We all know that the Roy family is fraught with arguments, competition, and siblings going out of their way to get on each other’s nerves. However, it seems this dynamic might be just as present behind the cameras as it is in front. Acting veteran Brian Cox has come out with strong criticism of his co-star Jeremy Strong’s acting style, and Jeremy has some thoughts of his own…
Publicity rounds for the highly-anticipated upcoming fourth season of HBO’s smash hit Succession have led to some stern words being exchanged between the show’s longstanding stars.
During an interview with Town & Country, Brian Cox – who plays the Roy family’s formidable patriarch Logan Roy – had some things to say about the famously intense method acting that his co-star Jeremy Strong, who plays the disaffected eldest son of the family, Kendall Roy, espouses on set.
“Oh, it’s f**king annoying. Don’t get me going on it,” said Cox, describing how Strong will remain in character between scenes, often not breaking out of the role for days or weeks at a time, isolating himself from his colleagues in the same self-exile that Kendall increasingly imposed on himself as the show has developed, presumably whilst wearing his now customary $3,000 baseball cap…
The barb came alongside high praise: “He’s a very good actor, 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. He’s still that guy, because he feels if he went somewhere else he’d lose it. But he won’t!”
Encouraging some gentle relaxation at the end of a shooting day, Cox wrapped up by saying: “Strong is talented. He’s f**king gifted.”
“When you’ve got the gift, celebrate the gift. Go back to your trailer and have a hit of marijuana, you know?”Brian Cox
In fact, it’s not the first time Cox has raised this concern, saying to Seth Myers previously that “[Jeremy] does get obsessed with the work. And I worry about what it does to him […] Daniel Day-Lewis got worn out at 55 and decided to retire because [he] couldn’t go on doing that every day.”
Strong, speaking to GQ as part of a cover shoot, responded to these comments. First, with immense respect for his on-screen father: Cox has “earned the right to say whatever the f**k he wants” thanks to decades at the top of the game. “I feel a lot of love for my siblings and my father on the show,” Strong relates.
Ultimately, however, Strong remains as committed as ever to his way of working: “it is like a family […] you don’t always like the people that you love [but] I do always respect them.”
On both sides, the criticisms seem gilded with mutual respect for each other’s craft, not unlike the deeply complex relationship between Logan and Kendall that they portray on-screen. At the end of the day, if Strong getting under Cox’s skin results in better TV then we’re all for it: long live method acting, long live WayStar RoyCo.