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family feud Succession star reveals he is urged to shout obscenities in the street

Succession star Brian Cox chats about his Irish roots, the quality of the show’s scripts and how he is being greeted by fans in a slightly unconventional — and vulgar — manner

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Brian Cox (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Brian Cox (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Brian Cox (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Brian Cox believes his Irish upbringing has helped to make him the gritty actor he has become today, with his most iconic role coming his way in the latter stages of his career.

Cox is back as the fearsome Logan Roy in season three of the global smash hit that is Succession, he attempts to steer his stocking empire through copy waters stirred up his warring children who have their eyes constantly set on ousting their father as leader of the all-powerful media conglomerate Waystar.

Now 75, this Scottish-born actor suggests his family’s heritage in the north of Ireland helped to form his vision of the world, as he reflects on a journey that has taken him from humble beginnings to a high profile role in one of the world’s biggest TV shows.

“My family are all Irish and there is no doubt that has shaped me,” he states. “My great-grandfather came from Derry, my great-grandmother came from Donegal and that is the McCann side of my family.

“Then the Coxes all came from Enniskillen. They were forced to move, to wander and be uprooted and that was the way back then. They went to Scotland and we started with nothing when I was a child. That start helps to form the person you become.”

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The Roy family

The Roy family

The Roy family

The jet-setting multi-millionaire character he plays in Succession promotes a lifestyle that could not be further away from the vulgar, arrogant and powerful manipulator he portrays in his role as Logan.

With the patriarch of the family refusing to back down in the face of mounting adversity and continuing ti display a forthright eagerness to tell anyone who will listen to remove themselves from his presence, Cox admits his on-screen character has inspired an interesting change of approach when people see him going about his daily business.

“Not only do people shout F off at me in the street, but they insist on me saying it to them,” he told Magazine+ with a smile at the London premiere of Succession.

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Brian Cox stars as Logan Roy.

Brian Cox stars as Logan Roy.

Brian Cox stars as Logan Roy.

“They often ask very politely as well, which is a little strange. But it is a very easy thing to say to people.... because you mean it!

“It just shows how popular this show has become and none of us are surprised because the scripts are just fantastic.

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“The writers give us in terms of the artistic freedom to do what we do best. When you get a script as great as this, you have to embrace it because it might never get any better.

“You can’t think about living up to the expectation going into season three. You can’t worry about that, it’s a waste of energy. We know this cast works well, so let’s go with it and enjoy it.”

Succession creator Jessie Armstrong has struck gold with his story of family deceit and deception, with Alan Ruck, who plays the role of Connor Roy, telling us that the links with Rupert Murdoch and his family are no coincidence.

“I loved the show right away when I read the script because it was so funny and all these characters are such idiots,” he said.

“Part of you wonders if anyone will ever like them, but there is something appealing about watching them all fail in their own unique way.

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Sunday World's Kevin Palmer at the launch of season three of Succession

Sunday World's Kevin Palmer at the launch of season three of Succession

Sunday World's Kevin Palmer at the launch of season three of Succession

“Jesse wrote a show about the Murdoch family and it never got made, so he took that world they live in and turned it into these functional characters that all work so well together.

“I’m told that one member of the Murdoch family won’t want Succession, so I’m sure what that says about the show.”

The good news for Succession fans is that season four is already being planned, with Kieran Culkin, brother of Home Alone star Macaulay, confirming there is much more to come from the Roys.

“I know there is at least one more season,” confirmed Culkin, plays aloof bother Roman in Succession. “I’d like at least two more seasons, please. I need to pay my bills for a long time to come!

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Kieran Culkin and Sarah Snook as siblings Roman and Shiv

Kieran Culkin and Sarah Snook as siblings Roman and Shiv

Kieran Culkin and Sarah Snook as siblings Roman and Shiv

“We were postponed for about a year due to Covid, so to be back now and to have this great excitement around the show is amazing. People want more of it, so it is great that there will be a season four.

“The writers probably know how this story ends, but I’m not sure if they know how to get there yet.”

Culkin went on to reveal he initially auditioned for the role of hilarious ‘Cousin Greg’ in Succession (played by Nicholas Braun) and then made a strong play to land the role of quirky Roman Roy, the middle sibling of media mogul Logan Roy.

“I was asked to read the script for cousin Greg and it wasn’t right for me, but I loved the writing and wanted to read on,” he added.

“So I picked out three scenes for Roman and sent in the film. I wanted the role and I’m told they didn’t even audition for the role, so it must have gone well.”

  • Season three of Succession is on Sky Atlantic and NOW every Monday at 9pm.

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