Brian Cox is promoting the release of his new memoir, Putting the Rabbit in the Hat, which has already been making headlines due to the Scottish actor’s unvarnished opinions on Johnny Depp, Steven Seagal, Michael Caine and others.
In a candid new interview with Deadline, Cox addresses the controversy with the same degree of candor that created it in the first place.
“I’ve had a lot of flak about disrespecting some and all that, and people clearly haven’t read the book and they think I’m having a go at Johnny Depp,” said Cox, who reiterated that he was just offering his opinions.
“Well, I’m not having a go at Johnny Depp. I don’t disrespect Johnny Depp. I think Johnny Depp has done some incredible work, but he’s… you know, I have my reservations,” said Cox, who described Depp as “so overblown” and “so overrated” in his book.
“I think Johnny Depp is a wonderful actor. He’s very good, but he’s not the greatest actor who ever lived, you know,” Cox clarified. “And I do think a lot of things are projected onto Johnny Depp, which are more than he would even desire, I think.”
Cox also addressed the recent New Yorker profile on his “Succession” co-star Jeremy Strong, which painted a portrait of an eccentric method actor whose intense process can be a pain to his fellow actors.
“It was Jeremy’s idea, the whole article. He pushed for it, and you know, and people kept warning him about it,” said Cox. “In a sense, he got hoisted by it, and I think it was unfortunate. I think he should never had gone down that road because playing Kendall has put him in a very vulnerable position.”
Asked to clarify, Cox responded diplomatically but honestly. “Because he does what he does and he does it brilliantly, but it’s also exhausting. Particularly exhausting for him, but it’s also exhausting for the rest of us from time to time. But we weather it because we love him and because the result is always extraordinary, what he does, but at the same time, there is the double-edged sword that goes with it,” he said.
“Let me tell you, I have such respect for Jeremy as an actor and I just wish him well. I think he lives in a lot of pain. I mean, he creates the pain in the role he plays. That doesn’t necessarily help, but he does… there is a certain amount of pain at the root of Jeremy, and I just feel for that pain,” Cox explained. “I think that he puts himself in vulnerable positions and that New Yorker article, he placed himself in a very, very vulnerable position, and I think that he didn’t need to do that.”