Succession star Brian Cox is not holding back as he calls out some of his least-liked Hollywood faces in a fiery new memoir – that would make his character Logan Roy proud.
The 75-year-old actor lists a number of A-listers he doesn’t think measure up to their reputations, including Johnny Depp and Quentin Tarantino, according to excerpts from his book Putting The Rabbit In The Hat shared on Thursday by The Big Issue.
The acting legend does not seem to be worried about his famous friends taking offense, and he shared that he won’t be surprised if he does not ‘hear from some people again.’
In one section of his memoir, Cox recounts how he turned down the role of the Governor in Depp’s Pirates Of The Caribbean, which eventually went to Jonathan Pryce.
Telling it like it is: Brian Cox, 75, is flush with criticisms of Johnny Depp, Quentin Tarantino and others in his memoir Putting A Rabbit In The Hat, which was excerpted by The Big Issue; seen in 2019 in London
Cox seethes about how ‘overrated’ he finds Depp.
‘Personable though I’m sure he is, is so overblown, so overrated,’ Cox complained.
‘I mean, Edward Scissorhands. Let’s face it, if you come on with hands like that and pale, scarred-face makeup, you don’t have to do anything. And he didn’t,’ he writes.
The Manhunter actor also got in a dig about Depp’s more recent, less-acclaimed work.
‘And subsequently, he’s done even less,’ he added.
Dodged a bullet: ‘Personable though I’m sure he is, is so overblown, so overrated,’ Cox complained of Depp, whom he almost worked with on Pirates Of The Caribbean; seen October 19 in Belgrade, Serbia
Ouch! ‘I mean, Edward Scissorhands. Let’s face it, if you come on with hands like that and pale, scarred-face makeup, you don’t have to do anything. And he didn’t,’ he writes
Cox also had harsh words for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood writer and director Quentin Tarantino.
‘I find his work meretricious. It’s all surface. Plot mechanics in place of depth. Style where there should be substance. I walked out of Pulp Fiction,’ he shared.
Considering his dislike for Tarantino’s style, Cox has never worked for the filmmaker, though he wouldn’t necessarily be opposed to the paycheck if the opportunity ever presented itself.
‘That said, if the phone rang, I’d do it,’ he added.
Cox was even more lacerating when it came to action star Steven Seagal, whom he acted opposite on his 1996 police thriller The Glimmer Man.
He didn’t care for Seagal’s ‘studied serenity,’ which he though just came off as ‘ludicrous.’
‘Steven Seagal is as ludicrous in real life as he appears on screen,’ he writes. ‘He radiates a studied serenity, as though he’s on a higher plane to the rest of us, and while he’s certainly on a different plane, no doubt about that, it’s probably not a higher one.’
Not a fan: Cox writes that Quentin Tarantino is ‘all surface’ and ‘style where there should be substance,’ adding that he ‘walked out of Pulp Fiction’; seen in October 19 in Rome
Even beloved figures like David Bowie couldn’t escape Cox’s barbs.
The two appeared together on the British military series Redcap in the 1960s, where the future music icon’s acting didn’t impress him.
‘A skinny kid, and not a particularly good actor. He made a better pop star, that much is for certain,’ he said of Bowie.
Cox was mixed on Michael Caine, as he applauded his brand but bemoaned his lack of range.
‘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.’
His costar Edward Norton, whom he appeared with in Spike Lee’s modern masterpiece 25th Hour, got called out for being presumptuous.
‘He’s a nice lad but a bit of a pain in the a** because he fancies himself as a writer-director,’ he quipped.
Stick to music: Cox and David Bowie appeared on the 1960s British military show Redcaps, and he called him ‘a skinny kid, and not a particularly good actor,’ though he thought he was a better pop star; seen in 2010 in NYC
Limited range: The Succession star admitted Michael Caine had a strong brand, but said that ‘being an institution will always beat having range’; Cox is seen on Succession
Cox also has some harsh words about his acting colleagues Gary Oldman, Daniel Day-Lewis and John Hurt, and Michael Gambon is a frequent target of criticism, according to The Big Issue.
But the Scottish actor isn’t just out to settle scores, and he includes some praise for other actors who have inspired him.
Keanu Reeves appears to have won him over as he matured, and Cox calls him a ‘seeker’ who has ‘actually become rather good over the years.’
Alan Rickman received some of the warmest words of any of his contemporaries that Cox mentioned.
He calls the Harry Potter actor ‘one of the sweetest, kindest, nicest and most incredibly smart men I’ve ever met.’
‘Prior to acting he’d been a graphic designer and he brought the considered, laser-like precision of that profession to his work,’ he adds.
Improving with age: Rare praise was directed at Keanu Reeves, whom he said had ‘actually become rather good over the years’; seen in 2019 in LA
Respect: Alan Rickman received some of the warmest words of any of his contemporaries. Cox calls him ‘one of the sweetest, kindest, nicest and most incredibly smart men I’ve ever met’; Rickman seen in 2003 in London
Cox also applauded Morgan Freeman, calling him an ‘absolute gentleman’ after he kept his cool during a difficult shoot.
He said the Unforgiven star was ‘being the very epitome of Morgan Freeman. The Morgan Freeman you would hope to meet. The Morgan Freeman you encounter in your dreams.’
Cox admitted to the publication that none of his closest friends had had a chance to read his memoir yet, and he expected it would upset some of them.
‘I’m expecting probably never to hear from some people again. But that’s the way it goes,’ he said nonchalantly.
Burned bridges: Cox said he expected ‘probably never to hear from’ some of his friends after he didn’t hold back in his memoir; pictured on Succession