Actor Brian Cox had the whole world savagely muttering ‘F*ck Off’ with his Golden Globe-winning performance as the media mogul Logan Roy in the HBO show Succession. The satirical drama series had its fourth and final season earlier this year and the season finale had 2.9 million viewers, making it the most watched episode of the show.
Cox’s performance has been lauded by many, with the makers extending the character after seeing the Scottish actor’s performance. However, the actor once got director Mark Mylod spooked after he walked into busy traffic while being in character.
Brian Cox As Logan Roy
It is impossible to imagine Succession without the stronghold of Brian Cox’s Logan Roy. The old-timer is everywhere in the show, even when he is not physically present. Logan Roy is a flawed father who, according to Cox, is disappointed with human beings. He mentioned in an interview with The Guardian how he saw the character and how he as a person connected with Roy,
“Look, the one thing Logan and I share is our disappointment in the human being. Like this farce that we all watched of [Jeff] Bezos going up in the sky, started by Branson. What the f*ck are they doing? He went up there for 11 minutes and then came back down. And you go: ‘So f*cking what?’”
Series creator Jesse Armstrong does not reveal much about Logan Roy’s past in the series. There is no flashback that reveals when he started the conglomerate and how he became such a ruthless capitalist who would go to war against his own children. Many have compared the CEO to Donald Trump and Rupert Murdoch. While Cox disregarded Trump as an inspiration, Murdoch is someone that Armstrong said the team looked at. He revealed in a HBO interview,
“We thought of famous media families like the Hearsts, to modern-day Redstone, John Malone, Robert Fitz of Comcast, Murdoch, and Robert and Rebekah Mercer, who founded Breitbart. Lots of real-life moguls. We collected a myriad of these kinds of relationships that we knew about.”
Cox brought in a lot of nuance to the character and is mostly the reason Logan Roy seems so cold and menacing despite not knowing much of the character’s history. In fact, his performance was so good that the makers canceled their plan to kill off the character at the end of the first season. For his performance, he won a Golden Globe Award and has been nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards.
Brian Cox Spooked His Directors While Improvising As Logan Roy
While the writing of Succession has been lauded time and again, the show boasts of seasoned performers who have all the capabilities to improvise in a great scene. The series stars actors such as Jeremey Strong, Kieran Kulkin, Sarah Snook, Alan Ruck, and Matthew Macfadyen. While Brian Cox mentioned that there were moments of improvisation in the show, he did say that he was not a fan of the process.
In an interview with The Guardian, he said,
“I’m a great believer in the script. I don’t mind improvisation. I can improvise with the best of them. And yes, we do a fair bit of improvisation in Succession. Sometimes it can release an actor. But in general, it doesn’t release me. The script releases me.”
However, the actor recounted one scene where the team was filming at an airport, and director Mark Mylod gave a note to the actor to show a bit of ‘craziness’. The team was shooting the first episode of the third season and it was the scene where Logan Roy realized that he would not be CEO anymore. Cox mentioned that he had a novel idea to bring out the ‘craziness’ by walking into oncoming traffic. He recalled,
“…I was on the phone, and I started to walk. There was all this traffic, so I thought: ‘I’ll just walk on the main road.’ So I did that and they went f*cking nuts! ‘Get back! You’ll kill yourself! Don’t go down there!’ I said: ‘You wanted me to do something crazy so…’ And they’re going: ‘Not in the cars!’”
Cox reportedly felt that it would be great if he could get into the cars on the scene. However, Mylod stopped him, saying that it was a bit much.
Source: The Guardian