Brian Cox on “Succession Ending and That ‘Fuck Off’ Line” – Variety

Last month, when “Succession” creator Jesse Armstrong announced that the fourth season of the Emmy-winning HBO drama would be its last, the internet howled in despair. But Brian Cox – who has played swashbuckling mogul Logan Roy since the 2018 premiere – praises Armstrong’s decision. “He’s very disciplined that way, and he’s also very British that way,” says Scotsman Cox, seeming to mention birthplace in conversation to explain the demeanor. “The American the tendency is to milk it for all it’s worth.”

Not that Cox, 76, doesn’t feel the loss. “I’ll miss the actors, I’ll miss the atmosphere, I’ll miss the bonhomie,” he says and ticks off the reasons in a recent Zoom interview from London. And Logan? “Logan, I’ll probably miss a little. But up and on.”

Cox may be wary of the Murdochian founder of Waystar Royco — the megacorporation at the center of the show — and the prize Logan has been fighting for with his grown children Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Roman (Kieran Culkin) and Shiv (Sarah Snook). finally kicked them out completely at the end of season 3. But in describing Logan’s motivations, Cox channels him. “They would absolutely destroy it,” he says passionately of the children’s aspirations to the throne. “It would probably last no more than five minutes in their hands. And yet that’s what he wanted. He wanted his followers. Four seasons to prove it! And they simply haven’t proven it.”

In the fourth season premiere on March 26, Logan is isolated, agitated – almost alone. Logan is estranged from his offspring, who do not attend his birthday party (except for the leech-like Connor played by Alan Ruck). “When the kids aren’t around, she’s very focused on who she is,” Cox says. “And not in a good way.”

Brian Cox as Logan in the final season of Succession.
Courtesy of Macall B. Polay/HBO

Speaking up for Logan, however, Cox trashes them at work. Roman is “talented” but accidentally sent Logan a photo of an egg meant for Gerr (J. Smith-Cameron) and can’t be trusted. Shiv is Logan’s “beloved,” but “he just doesn’t know who he is or where he is. And he can’t stop talking either.” As for Kendall, “her own greed has gotten in the way,” not to mention her “Oh, poor me” kind of thing, which Logan finds “very unpleasant.”

Speaking of dramatic posturing, the two actors have engaged in a public back-and-forth about Method acting, which is Strong’s preferred approach — and a style Cox abhors. He criticized it in his 2021 memoir, Putting the Rabbit in the Hat, and has said that “Jeremy has a certain amount of pain at his root”. In a recent GQ cover story, Strong acknowledged that Cox has “earned the right to say whatever she wants,” but disputed her claims — saying that Kendall is in pain, not her. When asked about it, Cox says, “I’m glad she’s not in pain personally,” and praises Strong as “a wonderful actor.” But there is more. “It’s really a culture clash,” says Cox. “I can’t stand all that American shit. I’m sorry. All the ‘I think therefore I feel.’

“Just do the work,” Cox continues. “Area recognise.” He points to the case of estimable Method actor Daniel Day-Lewis, with whom he worked on the 1997 film “The Boxer,” and blames these immersive techniques for Day-Lewis’ early retirement. “He retired at 55, and I say, ‘That’s when the roles get really interesting.’ You’ve retired just when the roles are really getting better!” Cox exclaims. “Of course, Jeremy was Dan Day-Lewis’ assistant. So he’s learned all this from Dan.”

He introduces this soliloquy with a background hum and a twinkle in his eye. Yet there is tenderness in her tone: Cox loves her children, as does Logan. “If she didn’t love her kids, it would be a lot easier,” she says. “It is his Achilles heel.”

As for Logan, Armstrong has said he wasn’t meant to make it past Season 1, and his health has been declining throughout, so we’ll see what happens as the barrel of “succession” nears its end. Whatever Logan’s fate may be, his catchphrase: “Fuck off!” – follows Cox through the rest of his days.

He tells the story of being invited to an event at Rosanna Arquette’s house where Ronan Farrow was leading a discussion about the #MeToo movement. “I was standing in the back listening to this very intense stuff, and Farrow was actually absolutely brilliant. And I thought, ‘Wow, this is really interesting stuff. Great, great,” Cox recalls. “It was over, they saw me and they immediately started bringing out their equipment and asking, ‘Can you tell us to fuck?’ And I say, ‘Jesus Christ. This is a #MeToo meeting! And you’re asking a white dinosaur to tell you to get married?’”

Aside from the inconsistency of it, are people yelling that at him on the street? “They don’t scream” Fuck you. They just say, ‘Can you tell us to fuck?’ And fortunately I do so:’Damn skew.'”

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