Jeremy Strong Says That Brian Cox “Has Earned The Right” To Call His Method Acting “Annoying”

February 22, 2023 / Posted by:

The fourth season of Succession is on the horizon which means we have earned ourselves a treat from deliciously salty pee-paw Brian Cox for our patience. As we know from the many Werther’s Originals he’s dug out of his pockets in the past, Brian is of the Sir Lawrence Olivier Academy of Not Giving a Fuck and thinks that method actors, like Jeremy Strong who plays his son on Succession, are a total buzz kill. He’s said as much in the past. Even before (and during) that 2022 New Yorker profile highlighting what Jeremy calls his method of “autonomous concentration.” In a new interview with Town & Country, Brian says that The Jeremy School of Doing Too Much “is fucking annoying,” adding that he thinks he’s an incredible actor, but “when you’ve got the gift, celebrate the gift. Go back to your trailer and have a hit of marijuana, you know?

Meanwhile, on an entirely different planet, Jeremy spoke to GQ while wearing “a brown bucket hat. On top of that hat: a second hat, a brown cashmere beanie,” to say that Brian’s “earned the right to say whatever the fuck he wants,” adding that he hasn’t “really met Brian outside of the confines” of the show. Which sounds like a win for Brian given that during the course of his GQ interview, Jeremy quoted “Henry James, T.S. Eliot, Walker Percy, Kenneth Lonergan, Mark Strand, Hilary Mantel, Karl Ove Knausgård, Dustin Hoffman, Glenn Gould, Stanley Kunitz, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rainer Maria Rilke, Anthony Hopkins, Meryl Streep, Charles Bukowski, Steven Pressfield, Steven Spielberg, M. Scott Peck, Ron Van Lieu, Carl Jung, Franz Kafka, Barry Michels, Peter Brook, Thomas Kail, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Cate Blanchett, Bob Dylan, LCD Soundsystem, John Berryman, and John Keats talking shit about Lord Byron.” So I don’t think a little doobie’s gonna stop him from being fucking annoying. Here’s what Brian had to say, according to T&C:

Cox has been having an intellectual argument on set—and in the press—with Jeremy Strong, the actor who plays Kendall, his rebellious son. As described in a 2021 New Yorker profile, Strong, a Yale graduate, is a method actor who prefers to inhabit nearly every aspect of his character, even when the camera has stopped rolling. Cox, a classically trained actor, said then, and repeats now, that he finds Strong’s devotion to method baffling. “He’s a very good actor,” Cox says. “And the rest of the ensemble is all okay with this. But knowing a character and what the character does is only part of the skill set.”

Is it annoying being around someone who is always in character? “Oh, it’s fucking annoying,” Cox says. “Don’t get me going on it.” But Cox says his complaint isn’t about inconvenience.

He brings up a 2009 video (which is now on YouTube) of him teaching a toddler Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” soliloquy. After some coaxing by Cox—and occasional pauses and distractions—the child learns the famous speech. “There is something in the little boy that is able to convey the character,” he says. “It’s just there and is accessible. It’s not a big fucking religious experience.”

Oh contraire, mon père salé! GQ reports:

As the sun starts to set, we make our way back to the pub. Once you’re off the walking paths, there are winding roads and blind corners and more cars than you’d expect out here. Each time one whizzes by, Strong reflexively holds up his arm to shield me from the road, mostly out of an instinctive thoughtfulness and at least subliminally from an awareness that it would make for bad optics if the GQ writer got pancaked on his watch.

I say that our setting reminds me of the Succession episode when Kendall’s car, on a foggy, remote English road just like this one, veers into a pond and accidentally kills that waiter.

Strong gets quiet.

“Yeah, me too. Me too,” he says. “It brought me back to that, even some of the bird sounds and the hedgerows. We were in a place called Ledbury. I was living in an old converted piggery.…”

He is a million miles away.

“One day, when the show is over, it’ll be easier for me to maybe talk about that stuff, but while it’s still going, that thing still feels real to me in a way.”

Put that in your pipe and smoke it, you old salty dog! Then call me over to your trailer so we can talk some shit. Here are Jeremy and Brian in their respective photo-shoots. I know whose pockets I prefer to train my autonomous concentration on.

Pic: Michael Simon/ Images

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