Journalists keep asking Brian Cox to talk smack about Method acting – the preferred technique of Jeremy Strong, who plays Cox’s on-screen son on “Succession” – and Cox is always happy to oblige.
In an interview with Variety, Cox was asked to follow up on Strong’s recent comments to GQ in response to Cox’s previous comments about his acting style – Cox said that he thinks “there’s a certain amount of pain at the root of Jeremy,” and Strong responded that while Cox has “earned the right to say whatever the f— he wants,” he’s actually fine, and his character Kendall Roy is the one in pain.
“I’m glad he is not in pain personally,” Cox said, and called Strong “a wonderful actor.” But he reiterated his previous comments about disliking Method acting, which he considers an unnecessary American affectation that leads to actors taking their jobs too personally and getting burnt out.
“It’s really a cultural clash,” said Cox. “I don’t put up with all that American s—. I’m sorry. All that sort of ‘I think, therefore I feel.’ Just do the job. Don’t identify.”
Cox pointed to Daniel Day-Lewis, who took a three-year break from acting for three years in the late ‘90s and announced he was retiring from acting for good after 2017’s “Phantom Thread.” Day-Lewis is a famously intense Method actor, and Cox blames his technique for his retirement.
“He retired at the age of 55, and I’m going, ‘That’s when the roles become really interesting,” Cox said. “You’ve retired just at the point when actually the roles get better!’” (For the record, Day-Lewis was 60 when he retired and is English, not American).
“Of course, Jeremy was Dan Day-Lewis’ assistant,” Cox added. “So he’s learned all that stuff from Dan.”
Fortunately for Cox, he won’t have to answer many more questions about Strong’s acting style: “Succession” is ending with its fourth season.
“Succession” Season 4 premieres Sunday, March 26 on HBO and HBO Max.
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