Thrillist: You're an investor in this bar. How did you get involved?
Nicholas Braun: So, Jeremy [Strong]. Everything comes back to Jeremy. My whole life now boils down to Jeremy. Jeremy introduced me to a buddy of his, Jon Neidich, who owns a bunch of great restaurants and bars in the city: Acme, The Happiest Hour, the Wythe Hotel rooftop and restaurant. Jon's become a really good buddy. We were together a few weekends ago and we were having this great night. We were playing pool at his house at 3am. A bunch of buddies were around. We were all staying together at his house.
I don't know how it came up, but he was like, "Yeah, man, I've got this bar opening in two weeks and it's going to be pretty crazy." I'm like, "Dude, you've got to tell me when you're starting bars." Because that's one of the things I've always wanted to do in my life, really, is to be a part-owner of a bar, and have a place to come to, a place where I can tell people to meet me and it feels like I can have some ownership over it. And he goes, "Why don't you just get in on this?" I was like, "What kind of bar is it?" He started telling me about it: kind of a dive bar, kind of New Mexican-themed. Feels like it's been here for 30 years kind of vibe. I was like, "Sold." I was so excited I started running around the party telling everybody, "I'm an investor in a bar." I got him a couple other friends to join. After we got four people -- me, two others, and Jon -- I was like, "Let's have a board meeting. Let's talk business!" Running around 3:30am, 4am, fires roaring like, "Ray's Bar, baby!" It was a sick night. It was, like, such a fun time. And in the morning I was like, "I still want to do that. I really still want to do that." It's been really fun.
So it's been how you imagined it?
Braun: Yeah. You tell people, "let's meet up there." I don't live that far away, so it's an easy destination to meet up and start a night here. We don't do food, so you can start here and then go get some food somewhere and come back. I've done that before.
Do you ever think this scenario would have happened if Succession hadn't happened?
Braun: Certainly not. It just wouldn't. If I hadn't met Jeremy, I wouldn't have met Jon, and I wouldn't have been invited to his house to hang that night. Succession is totally the door that's opened up for me to meet great people and do cool things. And it all leads back to Jeremy. He's become a great friend. I feel so lucky having this job. A lot of good has come from it.
Where did you see yourself when you first got the show?
Braun: I wasn't entirely sure where my career was in 2016. I had two movies come out: How to Be Single and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. They were, you know, successful. They were good. But it didn't lead me to, "oh, now this is the next thing." I was making music with my brother at the time. I moved to San Francisco, mostly. I was mainly just, "I have to do something creative, because the jobs that feel really inspiring aren't coming." So I'm going to make music and get out of both LA and New York. That's when Succession came up. It felt like the right time because I had basically been like, "I don't know what to do as an actor. I don't know where I am." I was 28 at the time and I was just trying to figure out what will make me happy creatively. Music really was. I love singing and writing songs.