Brian Cox is so in love with Logan Roy.
Or at least it’s gone Succession’The reigning patriarch of the media empire stands back on the set of HBO’s Emmy-winning television drama as the gruff Scottish actor criticized Method acting during a post-screening question and answer session at the Toronto Film Festival for Daughter of the prisoner
“I don’t get a lot of the American shit, having to have a religious experience every time you play a part. It sucks,” Cox said of becoming totally immersed in a movie or TV series to the point of obsession.
“I don’t cling to the characters I play. I let them pass through me. The thing is to be willing to accept, as an actor. You’re standing there, you’re ready to take anything that’s thrown at you,” he added while on stage at Roy Thomson Hall after he and his co-stars, including Kate Beckinsale, Tyson Ritter and Christopher Convery, and prisoner’s daughter director Catherine Hardwicke, received warm applause from the Toronto audience after the world premiere of the drama about family reconciliation.
In prisoner’s daughter, Cox plays Max, a convict who was compassionately released from prison after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, and then has to live out his final days with his estranged daughter, played by Beckinsale. Max also gets acquainted with the grandson he never knew, played by Convery.
“Max was a great role, for sure. He was always in retirement, as a father. Logan is a completely different character. He is not in retreat. Except, deep down, he is. But his reactions come with the front foot, because of his background,” added Cox as he insisted on different dynamics for the characters in Succession Y prisoner’s daughter they require different acting styles on set.
“So you allow people to come through you. We are British. We come from a ‘great tradition’”, she insisted with a mocking tone.
“The Commonwealth, baby,” Beckinsale gleefully added to the Canadian audience.
“You just let it go through you. And don’t get in the goddamn way,” Cox continued, now on a roll as the Toronto festival audience reacted with another round of applause.
Cox’s comments follow his Emmy award Succession co-star Jeremy Strong having made headlines for a New Yorker profile published late last year in which people who have worked with Strong weighed in on the techniques he uses to get into character, such as asking to be sprayed with real tear gas to The trial of the Chicago 7. Strong told the publication at the time that he doesn’t consider himself a Method actor, but said of his tactics, “If I have any method, it’s simply this: remove anything, anything, other than the character and the circumstances of the scene”.
Also during the TIFF event, Twilight Y Thirteen director Hardwicke, who directed prisoner’s daughter From a screenplay by Canadian writer Mark Bacci, it paid tribute to Convery for being able to act alongside Cox and Beckinsale, given the pedigree of veteran British actors. “You are very brave to defend yourself,” he told the young actor.
Throughout the brief question and answer session, Cox and Beckinsale were full of jokes and dark humor directed at each other.
“Brian has been present. I have a history with him. You are a stalker,” she told Cox at one point after insisting that she had seen him as a fan many times on stage in Britain while she was growing up and training as an actress.
“Am I a stalker? You are a stalker. I have never been a stalker. You are definitely a stalker!” Cox replied.
“I’m wearing your panties right now,” Beckinsale responded, using a common British term for women’s underwear.
“She stole them. She stole them. She had a bunch of them and they’re gone,” Cox responded, before striking a serious tone as he paid tribute to Hardwicke as director. “I didn’t know what to expect this afternoon, I have to confess… But what’s great is that woman’s heart, and that’s what’s on the show,” she said with a wink at Hardwicke.
And then he praised Beckinsale for her dedication to the role of Maxine, a daughter who reluctantly accepts her convict father and, as a single mother, has to work multiple jobs to support her home in Las Vegas and care for her epileptic son.
“She’s so committed to the role that you can’t go wrong acting against something like that,” Cox said.
The Toronto Film Festival continues through September 18.