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Brian Cox: "From the gladiators, we like to see people throw shit at others"


The Scottish actor plays the patriarch of a family of billionaires in 'Succession', the HBO Max hit. "Logan Roy has become an icon," he says

With jeans and jacket and shoes with comfortable beach shoes.

This is how Brian Cox (Dundee, Scotland, 76 years old) received journalists who came to interview him at a luxurious Madrid hotel this Thursday.

A far cry, in spirit and appearance, from Logan Roy, the billionaire media mogul and head of the shabby family that stars in



The creation of screenwriter Jesse Armstrong has just premiered its fourth and final season on HBO Max and, predictably, it will say goodbye as the great heir to those titles that gave prestige to the American cable channel.

Another thing that Brian Cox and Logan Roy do not share: throughout the interview he only releases two derivatives of


(fuck), but not one

fuck off



After such a long career, what has a role like Logan Roy's meant to you?



It has been a great experience, a great gift.

It has grown beyond me, it has become an icon.

Although there is something uncomfortable, because I am not scary to people, Logan is scary.

It's also true that sometimes with people you think, “keep the fucking distance”.

Now I don't have to do that.

Another thing I slightly miss is the anonymity.

Before, some people knew me, and they kept thinking, “ah, yes, you're the one who appeared in…”.

But now that's gone, and Logan is an omnipresent individual.

He had no idea that


was going to be so successful.

I knew it was a great show, don't get me wrong, I always loved it and it has a fantastic script, but I didn't know people were going to go crazy like it has.

Wherever you go, there is an extraordinary reaction from the people.

There was a man the other day who came to the hotel and said, "You're like that guy who plays Logan Roy."

And I said, "I'm Logan."

And he said “oh my gosh!

You are very attractive".

I had never been described as attractive.

More information

The more people I meet, the better I like the Roys, by Paloma Rando


Why do you think that has happened, that the series has been so successful?

What has hooked us to the characters?


We get hooked on seeing that kind of greed in a naked way.

Those kids, you can't believe how screwed up they are.

We have a drive that draws us into the gladiatorial spectacle within us as an audience.

As gladiators, we like to see people throw shit at others, be it with swords in the arena or on television, and see broken families that explode right before our noses.

We find it comforting.

That shows what state of evolution we are in.

We have not evolved at all.

I'm not criticizing people seeing it, that's fine, but it's the reason why we love to see terrible things.


Do you consider


a drama or a comedy?


I'd say it's more of a satire.

It has comedic elements, but it is quite political.

It is a series that throws questions all the time.

Brian Cox and Matthew Macfadyen, in the first episode of the fourth season of 'Succession'.




you can also extract reflections on wealth and the relationship of people with power and money.

What moral reading do you get from the behavior of the characters?


People in that position disconnect from any form of terrestrial reality.

Logan is a careerist, concerned only with his business, which has led him in one direction and made him successful.

I like to think that when he was young he had some ideals, but they quickly eroded.

And he created that family.

He remembers his children as children, and he loves those children, but now they have turned into monsters.

He is partly responsible for it, but he does not bear all the responsibility.

I think the viewers blame him too much.

We tend to blame parents for who we are, and I think there's some legitimacy to that, but there also comes a point where you can't go on.

After the age of 21, you are responsible for yourself, you can't keep blaming your mother and father, you have to own who you are,

and I don't think we will.

The human being avoids being responsible for who he is.

What they do is embrace a belief system, I don't care if it's Judaism, Islam or Catholicism, and if you're a good boy, you'll go to heaven.

That's all rubbish really.


Are extremely rich people so different from those who are not?


They are, because they live in a bubble that they have created.

Don't get me wrong, I don't condemn them all.

When people use wealth for good intentions, that's okay.

Philanthropy is great, we all depend on it, my profession depends on it, on the generosity of strangers.

But it is important to remember who you are.

I never considered myself working class.

When I was a kid, we got by.

I lived in a very small environment and we lived with just enough, we were lower middle class, more than working class.

Later we became poor class because we lost everything.

And you have to adapt.

Actor Brian Cox, Logan Roy in 'Succession', in a February 2023 image. Colin Hutton


Coming from there, and considering yourself a socialist, is it easy not to judge characters who are so far from one?


Actors don't judge characters.

We represent them with all their flaws, and it's up to the audience to judge them.

And sometimes the viewers judge them correctly, but many times they are wrong.

A lot of people project things onto the characters.

That again has to do with the evolutionary state in which we find ourselves.


Yesterday he visited the Prado Museum and said that people identify him with Goya's

Saturn devouring his son



Yes, yes, and it was an unfortunate comment, because it reinforces the myth.

Logan doesn't eat his children, but people compare me to that painting, I was there and well...

The actor Brian Cox has found his character from the series #Succession in the Prado Museum

– Prado Museum (@museodelprado) March 29, 2023


Have you used other references to build Logan Roy?


No. It's day to day, you see people who are in that situation, you hear stories about them... But it's also your creation, and you don't always need references to create.

When we are young, we do a lot of research, but I go back to childhood.

Children have an instinct that we later tend to forget.

We believe that we have to search in books and accumulate a lot of knowledge.

Children don't do all that, they just do it, they are in the present.


In some statements he has questioned the acting method of one of his series partners [specifically, that of Jeremy Strong, who remains in character even when he is not filming].

What is his opinion of the rest of the actors in




We have a fantastic, really fantastic cast.

Each of them are great and have even gotten better over time.

Sarah Snook is phenomenal.

I have never seen the series.

My wife sees it and tells me.

But I did see the scene the other night with Matthew [Macfadyen] and Sarah [Snook] in the bedroom, and Sarah's performance is beautiful.

And Matthew, of course.

I love what all the actors do, they are great.

Matthew Macfadyen and Sarah Snook, in the first episode of the fourth season of 'Succession'.


Why has Jesse Armstron decided to end the series in the fourth season?


Because many series go further than they should.

He doesn't believe in infinite television, he believes in television with an end.

And if you think about it, it's four seasons, three sons, three seasons, a father, fourth season.

It is the perfect unit.

I think it was hard for him, it was painful to make that decision, but he did it.

And then he lives in England, but he's spent a lot of time in America lately, and that's tiring.

I live in Brooklyn, I went there for many reasons, because I wanted to make movies.

I lived in Hollywood for a while, not anymore.

But I understand that it is exhausting for your family, and it is exhausting work for the creator.

He's been working on this show since 2014 or so, about nine years, and he wants to do other things.


Without gutting anything, what did you think of the ending?


I think it's okay, it's great.

It brings a lot of peace.

Logan reaches a point of peace which is fine.


And you, have you thought about retiring?





No, no, I will never retire.

In fact, this year I think I have loaded myself with too much work.

I'll forcefully withdraw when I can't remember what I am, or Alzheimer's strikes and I don't know where the hell I am.

So I'll probably retire, but I don't mean to.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-03-31

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