Veteran actor Brian Cox is currently starring as the Murdoch-esque media mogul Logan Roy in HBO’s hit series Succession. Roy is a character who doesn’t steer away from speaking his mind, and – as we discovered in his 2020 interview with Dazed – neither is Cox, whether that involves using eloquent profanity or badmouthing his fellow actors.
In fact, in the actor’s new autobiography, Putting the Rabbit in the Hat, we get no shortage of the latter. Looking back on his decades in the film industry, Cox calls out everyone from David Bowie to Quentin Tarantino, though he apparently can’t be too harsh on his Chain Reaction co-star Keanu Reeves (who can?).
Sharing some excerpts from the book, the Big Issue says that he also takes digs at the likes of Daniel Day-Lewis, Ed Norton, and even cinematic legend Michael Caine. So, what has Cox been saying about his Hollywood colleagues, exactly?
Well, beginning with Tarantino, Cox says that he “walked out of Pulp Fiction”, which isn’t a great review. “I find his work meretricious,” he adds of the director. “It’s all surface. Plot mechanics in place of depth. Style where there should be substance… That said, if the phone rang, I’d do it.”
Meanwhile, David Bowie – the star of several films, ranging from cult classic The Man Who Fell To Earth to the critically-panned Just A Gigolo – is described by Cox as: “A skinny kid, and not a particularly good actor. He made a better pop star, that much is for certain.”
Johnny Depp also finds himself in the firing line, especially for his turn as Edward Scissorhands in 1990. “Personable though I’m sure he is, he is so overblown, so overrated,” Cox says of the actor. “I mean, Edward Scissorhands. Let’s face it, if you come on 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.”
That being said, Cox does dole out some praise in his book, though even that seems tinged with the Succession patriarch’s signature ruthlessness. Despite having nothing particularly bad to say about Keanu Reeves, for instance, he describes the Matrix star as a “seeker” who has “actually become rather good over the years”, which, as far as compliments go, seems pretty back-handed.
If you’re hungry for more of Cox’s blunt A-list gossip, you can find excerpts from Putting the Rabbit in the Hat here. The full autobiography is out now.