A new excerpt from Brian Cox’s memoir, Putting The Rabbit In The Hat, revealed that the Succession star almost had a central role in another HBO smash hit: Game Of Thrones. In the excerpt, published in GQ, the Scottish actor didn’t pull any punches about why he didn’t join the show.
“I’m often asked if I was offered a role in Game Of Thrones—reason being that every other bugger was—and the answer is, yes, I was supposed to be a king called Robert Baratheon, who apparently died when he was gored by a boar in the first season,” Cox wrote. “I know very little about Game Of Thrones so I can’t tell you whether or not he was an important character, and I’m not going to google it just in case he was, because I turned it down.”
“Why?” he continued. “Well, Game Of Thrones went on to be a huge success and everybody involved earned an absolute fortune, of course. But when it was originally offered the money was not all that great, shall we say say. Plus I was going to be killed off fairly early on, so I wouldn’t have had any of the benefits of the long-term effects of a successful series where your wages go up with each passing season. So I passed on it, and Mark Addy was gored by the boar instead. (I lied. I did google it.)“
Cox claimed that “the money thing” was very common in his experience as a British actor, and wrote that Brits are often offered less than their American actors. He said it was a “problem with British agents,” who are less ruthless than their American counterparts.
Cox also wrote that people often ask if he was offered a role in “Harry fucking Potter.” He said, “I think someone had a burning cross held up for me not to be in Harry Potter, because all my pals were in it. I think the part I might have played was the one that Brendan Gleeson got, Mad-Eye Moody, but Brendan was more in fashion than I was at that point, and that’s very much the way of the world in my business, so he got it. Also, he’s much better than I would have been.” Gleeson’s son, Domhnall, would also ultimately join the franchise as Bill Weasley.
Cox said he did turn down the role of Keira Knightley’s dad in Pirates Of The Caribbean. He wrote, “It would have been a money-spinner, but of all the parts in that film it was the most thankless, plus I would have ended up doing it for film after film and missed out on all the other nice things I’ve done,” before waxing poetic about his dislike of Johnny Depp.
Cox explained that the thing he was most looking for in his later acting roles was longevity, which he finally found in Succession. He wrote, “Hopefully we’ll do a fourth series, and that’ll probably be it, but it will have been a great run.”
Putting The Rabbit In The Hat will be released January 18.