Brian Cox Talks Directorial Debut ‘Glenrothan,’ Iran Protests at Series Mania: ‘It’s Time for Men to Step Down and Get the F–– Out of the Way’
“Succession” star Brian Cox gushed about wife Nicole Ansari-Cox at Series Mania, after she expressed solidarity with women of Iran at the fest’s opening, demonstrating the slogan “Woman, Life, Freedom” to the photographers.
“My wife is half Iranian and she was one of the first people to cut her hair as part of the protest. We are living in such a difficult, dangerous time, particularly for women. In Afghanistan, in Iran. It’s unacceptable. I am very proud of my wife: She is a very strong woman with very strong opinions, and she taught me so much,” Cox told Variety during a roundtable interview.
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“For me, the patriarchy has failed. Miserably. It’s time for the matriarchy and I really mean it. It’s time for men to step down and get the f**k out of the way. It has become ridiculous, with what we are seeing in Ukraine, too.”
“It’s all about men exercising their power because they don’t understand the mystery of women. Also, women don’t understand when men go into their ‘nothing box.’ It’s when men are just sitting and women ask: ‘What are you thinking?’ ‘Nothing.’ They can’t accept that, because they are constantly thinking. Men are dull and they have been allowed free reign for far too long.”
In town to tease the last season of “Succession,” premiering worldwide on March 26, Cox also opened up about his upcoming feature directorial debut “Glenrothan.”
“I am still very nervous when I am talking about it, because we still have to cast it,” he says. “But if I don’t do [the film] now, I will be gaga. I don’t like directors, at all. They are nuisances, most of the time. I call them pests. I want to see if I am as bad as they are.”
In 2000, Cox directed an episode of “Oz.”
“It’s so sad, because Lance Reddick, who was on the show, just passed away. He was a lovely, sweet man,” he recalls.
“Glenrothan,” about a family distillery and two brothers, will be shot in Scotland in June, July and August, says Cox, with him playing the “boring one.”
“I do boring rather well, actually. There is the one who stayed behind, who ended up holding the baby, so to speak, and the one who left. But he was the natural distiller. He had the gift. My character is not well so he asks his brother to go back, but he ignores him. Then his daughter sort of kidnaps him and brings him back to Scotland. And the adventure begins.”
The adventure is also about to begin for the veteran actor, catapulted to superstardom thanks to his role as Logan Roy. But he is more than ready for it.
“I felt nothing when I played the last scene [on ‘Succession’]. Nothing! It was the last scene, finito. Logan absolutely gets what he needs. That’s the great thing about the show. He gets peace, which is good,” he says.
“American series live well past their sellout date: This one won’t do that. HBO would love us to go for as long as ‘Game of Thrones,’ but thank God it won’t happen. I would find it hard-going to be saying ‘f**k off’ to people for the next 10 years, although it’s the nicest thing to say to someone. You can actually say how you feel.”
As for Cox, he simply feels excited for his new chapter.
During a masterclass later that day, he also discussed his most difficult role as Killearn in “Rob Roy” (“I couldn’t find my way into him and then I realized he had this quality of a fallen angel. Someone who has been kicked out of paradise and found nothing”) or making “Adaptation” with Nicolas Cage (“Nicolas is a much better actor than sometimes his work shows. He does a lot of shit films.”) He also delighted the audience with a clip of him teaching Hamlet’s soliloquy to a two-year-old.
“Where are your Method actors now? Look at him! Child actors are sometimes the best actors, because they are untroubled by things. It’s pure, it’s simple. It’s there,” he enthused.
“I have been doing this for 60 years, I played lots of roles and I move onto other stuff, while I still can. I am going back to the theatre, which I can now afford to do: I will play Bach and then I will do a revival of Eugene O’Neil’s ‘Long Day’s Journey into the Night.’ You can’t live off past glories.”
He also shot a documentary, “How the Other Half Live.” about poverty and the wealth gap.
“It’s from my point of view, because I experienced true poverty as a child after my father died. It was a massive irony that I was playing one of the richest men in the world. I am a socialist, unashamedly, and the cautionary aspect of ‘Succession’ is important to me,” he notes.
“I believe in practice. Logan Roy was a wonderful role, but it’s only a stop along the way. It’s not the final destination. It’s going to be hard, though. Not for me, I am quite happy to leave him, but for other people. I will have to work extra hard to persuade them that I am actually an actor.”
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