We’ve written before that Brian Cox, despite how perfectly he embodies the role of Succession’s acid-tongued patriarch Logan Roy, is not his character. He is a man who teaches Shakespeare to children and hangs out with Cookie Monster. He is not the terrifying head of a global media empire who can cut down his opponents with a withering glare or single, cutting remark. And yet, when it comes to those he’s not keen on in show business, it turns out Cox has a bit of Logan’s capacity for devastating insults in him after all.
The Big Issue excerpted a few of Cox’s opinions on his colleagues as shared in his autobiography, Putting The Rabbit In The Hat. The most striking of his comments center on Johnny Depp, Quentin Tarantino, and, unsurprisingly, Steven Seagal.
Of Depp, he writes: “Personable though I’m sure he is, [he] is so overblown, so overrated. I mean, Edward Scissorhands. Let’s face it, if you come on with hands like that and pale, scarred-face make-up, you don’t have to do anything. And he didn’t. And subsequently, he’s done even less.”
He also says “Steven Seagal is as ludicrous in real life as he appears on screen. He radiates a studied serenity, as though he’s on a higher plane to the rest of us.” Cox’s thought finishes: “... while he’s certainly on a different plane, no doubt about that, it’s probably not a higher one.”
He calls Quentin Tarantino’s films “meretricious,” writing that they’re “all surface. Plot mechanics in place of depth. Style where there should be substance. I walked out of Pulp Fiction.” He concludes, though: “That said, if the phone rang, I’d do it.”
Not everyone gets both barrels. Some are simply damned with faint praise. “I wouldn’t describe Michael as my favorite, but he’s Michael Caine,” he writes. “An institution. And being an institution will always beat having range.” He also says Bowie isn’t “a particularly good actor,” but that “he made a better pop star, that much is for certain.” Ed Norton is apparently “a nice lad but a bit of a pain in the arse because he fancies himself as a writer-director.”
He does have kinder remarks for some actors, though. Cox calls Alan Rickman “one of the sweetest, kindest, nicest, and most incredibly smart men I’ve ever met” and says he brought a “considered, laser-like precision ... to his work.” Keanu Reeves is dubbed “a ‘seeker’ who has ‘actually become rather good over the years’” and Morgan Freeman “an absolute gentleman.”
Cox told The Big Issue that he’s “expecting probably never to hear from some people again” after the book’s release, but adds, “... that’s the way it goes.”
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