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Succession’s Brian Cox reveals he turned down Game of Thrones role because ‘money was not great’, calls Johnny Depp ‘overrated’

In his new memoir, Brian Cox has revealed the reason he rejected an offer to appear in Game of Thrones.

By: Entertainment Desk | New Delhi |
January 15, 2022 11:55:54 am
Brian Cox, Brian Cox logan roy,Brian Cox plays the role of Logan Roy in Succession. (Photo: HBO)

Scottish actor Brian Cox has been working for more than half a century. Currently, he can be seen in HBO’s acclaimed drama Succession, in which he plays the role of Logan Roy, the founder of media conglomerate Waystar Royco and the patriarch of the Roy family. Cox is known for his candour in media interviews.

In his new memoir, Cox revealed the reason he was never seen in major franchises such as Harry Potter and Game of Thrones, both of which featured several top British actors. But not Cox.

Interestingly, he was offered the role of Robert Baratheon in Game of Thrones. The character was eventually played by Mark Addy.

In an excerpt from his memoir Putting the Rabbit in the Hat, quoted by the GQ magazine, he wrote, “I’m often asked if I was offered a role in Game of Thrones—reason being that every other bugger was—and the answer is, yes, I was supposed to be a king called Robert Baratheon, who apparently died when he was gored by a boar in the first season. I know very little about Game of Thrones so I can’t tell you whether or not he was an important character, and I’m not going to google it just in case he was, because I turned it down.”

He added, “Why? Well, Game of Thrones went on to be a huge success and everybody involved earned an absolute fortune, of course. But when it was originally offered the money was not all that great, shall we say say. Plus I was going to be killed off fairly early on, so I wouldn’t have had any of the benefits of the long-term effects of a successful series where your wages go up with each passing season. So I passed on it, and Mark Addy was gored by the boar instead. (I lied. I did google it.)

In Harry Potter, Cox revealed that he came close to playing the role of Alastor Moody. The role eventually went to Brendan Gleeson.

“Harry Potter. That’s another one they ask me about,” laments Cox. “Harry f***ing Potter. I think someone had a burning cross held up for me not to be in Harry Potter, because all my pals were in it. I think the part I might have played was the one that Brendan Gleeson got, Mad-Eye Moody, but Brendan was more in fashion than I was at that point, and that’s very much the way of the world in my business, so he got it. Also, he’s much better than I would have been.”

However, one role he does not regret rejecting is that of Weatherby Swann in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, the father of Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth Swann. The role ultimately went to Jonathan Pryce.

The reason? Johnny Depp. He says, “It would have been a money-spinner, but of all the parts in that film it was the most thankless, plus I would have ended up doing it for film after film and missed out on all the other nice things I’ve done. Another thing with Pirates of the Caribbean is that it’s very much the ‘Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow’ show, and Depp, personable though I’m sure he is, is so overblown, so overrated. I mean, Edward Scissorhands. Let’s face it, if you come on with hands like that and pale, scarred-face make-up, you don’t have to do anything. And he didn’t. And subsequently, he’s done even less. But people love him. Or they did love him. They don’t love him so much these days, of course. If Johnny Depp went for Jack Sparrow now, they’d give it to Brendan Gleeson. So no—no regrets about Pirates, I don’t think.”

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