Ahead of the season 4 premiere of “Succession”, Brian Cox reveals the elaborate backstory he’s imagined for his character Logan Roy. He also opens up about how living his childhood in poverty has stayed with him throughout his life.
Before Cox, 76, became an established actor, he and his family “were left destitute,” after his father died when Cox was just eight years old, the Scottish actor shares in his cover story for Town & Country’s March 2023 OG issue, on newsstands February 28.
READ MORE: Brian Cox Reveals Logan Roy Was Almost Killed Off In Season 1 Of ‘Succession’
When his father passed away, he left behind a bank account with “the princely sum” of 10 pounds in it. Meanwhile, his mother, who worked as a spinner in Dundee’s vast jute mills, grieved while suffering a sequence of nervous breakdowns.
“Being plunged into poverty affects me to this day,” Cox adds. “It’s a demon in my life.”
Like Cox’s character Logan Roy, the actor is a self-made man who’s actually given a lot of thought to Logan’s backstory, which Cox says is occasionally hinted at in the series but never made explicit.
READ MORE: ‘Succession’ Season 4: Tension Between Logan And His Children Arise In New Trailer
“He’s not Rupert Murdoch,” Cox tells the publication, referring to the real-life American business magnate who seems to be an inspiration for the character. “He’s certainly not Donald Trump, and he’s not Conrad Black. He is a self-made man, but there was something in his childhood that made him decide, ‘F**k it. It doesn’t work. None of it works.’”
Cox and Roy also share a sense that the human experiment has gone terribly wrong.
“He does so from a nihilistic point of view,” the “Bourne Identity” star says of his patriarch and CEO character. “I’m an optimist. I believe if we can attend to it, we can shift it. But we don’t attend to it enough. But Logan doesn’t give a f**k. He just says, ‘That’s the way it is’.”
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However, when it comes to Roy’s anger, Cox admits that it’s difficult for him to fathom.
“It comes from a bitter experience,” he explains. “It’s a mystery, because Jesse [Armstrong] hasn’t revealed it. I mean, you saw me swimming [in season one, episode seven], and you see the marks on my back. But it’s never explained.”
Nonetheless, Cox has “a sneaking affection for Logan” and “think[s] he’s a misunderstood man.”
“Succession” season 4 premieres Sunday, March 26 at 9:00 P.M. ET/PT on HBO.