Succession’s Brian Cox Slams Method Acting as “American S--t”

On stage at the Toronto International Film Festival, Succession's Brian Cox—who plays Logan Roy in the HBO drama—disparaged method acting, which his co-star Jeremy Strong famously uses.

By Charlotte Walsh Sep 15, 2022 4:00 PMTags
Watch: Kieran Culkin Talks "Succession" at 2022 SAG Awards

Brian Cox doesn't take his work home with him. 

Continuing his recent headline-grabbing comments about Succession, the veteran actor—who plays patriarch Logan Roy in the HBO family drama—slammed method acting on-stage at the Toronto International Film Festival Sept. 14. During a post-screening Q&A for his new film Prisoner's Daughter, he deemed the technique "crap."

"I don't hold a lot of the American s--t," he said, as quoted by The Hollywood Reporter. "Having to have a religious experience every time you play a part—it's crap."

​For Cox, he simply doesn't want to bring his work home with him after filming all day. "I don't hang onto the characters I play," he continued. "I let them go through me. The thing is to be ready to accept, as an actor. You stand there, you're ready to accept whatever is thrown at you."

After comparing Roy with his Prisoner's Daughter character Max, Roy noted that he just lets his characters "come through" him, adding, "you don't get in the f--king way."

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Of course, Cox's co-star Jeremy Strong, who plays his on-screen son Kendall, is famously a proponent of the technique. A viral 2021 New Yorker profile detailed Strong's intense tactics, including requesting to get sprayed with real tear gas for The Trial of the Chicago 7. Though Strong did not identify as a method actor to the publication, he told them that he clears "away anything—anything—that is not the character and the circumstances of the scene."

The profile further went on to paint Strong as someone who has alienated himself on set with his ​unorthodox preparations, with Cox himself saying that he worries "about what he does to himself. I worry about the crises he puts himself through in order to prepare." Strong ultimately called the article "a pretty profound betrayal of trust" on Sept. 2.

Peter Kramer/HBO

Cox has been on a roll with his Succession comments in recent weeks, telling The Times Sept. 12 that he doesn't want the drama to "to overstay its welcome, like Billions," and remarking to Sky News on Aug. 25 that playing Roy has had the "terrible effect" of causing him to curse frequently. 

"Now I swear all the time," he said. "It's catching, it's infectious."

Succession is available to stream on HBO Max. 

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