“The Older You Get, You Just Want to Make People Laugh.” Actor Brian Cox on Hitting His Stride in the Second Half of His Career
Brian Cox wants to laugh more. He wants to have fun. And it looks like the veteran Scottish actor is doing just that.
Cox has been making the rounds to promote the final season of his fiery hit show Succession, in which he plays billionaire media baron and bullish father Logan Roy. In the interviews we’ve seen, including this uplifting chat with Jimmy Fallon, Cox, 76, is enjoying this chapter of his life. He says he’s loved the wide expanse of his 60-years-long career and all its nuances, from starting in theatre as a teen to playing the archetypal role of Roy to offering his voice for a MacDonald’s commercial. Of the fast food chain project, he told CNN’s Chris Wallace “I love doing it because it’s funny. It’s witty…I love that challenge.”
Perhaps the most inspiring aspect of Cox’s energy is his mix of gratitude and fortitude. Growing up in Dundee, Scotland in extreme poverty, he joined a repertory company at 14 where he sometimes slept under the stairs. Those hardships, which he writes about in his 2021 memoir Putting the Rabbit in the Hat, fueled his craft. He says that acting gave him a vision of what’s possible. It’s “not just about being an actor,” he told Fallon about his work, “it’s about being in touch with yourself and who you are.”
Cox’s zest for all that’s been and all this is inspires us. And when asked how he feels about Succession ending, Cox offers a candid and funny rebuke. “There’s an adage: when the party’s at its best, leave.”
The final season of Succession premieres Sunday, March 26 on HBO.