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‘Succession”s Brian Cox spills tea on “incredible” Spike Lee, “overrated” Johnny Depp, and why he didn’t take ‘Game of Thrones’


After decades in the business, logging roles in productions as varied as the still-acclaimed X-Men 2 to HBO’s awards magnet Succession, to voicing over McDonald’s spots, Scottish actor Brian Cox is spilling the tea.

In his new memoir, Putting the Rabbit in the Hat, which GQ has excerpted, the Emmy-winning actor reveals some of his favorite working experiences, and those he turned down.

Cox calls his “incredible” 25th Hour boss Spike Lee “simply one of the best directors I’ve ever worked with,” who has a “knowledge of the cinema…second to none.” Lee is also “diplomatic,” Cox explains, as Spike “firmly” dealt with unwanted input from co-star Ed Norton, who Cox calls “a nice lad and a bit of a pain in the arse because he fancies himself as a writer-director.” 

Cox dishes on why he didn’t take a role of Robert Baratheon in HBO’s Game of Thrones, explaining, the money “wasn’t all that great.” 

The actor adds, “I can’t tell you whether or not he was an important character, and I’m not going to Google it just in case he was, because I turned it down.”

Slyly, he then adds of the one-season role, “…I passed on it, and Mark Addy was gored by the boar instead. (I lied. I did google it.)”

When it comes to another near-miss, the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Cox says it “would have been a money-spinner,” but jabbed that the films are the “‘Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow’ show.”

He calls Depp “so overrated.”

Cox says, “I mean, Edward Scissorhands. Let’s face it, if you come on [set] with hands like that and pale, scarred-face make-up, you don’t have to do anything. And he didn’t. And subsequently, he’s done even less.”

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