave early because she was concerned about all the weed smoke (“We didn’t know why it was smokey,” Braun recalls, “I think I thought it was a fog machine!”). Braun also reveals the one song that always makes him cry, Smithfield’s “Hey Whiskey,” recalls writing his first song with his brother while at a retreat at the famous Esalen Institute, and enlisting strangers to help him film the music video for “Antibodies.”

“This whole song came out of such a collaborative experience,” Braun says. “Seeing how many people responded to that chorus that I put up on Instagram, I felt like I had to include those people because they’re a part of this moment. And it made me feel connected while I was in quarantine to a bunch of strangers who are in their basements and bedrooms.”

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