Brian Cox became a familiar face all over the world thanks to playing Logan Roy in the hit HBO series “Succession,” but there have been some consequences. The actor is a veteran with some 240 credits to his name, but it is “Succession” that made him a household name.
“I’ve lost my anonymity and I’ve realized that that was what was important to me. I haven’t ever experienced anything like this,” Cox told The Guardian. “I mean, you ask for success in your work, and you get it, and then you have to deal with the consequences. I’ve always valued my privacy, but that’s gone. I’ve been very lucky that I’ve had it for so long. You know, I’ve been doing this for over 60 years. And finally it’s over.”
Cox also turned down roles in “Game of Thrones” and the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise. He revealed in his 2021 memoir “Putting the Rabbit in the Hat” that he was offered the role of a king named Robert Baratheon in “Game of Thrones,” which he did not accept because the character died early and the remuneration was not up to scratch.
“There’s always been a tendency of American productions to treat British actors differently from American actors. In other words, to get them cheap,” Cox told The Guardian.
A better financial offer was on the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films, where he was offered the role of Governor Weatherby Swann, eventually played by Jonathan Pryce. “It would have been a money-spinner but, of all the parts in the film, it was the most thankless,” Cox said.
On franchise star Johnny Depp, Cox added: “And Depp, personable though I’m sure he is, is so overblown, I mean Edward Scissorhands. Let’s face it, if you come on with hands like that and pale, scarred-face makeup, you don’t have to do anything. And he didn’t.”
Cox was speaking with The Guardian about his next role, where he returns to the stage playing German composer Johann Sebastian Bach in “The Score,” a new play by Oliver Cotton and directed by Trevor Nunn. It’s a role he’s played before in the 1984 TV movie “The Cantor of St Thomas’s.”
“I’m a glutton for terrible punishment,” Cox said about the role. “I’m at a certain age now and I just wanted to know if I could still learn lines. And it has been difficult because we’ve done it in such a short period, with a play we are constantly changing, constantly cutting.”
“The Score” plays at the Theatre Royal Bath, U.K. through Oct. 28.